So you have been using the same website to market and to keep in touch with your customers, but you finally got funding and invested in a new website that is more professional and modern. The next step that you need to take is to work on its SEO. Here is an easy search engine optimisation Singapore guide to help you re-launch your website.
Come up with a Robust Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. From my experience, your primary objective should be to launch the website with no surprises. A robust plan will help you achieve this goal.
Four of the main steps that need to be factored in the plan include;
Optimise each page content using high-value keywords and schema markup to increase its chances of being displayed on SERPs. Make sure that you have custom tags for each page by incorporating focus keywords. Be vigilant not to exceed the recommended character length. Check the canonical aspects of the site to be sure that the search engines can actually see the pages and index them.
The most important points that you need to focus on at this stage include;
It is recommended to create a spreadsheet to ensure that all the old site pages are mapped to the relevant new site pages correctly. The amount of time need to complete the mapping process depends on the complexity of the website and the nature of your business. Once the new site goes live, check the redirects list again to make sure that they all took effect.
When you are sure that the redirects are OK, go ahead and develop a new XML sitemap if your preferred CMS does not generate it automatically. Make sure that the sitemap is devoid of duplicate 404-page URLs. Such errors could easily discredit your website.
Before winding up the launching process, take the time to audit and test the site to be sure that it is working correctly.
Three of the primary SEO checks that you should conduct include;
- Redirects audit
- Canonical audit
- GSC/BWT Submissions & Tests
You can also opt to carry out a 30-day audit to uncover and rectify tag, indexing, canonical, 404s, ranking, content, and traffic issues. Hire the best digital marketing firm in Singapore to continuously evaluate your website and steer the re-launching process to save time for other equally important business activities.
Comprehensive SEO Guide After Site Relaunch
Relaunching a website is essential to match your competitors and keep up with trends. With the new Google Core Web Vitals, many websites have been forced to go back to the drawing board to offer the best user experience to users.
While relaunching is great, you need to consider site SEO. Unfortunately, you will experience a drop in ranking before Google indexes the pages afresh, but the degree of the dip is dependent on how well you plan for SEO.
Here is a comprehensive SEO guide for website relaunch to help you bounce back fast.
Website Pre-Launch SEO Tips
This section covers things you should do before the actual launch of the new website. Prep for this process by adhering to the following strategies.
Inform Google that the pages have been moved to a new website by creating 301 redirects. By doing so, users who click on the previous URL will be redirected to the new pages, thereby cushioning you from losing valuable traffic and customers to competitors.
Create a spreadsheet of all the URLs you will move to the new website and a separate sheet for the URLs that will not be affected. Carefully match the old URLs with the new URLs and confirm that they lead to the right page to avoid confusing the visitors.
Prep for Google Analytics Migration
Create another spreadsheet of all hard-coded event tags and their specific locations and add them to the new website before it goes live. This includes downloads and button clicks that you normal track using code snippets.
Get organised and avoid making mistakes by using Google Tag Manager to benchmark all the tags from one location. Bear in mind how the current goals have been tracked and how they will change once the new website is launched. You may have to change the goals if the URL structure or event tagging is changed.
Design the New Website for SEO
As mentioned earlier, user experience is one of today’s primary ranking factors. As you design your website pages, ensure that you abide by the stipulated Google SEO practices.
Check the following key page aspects are done properly.
Ensure that you optimise the rich data such as videos and images to boost load time. More importantly, confirm that the pages are displayed well on desktop and multiple mobile devices.
Test the Forms
Forms are essential in collecting customer data and getting feedback. Test them to ensure that they are delivering the right data and positioned in the right locations. For example, confirm that the contact forms and email subscription forms are functional and working in tandem to help you respond to queries promptly and support your email list building efforts.
While at it, desist from requesting for unnecessary information. For example, the email subscription form should only ask for the name and email address. No need to ask for phone number and physical address.
Set Up Moz Keywords
Keywords are the pillars of your website content SEO. You may have to do new keyword research to identify terms that the target audience uses now to search for information related to your niche. If you are yet to optimise the content for voice search, this is the right time to keep up with the trend.
Use Moz to create, clean and polish your list of tracked keywords that get high traffic. Compare the results before and after the site launch to know which sections should be tweaked. We recommend having a premium Moz account as it offers more features and detailed reports than the free version.
Inclusive Content Analysis
One of the challenges of relaunching a website is that you may have to write and publish fresh content. Content that you probably published five years ago may be stale and filled with inaccurate data. Carry out an inclusive content analysis to identify content gaps.
As mentioned earlier, optimise the content for voice search by using more question-based and long-tail keywords than robotic short-tail keywords. The long-tail keywords will increase your site visibility in SERPs as most people nowadays use voice search to look up information online. Tools such as Inclusivity crawler can help you do this accurately.
