Site Redesign & Migration Tips To Avoid SEO & UX Disasters


Launching a new site is always sparkling for those involved. But it can also be intimidating, not slightest since it is so tough to envision how users and hunt engines will conflict to it.

Websites get redesigned, rebranded and migrated for all sorts of reasons, though stakeholders are always going to be meddlesome in a trade and income impact.

Having been concerned with several site migrations, we have seen online businesses make a same mistakes time and again. This beam shows how to equivocate a many common SEO and UX pitfalls when redesigning, re-platforming or rebranding a website.

When Things Go Wrong

When things go wrong, a categorical disaster is mostly due to critical mistakes that take place during a unequivocally early stages. Unfortunately, regulating these mistakes after a new site has launched can be unequivocally costly.

A site redesign is mostly seen as a golden event to residence mixed famous problems that might have cropped adult over a years. However, radical critical shifts can be unsure unless there is poignant justification or other signals.

And introducing too many critical changes can infrequently backfire. Sites that bear radical UX changes might finish adult with undone users that find it tough to familiarize themselves with a new site. Similarly, hunt engines might onslaught to crawl, index and rank pages that have been updated or changed though not in an SEO-friendly way.

There are many factors that can impede success when re-designing or migrating. Here are 12 tip tips to make certain your site emigration is a success:

1. Choose Clear, Realistic And Measurable Objectives

A common unfolding is that a website gets redesigned since it feels dated, though a new site afterwards fails to perform as good as a aged site.  The need to pattern a new site unequivocally should be corroborated adult by evidence, e.g., organic hunt opening has been abating due to bad site architecture, CMS lacks certain facilities that will assistance boost user engagement, A/B separate tests advise that acclimatisation rates can be softened serve and so on.

It is also value indicating out that a objectives should ideally take into comment both SEO targets, such as maintaining organic trade levels or improving pivotal rankings and user rendezvous targets, shortening rebound rate or augmenting conversions. Why? Because a former affects trade and a latter conversions, and there is no indicate in perplexing to urge one though a other.

Examples of SEO objectives embody maintaining or augmenting organic trade levels and maintaining or improving pivotal rankings. And examples of quantifiable user rendezvous objectives embody augmenting user engagement, shortening form dropoffs and shortening exit rate on pivotal pages.

Choosing quantifiable objectives will also make it probable to conclude a ideal success metrics.

2. Be Aware Of Your Strengths, Weaknesses And Limits

Each site emigration is singular and needs to be treated with a lot of suspicion and attention. Defining picturesque objectives requires good believe of your site’s strengths and weaknesses, as good as an in-depth bargain of a rival landscape. It would be impractical to pattern organic trade levels to boost as a outcome of a site emigration if we are competing with bigger and some-more determined brands in a unequivocally rival vertical.

Failing to take a strengths and weaknesses of a online foe into care can simply lead to environment impractical objectives. Growth in jam-packed niches can be challenging, and a preference to go forward with a site redesign needs to change both a pros and cons.

One thing to bear in mind is that expansion is unequivocally approaching to be a categorical pattern opposite all your competitors. Make certain we are picturesque about your constant position in a market. Are we unequivocally in a position to plea your competitors? If not, afterwards investing in a new site is doubtful to produce many return.

3. Take A Data-Driven Approach

Taking a data-driven proceed will assistance we make softened pattern and UX decisions. Analytics information can assistance brand things such as high- or low-traffic pages, renouned or cryptic user journeys and a best or worst-performing calls to action.

A data-driven proceed will assistance to prioritise a areas that need to be softened and safeguard a ones that are already behaving well.

4. Find The Right Balance Between UX  SEO

For many websites, it is essential to try and find a right change between UX and SEO. Too good a concentration on UX might outcome in a drop in rankings and traffic, since focusing exclusively on SEO can simply impede user engagement.

Site redesigns led by UX teams mostly see their organic trade levels humour after a new site goes live. On a other hand, site re-designs led by SEOs mostly see their acclimatisation rates being reduced. In both cases, income goes down, and a outcome of a site emigration is negative.

Finding a right change between UX and SEO is essential so we don’t risk losing your hard-achieved rankings or your many constant customers.

5. Encourage Team Synergies

Site redesigns mostly engage several people or even teams with opposite objectives and goals: calm strategists, UX and CRO experts, web developers, SEOs and information analysts, to name though a few.

Failing to work collaboratively on such a formidable devise will constantly lead to problems, as one team’s actions might good impede a goals of another. Similarly, vouchsafing one group lead a site emigration devise (e.g., IT or marketing) can be unequivocally ineffective.

The ideal is to settle and inspire a many some-more collaborative proceed between all concerned parties as this will assistance a business accommodate a objectives.

All teams should be speedy to feed into a devise so they all minister to a decision-making. In vast organisations where a site emigration can take several months, building adult a multi-disciplinary group can be unequivocally beneficial.

With so many opposite parties involved, effective devise government will play a pivotal purpose in a success of a site migration. With so many dependencies between a opposite activities, devise government can be challenging, though it is critical in creation certain any celebration is delivering what is approaching on time.

But since things do not always go as planned, a certain grade of coherence is also necessary, as prolonged as pivotal deadlines and milestones aren’t hindered. Site redesigns or migrations that don’t engage gifted devise managers are disposed to failure.

6. Evaluate The New Content Strategy

When not well-thought-out, calm strategies can reject a site emigration to failure. The preference to move, mislay or connect a poignant apportionment of a site’s calm though meditative about a consequences on UX and SEO is a classical mistake.

A new calm devise can significantly change a site’s information architecture, page structure and inner linking. Therefore, it can have a large impact on a several user journeys though also on how hunt engines produce a site’s pages.

To equivocate entrance opposite nasty surprises later, calm strategies need to be discussed and evaluated during a unequivocally early theatre and before relocating into production. The SEO and UX teams should cruise a pros and cons of a suggested calm strategy, dwindle any intensity issues and make recommendations where necessary. Forecasting trade detriment or identifying user knowledge flaws during this early theatre will be many some-more profitable than trade with these intensity issues after a new site has left live.

7. Test New Design And Features With Real Users

It is startling how many sites get redesigned or rebuilt though behaving any user contrast forward of a  launch. Relying on best use and common clarity alone can be utterly risky.

There are many ways to make certain that a new design, taxonomy, site navigation or other essential facilities are right. First and foremost, user contrast needs to be carried out by users who fit a demographics of a site’s genuine audience.

Large organisations should deposit time in contrast with genuine users, since smaller ones can get divided with remote online user testing, that is unequivocally cost-effective. Identifying usability issues in a user tour during a pattern proviso is essential so that any problems can be addressed and resolved before a new site goes live.

8. Find The Right Time To Launch

The concluded timeline needs to be picturesque so that it doesn’t act as an barrier later. A common mistake is to come adult with a unequivocally parsimonious deadline for going live, though withdrawal any time to understanding with variable circumstances. Site migrations frequency ever go as planned; according to a Forester study a normal check for replatforming projects is 4.2 months. Therefore, factoring in some additional time during formulation will roughly positively compensate dividends.

Another common mistake is to devise a new site launch tighten to a business-critical period. For example, retailers should equivocate rising a new website anytime between Sep and Dec so they do not impede their site’s opening before a bustling pre-Christmas sales period.

9. Be Realistic With Budget And Resources

Budget and accessible resources always play a large partial in a success of a site emigration or redesign. Underestimating a volume of work compulsory to have all prepared for a risk-free site launch can have a disastrous impact on a success of a site migration.

You need to be picturesque about what we can grasp with a accessible bill and resources, though we should always secure some additional bill that could be expelled to understanding with any variable resources that might occur. Reducing a range of a devise to keep it on bill can be risky, depending on that activities are left out.

10. Test New Platform Capabilities And Address Weaknesses

Platform or build stipulations where relocating from one height to another can levy certain technical limitations; for instance, certain facilities might not duty in an SEO or user-friendly proceed right out of a box.

An endless technical SEO and UX review needs to be carried out during a unequivocally early stages, so any technical obstacles are identified and assessed by a SEO UX teams. If any of these issues are approaching to have a large disastrous impact, they will need to be addressed by a growth group before of rising a new site.

Human blunder is unavoidable, though contrast a site’s technical doing on a entertainment server can assistance with spotting and regulating them before launch. It is value loitering a new site launch by a few days or even weeks, rather than risking some of your site’s revenue.

11. Make Sure The New Site Is Well Optimized

Launching a new site that is feeble optimised will positively outcome in trade loss. Poor optimisation mostly comes down to unequivocally elementary mistakes. Time vigour is a unequivocally common reason for a optimisation of a site to be ignored — a deadline has come and gone, and we need a site to go live. But going live though a best probable optimisation is a mistake.

Lack of expertise is another common reason for site emigration failure. Google’s documentation on this theme matter is deficient and can't accommodate a singular mandate and characteristics of each singular site.

Complex site migrations can be unequivocally severe since of a series of ranking signals that change overnight. An gifted site emigration dilettante should be means to come adult with a tailored site emigration process though also needs to make certain that any intensity issues are identified as early as possible.

Predicting how users or hunt engines will conflict to a site redesign can be challenging, and applicable knowledge on this theme matter can be invaluable, so if things do not go as expected, a well-thought-out liberation devise is in place.

12. Benchmark Everything To Measure Success

To be means to magnitude a success of a site emigration some basic work needs to be carried out before a new site goes live.

Benchmarking is essential and needs to be as endless as probable and cover as many as possible:

  • Keyword rankings
  • User behaviour
  • Traffic levels
  • Conversions
  • Backlink information and metrics
  • Crawl errors
  • Indexation levels
  • Crawl rates
  • Site performance

A lot of a above information will no longer be accessible after a new site has left live. Missing any of these will only make it formidable or even unfit to magnitude a success of a new site.

Useful Resources:

Some opinions voiced in this essay might be those of a guest author and not indispensably Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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