The all important website checklist – what you need to know.

Running your own design agency definitely has its good points. Every day we get the opportunity to work with people and clients who are just beginning their journey of starting their new business. We are able to help them to create their brands and identities and work with them in developing a new website and getting their business online. The importance of creating a responsive website is enormous, and missed opportunities can almost always be avoided by ensuring you follow some simple steps.

1. 301 Re-Directs

As almost everyone allows their computers or tablets to remember their browser history and create bookmarks, it is imperative when creating a new website that you remember the old one. If you are removing or deleting pages from your old website, you must remember that people may have previously saved or visited your page, and you don’t want them to get stuck on a bad link or dead end. Always make a list of existing URL’s from your old site and create 301 re-direct instructions to your new website – and if possible to the equivalent page on your new site. This way, any visits to the old pages will automatically re-direct to your new site.

The great thing about creating 301 re-directs is that any ranking that you had on your old pages will be attributed to the new site, thus avoiding any loss of ranking, traffic, leads, or sales.

2. Conversion tracking codes

If the old website that you are working on is running AdWords, we suggest that you should re-implement the Conversion Tracking Code on the new site. We’d recommend noting precisely when this is done so that any variance in conversion rate can be attributed and analysed correctly.

3. Analytics code

Similar to using AdWords, you should implement any existing Google Analytics code on your new site, again making note of when this happened so that data can be analysed more accurately.

On a side note to developers – it’s advisable to create a new Analytics account for each client that you create websites for, as this will allow the client or their marketing team to measure their own performance data accurately for their website. Of course you can share some data on your Analytics account with different users, but as your client base builds you will find it easier to have an account for each client rather than storing them all under the same one.

4. Transfer any existing meta data and titles to the new page.

Take note of any existing metadata used on existing pages from your old site. Title tags, descriptions, images, alt tags, text, etc. all play a part in the ranking of those pages. Please don’t forget them!

 5. Don’t Duplicate Content

If you’re creating a site on a new domain, don’t use content from the old site unless you delete it from the old site after you are done, and even then, don’t forget about Point 1 above. Google loves great content, but does not like duplicate content. Re-direct the old URLs or create new content, never just copy and paste.

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Alan | Outlier

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