It’s a cold winter in the beginning of the 13th century. A poor man walks out of his house with an overwhelming enthusiasm. Today he’s going to buy a brand new pair of boots. He’s been saving for months and they’re one of his biggest investments this year. He’s going to wear them for quite a while. After a few years, however, the front of the shoes gets worn out. These are his vamps. What would he do in this case? You see, back then a pair of shoes was a substantial investment and one would periodically get its vamps replaced. That was otherwise called – a revamp.
Now, let’s fast forward the tape to the 21st century. A web designer spends day and night building a new website. It seems so fresh and modern, cutting-edge and ground-breaking. Nevertheless, as the time passes by, new trends pop up on the design horizon. His website starts looking old and dull. As it’s an investment, he needs to breathe a new life into it. He’s going to do a website revamp.
Do you need a website revamp?
So what are the early symptoms of an outdated website? In the age of rapidly changing aesthetics, it’s hard to keep track with the latest trends.
Learning to recognize the first signs, however, is incredibly useful when considering a website revamp. Some of the main signs that your website needs one are:
- overly complex website structure
- broken links
- outdated design
- the low UX
If any of these is present on your current website, then you desperately need a website revamp.
A website revamp wrongly done, however, might cost you your rankings. That’s why it’s essential to follow certain steps to assure a successful revamp.
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1. Redirect properly.
As one of the main goals when redesigning your website is to maintain your current rankings, let’s start with that.
Proper redirects will not only help you obtain your rankings but also prevent broken links and error pages. Thus, managing them the right way will give a great boost to your freshly revamped website.
The most search engine friendly method is the 301 redirects. This “moved permanently” code will ensure to preserve your search engine rankings for the particular page.
The main reason to revamp your website is to get rid of everything non-productive. That’s why you don’t want to redirect every single web page you used to have. The main objective should be preserving only the most important ones. So which are they?
- High-authority pages. These deserve a special attention as they provide backlinks and reference to your website in general.
- High-ranking pages. These are the pages which come up among the first results on search engines. They guarantee your website is visible to your prospectives searching online.
2. Crawl the website’s structure.
Getting a roadmap of your current website is essential in order to protect your pages credibility and overall consistency.
To achieve it you need to use a tool collecting your website’s metadata and structure. From then on, you can proceed to identify the changes in the URLs that you plan and thus, make the corresponding adjustments to them.
Nevertheless, only crawling your website is not enough to ensure your redesign’s success. Another important link in the process is crawling your new website once it’s ready. Your new website’s structure will determine its efficiency and that’s why you need to compare your test site with your current one using a website crawler.
3. Complete an SEO audit.
While preserving the already performing web pages is important, it’s essential to get a fuller understanding of your previous SEO efforts. That’s why an SEO audit of your current website can tell you a lot about the direction of your future work.
Tools such as MOZ Pro and Woorank provide this much-needed insight into the relationship between your pages and search engines. They will generate a complete review of your website’s current status and lead you to a broader online visibility. By tracking your progress in real time, you’ll be able to avoid the mistakes you’ve done before.
4. Focus on content.
The form and the shape of your website are vital for your web performance. There is, however, something which can breathe a new life into your old website and that’s content. While in 2017 it seems too obvious to even mention it, there are still some web creators who somewhat fail to contribute to their website’s performance through content.
Focusing on content means being both, informative and entertaining. It might seem like a craft that needs years to master but once you’ve started it, the content comes naturally. A great way to enrich your site’s quality and develop its full potential is through writing blog posts, stories, articles, and tutorials. And in case you’re extremely gifted, you can also contribute to your performance with visuals, such as videos, infographics, images. Whichever approach you decide to undertake when done right will bear fruits.
5. Remain consistent.
Talking about your approach, consistency is the key. While different website’s content does differ, you can easily see what’s in common between the most successful sites. It’s the consistency.
From content to design, consistency allows your visitors to follow your stream of thought and the path you’ve prepared for them. Besides of introducing your brand identity, the consistency of your website assists in achieving its primary objectives, whether it’s conversion or engagement.
A coherent content is able to glue the pieces together and offer a complete experience to the users. That’s why consistency in posting and management revolves around the concept of craftsmanship and then you can revamp your website into a unique piece of art.