When it comes to low-hanging, digital-marketing fruit, there aren’t many sweet treats in easier reach than a website redesign. A website that loads quicker, is easier to navigate, feels more inviting and offers more authoritative content will usually lead to significantly more traffic, leads and sales.
The catch is that failing to get the SEO migration right during a site rejig can lead to traffic, leads and sales collapsing.
It can be tempting to keep kicking the can down the road with a website refresh. If you’re a time-poor SME owner, it’s easy to talk yourself into believing your website is performing adequately and can soldier on in its current form for another 6/12/18 months, even if it is starting to look dated. This kind of mindset was inadvisable even before early 2020. Given the rocket the COVID-19 lockdowns put underneath the digital transformation process, having a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards your digital shopfront can now prove fatal.
If your competitors have a reassuring ‘https’ at the start of their URL and you’re still using ‘http’, or your website takes half a second longer to load than theirs, or they are obsessive about UX and you’re not making a great first impression with your website, you’re risking a Darwinian fate.
Even if that wasn’t the case, it’s difficult for a business to get significant and lasting results from its digital marketing efforts if it doesn’t have a high-calibre website. (This is why digital marketers first recommendation to new clients is usually to update their site.)
Fortunately, you don’t need to be an SEO agency or expert to understand the basics of holding onto your Google ranking while smartening up your site.
Google’s ‘spiders’ (aka crawl spiders, crawlers, search engine bots) ceaselessly scurry around cyberspace investigating the 1.8 billion websites currently in existence. If your website is on the first page of Google, it’s because Google’s spiders can analyse it easily and locate content that appears to have a utility like this page that we created - The Australian Digital Marketing Guide. If you change your website, Google’s (or Bing’s or Yahoo’s or DuckDuckGo’s) spiders may find it harder to crawl your website and identify useful content. And if you splatter your link juice up against the wall during the migration process, you’ll struggle to get views.
Even if your renovated website looks incredible, loads in microseconds, is mobile friendly and is groaning under the weight of sparkling, user-centred content.
Migrating a business website is almost always a complicated affair. As explained in more detail by HubSpot here, a previously highly ranked site can be abruptly exiled to the Google wilderness if basic SEO updates including URLs aren’t redirected, meta descriptions retained, redirect chains simplified and backlinks updated.
If your business boasts an impressive web dev department, you may be able to handle things in-house. But in most cases, it’s wisest to outsource the job to the best SEO agency or at minimum some other SEO services provider.
Depending on what internal resources you have available and how much you want to spend, you can either offload the entire migration project over to an agency or handle some of the more straightforward tasks yourself. For instance, you don’t need a Bachelor of Information Technology to conduct a content audit and identify which blogs, case studies, guides, e-books, videos and whitepapers have resonated most strongly with your customers. You can save yourself some money by pruning the deadwood from your site before engaging an agency to migrate it.
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