Website Post-Launch SEO Tips
Your website is now live, and customers enjoy the brand-new user experience. You are not yet out of the woods, though; consider the following SEO tips to supercharge your website to the top of SERPs again.
Create 301 Redirects
We mentioned the importance of redirecting traffic to the right pages in the post-launch SEO tips. At this stage, check if all the 301 redirects created are working. Use the spreadsheets you created earlier to ensure you don’t miss any.
Ensure they are live in the content management system. Try accessing the pages using the old URL to ensure no visitor will get an error page.
Check if there Are 404s
For small sites, it’s easy to check whether there are any 404s, but if your site has hundreds of pages, save time by using tools Google Search Console, Google Analytics or Moz. They will help you analyse all the URLs associated with your site faster and efficiently.
First, identify all the URLs that redirect users to a 404 page and list them in a spreadsheet. Then, copy-paste the right URLs alongside each and set up 301 redirects. Mark every URL that is redirected to avoid repeating the step or leaving out any.
Check your Site Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most trusted tools for monitoring website performance. Check the Real-Time report to confirm that the data is from the new website. Needless to say, the reports should be based on the traffic to the new website and not from the previous website.
Confirm that your Google Analytics has been migrated to the new website to avoid making decisions based on the wrong information.
Check Google Search Console
Google Search Console will help you know if the site pages have been crawled as expected. Please take note of the high and medium priority crawl errors and correct them promptly. In one of our past projects, we realised that a single robots.txt file was making the newly launched website unable to search engine bots.
While at it, submit the sitemap to help the bots understand the site’s layout and what it’s all about. Since this is a brand-new website, you will have to create a new sitemap.
Go the extra mile and ensure that the search engines are not still crawling the old site. There are different ways of doing this by using an online tool such as Rank Sider. Note that if any of the old pages are left on the archive page, they will be displayed in SERPS, and you could be flagged for duplicate content especially if you copy-pasted content from the old site to the new one.
Check Page SEO
The new pages should have meta descriptions, title tags and other relevant metadata. Be sure to include the target keywords to enhance their visibility in SERPs.
Also, check the site speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. Slow load time will compromise the site SEO, so optimise the page elements to avoid this. The tool will identify the pages slowing down your website and offer recommendations on exactly what you should do to reverse the tide.
Re-scrape Pages for Social Media Presence
Social media platforms are digital marketing powerhouses and excellent sources of organic traffic. With the new website not live, use tools such as Facebook Debugger to prompt the platform’s algorithm to re-crawl the pages shared.
Doing so will ensure that your social media followers will be presented with the new content whenever people share the URLs. Such improvements will enhance the user experience and your credibility.
Check Organic Traffic
Organic traffic will be affected by the website relaunch. However, soon you will start receiving good traffic from search engines and other platforms once the site is crawled and indexed. Monitor it to know the traffic sources you should focus more on to start generating revenue again.
You may have to run fresh digital marketing campaigns on social media, email, and Google Ads to get the ball rolling. The dip in organic traffic that’s more than 20% and doesn’t seem to be bouncing back even after changing the site elements there could be as a result of a technical issue.
Get in touch with a professional SEO agency to salvage the situation. Usually, the agency will do a comprehensive site audit to pinpoint the issues and resolve them. They will carry out A/B tests or split tests to confirm that the issue is amicably resolved.
Set New SEO Goals
A new website means that you must tweak your SEO goals to stay on the right track. The goals should match your current business objectives. They should be realistic and measurable for easier monitoring as the business grows.
Involve all the departments in the goal-setting process and develop KPIs to benchmark progress. These steps will ensure that everyone is on the same page from the minute the new website is launched.
Content Marketing and Creation Tips After Site Relaunch
As mentioned earlier, your website will require new content to breathe life into the pages. It’s not prudent to continue relying on the old content as it may not be resonating with the current target customers.
Here are content marketing and creation tips after site relaunch.
Write Content for People
A decade ago, you would get away with a webpage filled with 10+ short and long-tail keywords. Such medieval strategies will result in a hefty ban from Google for keyword stuffing and trying to beat the system.
Write content for the target audience to get qualified leads and sales. That is, the content should resonate with the searchers’ intent. If not, the page bounce rate will skyrocket and a drop in ranking will be experienced with the Core Web Vitals algorithm now live.
Today, most people prefer voice search to typing queries on Google. Therefore, optimise your content with question-based queries as well as long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords should be less frequently used as a majority of the savvy web visitors no longer use them.
In addition, you should write naturally – encyclopaedic writing style won’t get the job done. Write as though you are discussing the topic with a friend, and so the content should be conversational and friendly.
Highlight your Brand Unique Selling Points
Knowing what differentiates you from the rest and including USP (unique selling points) in the website copy will help scale your business. Know what makes the customers tick and use it to create compelling content for the website and email and social media marketing campaigns.
