If your existing website is not yielding good results, go for a complete analysis of your website.
To perform the complete analysis, analyze the website from design to detail.
- Check the website relevancy in the matter that includes look and feel, navigation, optimized for SEO, speed performance, user friendly, mobile friendly and search engine friendly.
- After the analysis, if you find your website need factors to focus on, and a purpose to revamp or redesign, then go for redesigning your website.
Steps to be followed while revamping your website
1. Communicate the Launch Internally
Inform about the launch of newly revamped website to all the stakeholders & users. It will help the users to know about the new website and an interest to explore the new website.
2. Register New Website in Webmaster Tools
Register the new website in Search engine webmasters tools like Google/Bing Webmasters, in order to increase the process of being indexed by major search engines. By registering the websites in search engines you can easily identify the crawl errors and optimizing issues with the tools quickly.
Resolve Canonicalization issue if it exists. For example
Home Page is linked to one of the above URL & brand logo is linked to another URL, then there will be a duplicate issue. Google thinks that these two are different pages with the same content. So, 301 redirection should be given to all the pages. All the pages like index, index.aspx, default.aspx non www page should be redirected to http://www.xyz.com. The redirection type must be 301.
4. Upload a ‘Coming Soon’ Page
Before launching a new website, we should create a coming soon page on new domain.
5. Inbound Links & Referrals
List all high quality links pointing to your website by using Google Analytics & Webmasters tool. Make sure your inbound links will point to your new website once launched.
6. Map Current URL’s to New Site
Make a spreadsheet and list all the pages present in old website pages and new website pages. Every page on your old site should have a corresponding new page on your new site. Instead of sending traffic to 404 pages make a redirection to relevant page present in the new site. If the old page does not have any relevant page in new site then give redirection to home page.
7. Upload Content to your New Site
Upload images, documents & all files to your new website. Upload most viewed Pages from old site to a new website and give links to every page before indexing.
8. Create Unique Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Each page on the website needs to have unique tiles & Meta Description. You can check if any duplicate meta description is already existing while you register and verify your website with the free Google Webmaster Tools console. Google will crawl your website and tell you if they find duplicate meta tag descriptions.
9. Implement Google Analytics Tracking
The Google Analytics Tracking script should be placed in each and every page of the website in order to track the visits in analytics. Google recommends to place Analytics script before closing the head section</head>.
10. Redirect pages from your old site to your new site:
Once Content is uploaded to the new site from old site, start giving 301 redirections. If few category pages are not introduced in new website which are existing in old website then those pages should be redirected to home page.
Note: Redirection should be given to the most relevant page to provide a better user experience.
Remember to give 301 redirection not 302 redirection. When you have completed giving redirection, you can check the redirection type by using the tool “Bulk URL Checker”. You can copy and paste all the URLs in the tools and check the status code.
11. Change address in Google Webmaster Tools
In Google Webmasters tool change the address at site level under the change of address. In this way you are telling Google that transition has been done for entire website not for a single page.
12. Post-launch Checklist
Once your website is launched you have to check the following steps
- Robots file is present or not
- An XML sitemap is present or not
- Any 302 redirections are present
- Google/Bing Webmasters tool is showing any message
- Crawl errors are existing or not
- Google Analytics is tracking visits or not
- non-www website redirect to your www version (or vice versa)
- Is your 404 page returning an HTTP status 404
13. Check for broken links
Check broken links in Google webmasters. If broken links exists, 301 redirections should be given to respective pages. You can also check your broken link errors in Screaming Frog.
14. Submit XML Site maps
Create an XML Site map by using XML site generator tool. Submit the sitemap in both Google and Bing webmasters tool. Include sitemap in robots.txt
15. Launch Search Marketing Campaigns
The New website might not be entirely indexed, so there is a chance for rankings to drop down. A quick solution is to run campaigns in Ad words for your top keywords.
16. Promote the Launch on Social Media
Promote your new website in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, linked in. By promoting the new website on social channels will help in indexing much faster.
17. Test your Site Speed
By using the Google page speed tool check the speed of the website. If the site speed is anything less than 90, then ask your developer to fix it.
18. Check your Mobile Website
Priorities on fixing mobile websites should be based on the percent of total traffic from mobile/ tablets.