Sanity Through Redesign - Maintaining Your Search Visibility & Rankings

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Redesigns can have a significantly negative impact on hard-earned search visibility. Steps must be taken to ensure search rankings don't drop. Content structure, internal linking and keywords usage in the new site is critical. Not messing with external linking is a good idea. Google webmaster tools and other analytics can be used to set-up and monitor launches. This talk focused on staying sane - and successful - through a redesign. Case studies included.

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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Sanity Through Redesign - Maintaining Your Search Visibility & Rankings

  1. 1. + Maintaining Sanity, Measurement and Visibility Through Redesign Barbara C. Coll CEO WebMama.com Inc. @webmama
  2. 2. + Maintaining... Through a Redesign Sanity – insert your own definition Visibility – in organic search results The Realistic Ability to Measure – a major redesign is going to make it hard to compare apples to apples.
  3. 3. + Goal = Search Results Page Domination
  4. 4. + Top Reasons for Redesign and #1 Effect on Measurement, Visibility and Sanity  Company Name Change/Acquisition = Domain Name Change. Every URL Changes  New SEO Company = Tactical changes too many to mention in this small box  New CEO/CMO = New brand agency, new web design  Repositioning of Company/products = New content, new keywords
  5. 5. + Pre-Redesign (1)  Keyword discovery research – what keywords define the company  Which content drives traffic into site (review landing pages) and set content/SEO strategy to maintain that content  Look at Page Authority (moz.com) and don’t kill pages with high page authority
  6. 6. + Redesign Examples
  7. 7. + Pre-Redesign (2)  Check and document rankings (east/west coast, outside US)  Brightedge, MOZ  Personalization discussion here….  Competitive Positioning – Who’s There?  Paid Search – Gap Analysis
  8. 8. + More than Rankings – it’s about what it LOOKS like  Examples…..
  9. 9. + Changing DomainsFilename Changes  Inventory which page names are changing  Set up redirect list for .htaccess file  Use 301 redirects  Consider leaving high Page Authority pages’ URLs the same regardless of high value of adding keywords to URL  Test redirects before launch  Test redirects of main pages after launch by searching and clicking
  10. 10. + Error Page: Count it in Analytics  Example of Error Page
  11. 11. +  Organic Search Interests:  Sources  Visits  % New Visitors  Landing Page (ding, ding)  Keyword (no longer) Google WebMaster Tools Google Analytics  Errors  Indexed  Queries  Clicks  Position
  12. 12. Launch
  13. 13. + Right about Now  Spot check for redirect errors – click on organic search results  Home page change? 3 hours  Sitelinks? 1-3 days  Old and new URLs at same time – yup – some overlap  DNS propagation – 4-5 days across world  Major ranking changes – 2 weeks Launch 2-weeks
  14. 14. + Might be missing redirects?
  15. 15. + Do a visible search.
  16. 16. + Google Webmaster Tools (tied to Analytics) Queries
  17. 17. + Google Webmaster Tools (tied to Analytics) Landing Pages
  18. 18. + Conversation Rate Down?  Did the landing page change for a specific keyword?  Did your SEO company get you to produce a new page?  Was there lead generation on the page?
  19. 19. + Don’t forget to Count:  Mobile search  Error pages  Consider traffic that has moved to Google+  Consider traffic that has moved to Twitter  Consider traffic that has moved to Facebook
  20. 20. + Careful about SEO Advice  Moving from http://tidemark.net to http://www.tidemark.net (two sites unless redirects done properly and webmaster tools configured properly)  URL/file name changes – can’t compare page-to-page traffic easily in Omniture or Google Analytics  Letting them choose the target landing page for important keywords when they have no knowledge of company lead generation strategy  Most will say 301s are the right way to go for everything – I disagree. Leave some things alone. Don’t change the URL all the time.
  21. 21. + Have the same person/team work with analytics and webmaster tools. Have the same person/team work with paid search and web traffic analysis. WebMama Recommendations:
  22. 22. + More Redesign Examples
  23. 23. Add bill.com before
  24. 24. + Barbara Coll WebMama.com Inc. @webmama eMetrics Boston 2013

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