Stay Organised and On-Track
Most content marketing strategies fail after a website relaunch because of a lack of proper monitoring. Use a content management system that allows you to upload fresh content on the website and provide real-time reports of its performance.
Cluttered website pages are a deal-breaker. Online shoppers prefer browsing through pages with properly organised content to match their intent. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for by adding an intuitive navigation menu and properly organising the content. Anything that doesn’t add value to the pages should be deleted.
Create Proper Internal Linking
Internal linking helps customers seamlessly move from one page to another and enable search engines to understand the site architecture. Include anchor links in the blog posts to direct the visitors to the service pages or the home page.
However, avoid having too many internal links in one post, as it makes it difficult for search engine bots to crawl and understand the site structure.
Instead of having too many internal links on one page or blog post, you are better of incorporating external links to authority sites related to the topic to boost page SEO.
Why Organic Traffic Dropped After Website Relaunch and What to Do About It
Congratulations on successfully redesigning and relaunching your website. Indeed, the new website will help you climb the ladder of success and offer a better user experience to your customers. However, the journey won’t be a bed of roses.
One of the challenges businesses face after relaunching their websites is a drop in organic traffic. This section will extensively discuss why the organic traffic dropped and what you should do about it to salvage the situation.
Why Did My Organic Traffic Drop After Relaunching My Website?
Four common reasons why your site organic traffic dropped soon after you relaunched the website.
Redirects Were Not Set Up Correctly
When re-designing your website, you need to ensure that redirects are set up correctly to direct the visitors from the old website pages to the new ones. The redirects also inform Google bots that they should stop indexing the old pages and instead focus on the newly enhanced page.
In particular, 301 redirects will direct the web visitors to the right pages and tell Google and other search engines to transfer the old page rankings to the new page. This aspect will greatly improve page ranking for the target keywords and prevent annoying visitors ready to convert.
Another mistake that web admins make is redirecting the old pages to the homepage. The main reason for creating the 301 redirects is to help the audience find information that matches their search intent. Therefore, the redirects should be to a page whose contents and functions are similar to the old page.
If not set up correctly, Google will automatically reset the value of the new pages, the old pages will have a 404 error, and their rankings will drop significantly. As a result, the website will lose its top spot in SERPs, and consequently, traffic will reduce.
New Site Architecture
Site architecture has a direct impact on how Google crawls the website and the quality of user experience it offers. It’s defined as how the website pages are organised and synchronised using internal links.
Google bots channel the value of one website page to the next one using the internal links. And so, it’s imperative to ensure that your new website has a proper internal linking structure. The amount of value associated with a page depends on the website’s hierarchy.
That is, pages linked closely with the high-value pages such as the home page and service pages get more value than the lesser linked pages such as the About Us. The latter receive fewer clicks and low organic traffic than the high-value pages.
How does changing site architecture cause a drop in organic traffic?
Google has a specific topic that it ranks a page for and considers it an authority relative to the other pages. That topic requires link juice from other pages and external authority links through backlinks for it to compete effectively with other websites with similar information.
Now, the internal and external links also change when you change the site architecture. As a result, some of the pages highly valued by Google end up having lesser internal links and backlinks. The worst-case scenario is when the pages are linked to low-value pages and blog posts.
These actions signal to Google that the page’s value has dropped and trigger it to adjust its ranking accordingly. With the top-ranked website scooping huge traffic, a drop from the first SERP page to the second or other consequent pages will hurt your business.
Change of Website Content
Change of website content doesn’t mean grammatical changes or restructuring of the paragraphs and subheadings. No, we mean a complete overhaul of the content on the website pages.
More often than not, when a business decides to redesign its website, the old content is replaced with new content. The decision is informed by the need to align the new web copy with the new design and focus on generating more conversions.
New keyword research results also have a major impact on the nature of the new content. Since Google had ranked the pages for different keywords, the new copy has to be crawled again and indexed afresh.
Page relevancy will also take a hit if the primary keywords were deleted from the key areas such as the body copy, title tag, alt text, and header tags.
A drop in relevance results in a drop in ranking, and organic traffic soon follow suit. It’s important to list the key topics and keywords that generated the highest organic traffic and ROI in the old website. Use them in the new copy to fast track the pages’ ranking process for them.
There is also no harm in including new keywords or re-optimising the content for new trends such as voice search. However, strive to maintain and supercharge the page ranking and value within the shortest time possible after the relaunch.
Some Cornerstone Pages Were Deleted
When prepping for a website re-design, it’s important to consider the value of each page to avoid deleting cornerstone pages that have in the past helped your business generate sales and rank at the top of SERPs.
Deleting useful or valuable pages will result in a content gap that will hurt your business. If the customers can’t find useful information or compelling reasons to purchase a particular product or service, they won’t convert. They won’t also hesitate to look for other options.
Understand the impact of the pages before deleting them. Be careful not to tamper with user flow in your quest to optimise the buyer’s journey. It goes without saying that if pages that Google loved crawling and ranked at the top disappear, the traffic will drop.
The web analysis recommended in the previous tip will come in handy to prevent you from inadvertently removing or drastically reorganising pages without factoring in the keywords and topics they rank highly for on search engines.
How to Increase Organic Traffic After Website Relaunch
Now that you know the four reasons your website traffic dropped let us discuss ways of bouncing back and generating more organic traffic after a website relaunch.
Optimise Content for Featured Snippets
In 2017, Google rolled out featured snippets in a bid to offer users quick responses to their queries. Immediately after, SEO professionals started looking for ways of winning featured snippets with the hope of generating more organic traffic and increasing brand awareness as well as visibility in SERPS.’
According to a study by Ahrefs, more than 12.29% of search queries already have a featured snippet. The report also revealed that, on average, featured snippets get only 8.6% of clicks while the page ranked #2 get 19.6% of the clicks. It gets more interesting; pages with no featured snippet but are ranked 1# get 26% of all clicks.
Based on the above statistics, it’s clear that the featured snippets “steal” clicks from the top-ranked website.
However, that should not deter you from optimising your new website content for featured snippets. Getting your website ranked at the top coupled with winning a featured snippet for the target keywords or queries will boost your site organic traffic.
One way of getting a featured snippet is by using numbered lists or bulleted lists to answer queries directly. Another hack is being straightforward with your answers to queries. Desist from being unnecessarily verbose when discussing the project details.
Have Compelling Title Tag and Meta Description
The title tag and meta description are the first things searchers see in the SERPs. Ensure that the two are compelling and enticing to encourage the searchers to click.
Concisely, the meta description or title tag could be the make or break reason why a potential customer clicks or ignore your listing. Optimising them will crank up the click-through rate (CTR) and increase the number of people who visit your website.
More organic traffic results in a high conversion rate if the website content is equally well optimised to match the searchers intent.
When writing the title tag, make sure you don’t exceed 60 characters and include the primary keyword at the front to info the audience and search engine that the content on the page is relevant. Use your creativity and humour to spice it up! Don’t be boring.
The meta description should not have more than 160 characters. The primary keyword should be in the content to confirm that the page or blog post has the information they want.
Focus on Gaining More Backlinks
First, you need to do a backlink audit after relaunching your website to find and fix broken links. Set up proper redirects and reach out to web admins whose sites link to the old pages. The secret to surpassing competitors in SERPs is establishing a healthy backlink profile.
With that out of the way, the next thing you should do is focus on getting more backlinks from other authority sites that are not currently linking to your website. Publishers and authors constantly look for the most accurate information online when writing white-papers and articles for their websites.
Therefore, focus on creating stellar content that is top-notch to attract backlinks. Feel free to share links with the publishers via email or other online platforms such as LinkedIn. Use tools such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo to find relevant topics for your posts.
Like other on-site content, incorporate high-value keywords in the content to ensure they are ranked highly.
Re-Optimise and Fine-Tune Old Content
Earlier, we discussed the need to be careful when deleting old posts and website pages. Consider re-optimising and fine-tuning the old content for the new keywords instead of deleting it. The content is already indexed, and Google considers it an authority for particular topics and keywords.
The right thing to do is add fresh content and replace outdated statistics and other forms of content that are not obsolete. New websites manage to double their organic traffic after a relaunch not by creating a brand new content marketing strategy but by updating the information in the content.
Some of the key things that you should consider updating are:
- Outdated research data
- Structure of the posts and pages to match user intent
- Inclusion of graphics and images
Google will notice that you didn’t just create redirects but also added fresh content to the pages.
Optimise the Pages for Customers, not Search Engines
Focussing too much on getting a high ranking is good, but that spot in SERP won’t benefit your business if it does not translate into more sales. Despite generating massive organic traffic from search engines, a low conversion rate occurs when you optimise the pages for search engines and not customers.
Creating content that is relevant and matches the website visitors search intent is one of the surest ways of making your website customer-oriented. Its also important to note that even though Google uses its algorithm to rank pages, it also picks signals from users and uses them for ranking purposes.
Two of the signals that it uses are dwell time and bounce rate. A high bounce rate and low dwell time is a sign that the content doesn’t meet the visitors’ needs, so it shouldn’t be ranked at the top. The opposite is true; a high dwell time means that visitors spend more time reading and browsing your website pages.
Apart from the accuracy of facts, the writing style also influences dwell time. Ditch the encyclopaedic writing style for a conversational writing style. Some of the best-performing blogs and pages, such as Neilpatel.com and Backlinko.com, publish valuable content packed with data and use a writing style that is friendly, engaging, and professional. Borrow a leaf from them to get your newly launched website ranked highly and convert regular customers into buyers.