If you’ve recently outgrown your old website and have had it redesigned by a web design agency, you may think the work is done after its launch. This is a false notion. There is still much work to be done post-launch — especially if your web design company is a bit inexperienced and may have forgotten a thing or two.
Most website redesigns are essentially a rebuild of an older, existing website with new URLs and a different navigation menu. Without proper planning, a new website launch can actually harm your traffic and search engine rankings.
Here are five top mistakes that rookie web design agencies make post-launch:
#1: Forgetting about SEO
Without understanding how a website re-launch affects search engine optimization, you may harm all the goodwill your old site has accomplished such as web authority and linkbacks. Ideally, an SEO strategy should have been in place right from the initial planning and design stage. An SEO expert could plan how to mitigate any potential damage from using new URLs if you have a new domain name and help out with the planning, design, coding, launch and post-launch stages.
Even with proper SEO planning and implementation, your new website may temporarily see a drop in traffic. This is a normal part of re-launching a website, particularly one with a new domain name as it takes time for the search engines to find you; things should be back to normal or even better once your website takes off.
#2: Forgetting to Redirect Pages
A change of website structure results in a change of page names and URLs. Your new website needs to tell or redirect search engines from old pages to new pages. This is done by a 301 redirect. If pages are not properly redirected, visitors who click on old links will receive a ‘Page Not Found’ error, which is not the best first impression of your website. These types of errors can harm your search engine rankings if multiple errors are found on your website. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, make a list of your most popular pages and double-check that your 301 redirects are properly working.
#3: Not Using Analytics
Tracking how visitors find your website, which pages are the most popular and the number of visitors each day are just a few things that analytics can tell you. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time and money on your website redesign — aren’t you curious to find out how well it’s paying off? Google Analytics is widely used as it’s free for small businesses; there are also a myriad number of apps that work with it to enhance it.
Analytics provide valuable insights for your marketing efforts. The Harvard Business Review finds that the most successful companies are using the data from analytics to create insights on how to improve the customer experience. A study in 2015 found that 60% of companies surveyed believed organizational silos were the greatest impediment to improving customer experience. Google Analytics or other similar programs can be used to integrate and track customer engagement rates across a wide number of platforms.
For example, you can link Google Analytics to your email marketing efforts via MailChimp or GetResponse. When you send out an email blast, you can view the traffic received from those links within the email to see which items engage customers the most. Other ways to use analytics is to integrate it with your social media management channels to track visitor engagement and bounce rates.
#4: No Post-Launch Follow-Up
Even after your website has been successfully launched, your web design agency should be on hand to follow-up with any outstanding issues. Prior to launch, the web design company should have conducted a thorough quality assurance testing phase to ensure all links and components are properly working. However, it’s common for a few issues to fall between the cracks such as broken links, improperly loading graphics or no redirects for certain pages. A solid web design agency will continue to comb the new site for any issues post-launch.
Post-launch is also a great time to reach out to users to get feedback. What elements of the new redesign do they like? What areas need improvement? Then take into account customer feedback and implement it!
#5: Having no Contingency Plan
If after launching your new website there are just too many issues, whether with the navigation structure, page redirects or slow-loading times, it’s nice to know you have a backup plan or a Plan B. Being able to rollback your website back to the original one, even if only temporarily, provides peace of mind. Having a well-thought-out contingency plan ensures you and your customers don’t experience any unnecessary service disruptions.
A reputable web design company should provide ongoing support to help you manage any issues post-launch.
For more information, and access to a high-quality web redesign team contact Lead to Conversion today.
Known as the “Wordpress Ninja,” Dockman manages Responsive Web Design and development projects for LTC clients, oversees LTC’s team of designers and developers, and manages LTC's website support & maintenance programs. He also leads creative on other teams at LTC including conversion optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.
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