SEM Mistakes Made During Website Redesigns

Netvantage is no stranger to website redesigns. We work with many clients during the website redesign process and have encountered countless mistakes that can impact search engine marketing. To prevent hurting your site’s SEO, there are many precautions you should take before your site goes live. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes that are typically made when launching a new site and how to avoid them.

Abbey Hadar
Abbey Hadar
Twitter
Not implementing 301 redirects from the old site to the new site is one of the biggest mistakes I see companies make. With building a new site, new pages are created, individual pages get deleted, and the URL pathway of some pages change. All these instances need redirects. To help keep track of pages that need to be redirected before the new site goes live is using a helpful tool such as Screaming Frog. Screaming Frog will crawl your entire website and provide you with a complete list of all the URLs on your current site. Once you run Screaming Frog, create a new spreadsheet with a list of all the URLs that have been changed and the new URL it needs to be redirected to. This spreadsheet can help make your life easier when in the redirection phase of the new site.
Adam Henige
Adam Henige
Twitter
I can’t believe I have to say this in 2017, but the thing that blows my mind is how often beta sites get pushed live with a robots.txt file telling search engines not to crawl and index the site. How this isn’t on the “go live checklist” for every web developer on planet earth is a mystery to me.
Jerod Karam
Jerod Karam
Twitter
The absolute biggest mistake a company can make when launching a new website occurs before the website is ever built–that is, ignoring the fact the SEO / SEM are necessary and not consulting with a good SEO company prior to beginning the website design. I have worked with clients that contract to have amazing websites designed but the SEO aspect was never addressed in pre-design meetings. The web design company does an incredible job deivering a fantastic site…but, in the name of aesthetics or “coolness,” they do something silly like make every page load with AJAX calls or have all the content be JavaScript dependent. Then the client comes to us with the “we want to get ranked 1st in Google” line, we take a look at the website, and have to break the news to them that they probably won’t even rank out well for their own name…because no one considered the SEO impacts of the site design. So, boys and girls, always design sites with SEO in mind…even if the end client doesn’t express a desire for SEO to begin with. You’ll make everyone happier if you do.
Joe Ford
Joe Ford
Twitter
 I will take a little different approach than everyone else and focus on typical PPC mistakes when launching a new site. The most obvious is changing the appropriate destination URLs for ads. If your internal product landing pages are changing URLs, make sure those destination URLs change. This goes for site link extensions too. Additionally, if the brand messaging on your site is getting a facelift, be sure that the messaging in your ad copy changes too. Finally, if you had remarketing lists setup for building audience buckets on certain pages, be sure to change those URL parameters in the Audience Library.
Lexie Kimball
Lexie Kimball
Twitter
Less isn’t always more, especially when it comes to content. The latest trend in web design is to have a responsive design, which isn’t always designed for content. I get wanting a new site to be ascetically appealing, but Google doesn’t know what the site is offering without content. It’s hard to rank out well for your keywords if they aren’t even on your website.
Michael Hall
Michael Hall
Twitter
As Jerod mentioned, slick websites that ignore SEO essentials bother me too. But what really irks me is when website owners, or worse when web developers, advocate cutting back on the total number of product/service pages from their website to get a “cleaner” or “more simplified” look. This is done mostly to feature the contact us page more prominently or to decrease clutter in the website navigation. First: any good website theme should give you the ability to control what appears in the navigation without having to delete pages. Second: Call to actions, or a lack of, is likely the reason why you are getting fewer conversions than you expect. Fix those first before detonating your website! When new visitors arrive to your site, they expect to quickly learn what your business offers. Google does the same thing – if there is any confusion or lack of information on your part, there is no way you are going to rank well for all of your target keywords. Of course, there is a limit – specifically when keyword cannibalization or Google crawl budget becomes an issue. To summarize, a limited website equals a limited number important searches that you will rank for.

Netvantage Marketing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *