Unfortunately, this blog is based on a conversation I had yesterday with someone who had just invested in a fresh clean look for their website. An update was needed. The results were disastrous!
THE NEW WEBSITE LOOKED GREAT, BUT ALL BRAND TRUST AND CREDIBILITY WAS LOST. THIS PARTICULAR WEBSITE WENT FROM THE BEING AT THE TOP OF GOOGLE SEARCHES ORGANICALLY TO COMPLETE INSIGNIFICANCE.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
Updating a website is much like moving a business to a new location.
You have to pick the location.
You have to tell your customers when you are moving so they how to find you.
You keep the same phone number or have calls redirected to the new number.
If customers show up at the old location, you have to make sure there is a way they can find the new one.
You put in a change of address with the Post Office, UPS, FedEx, etc.
If you change the business name, you have to make sure customers can find you if they look for the old name.
Plan it out. Have a soft opening of your website. I have moved several times and it is never perfect. Do everything possible to fix all the "kinks" before going live. Google provides good information on the process.
Don't make your customers look for you. Everyone takes the path of least resistance. We strongly advise against changing the URL and names of your pages. This is how you were found in search engines. Don't throw away the significant work it took to establish your brand on the internet. Ensure your website team understands how to use301 redirects.
PAGE NOT FOUND-
I hate it when this happens. Don't let this happen to you. Make sure youcreate useful 404 page. Instead of getting page not found users are redirected to a useful page on your website. Let's get serious here. Human attention span is short on internet searches- get them to a useful page.
SUBMIT A CHANGE OF ADDRESS-
This is your sitemap. Bing and Google make it very easy for you to submit a sitemap. Click here for Bing and here for Google.
IT WAS THE CONTENT & CONTEXT OF YOUR WEBSITE THAT BUILT YOUR BRAND ON THE INTERNET. THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES TO YOUR CONTENT AND CONTEXT.
HOW TO STAY RELEVANT USING GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO IMPROVE SEO.