SEO Checklist for Re Designing a B2B Website
A B2B website is the foundation of the entire online marketing strategy of a B2B company. Every marketing initiative directs visitors to the website and it’s an important lead generation tool. Therefore, the look of the site is very important. It should be professional looking, have clean navigation, be easy to use, have call to actions strategically placed, and provide any information that a visitor might want. In a competitive industry, a B2B company needs to stay relevant and the website needs to evolve over time. Visitors do judge a company based on its “looks” and sometimes a website re-design is necessary.
An SEO agency can’t help but cringe whenever a B2B client tells them that they are re-designing their site. SEO is all about building trust with the search engines over time, so in some ways a re-design can be like starting from scratch. All of the meta titles, descriptions, keywords, and content will need to be revisited and possibly changed. A re-design often means new URLs, which affects all of the inbound links coming to the site.
Here are a few tips to maintain as much SEO power as possible when re-designing your site:
Use 301 redirects
301 redirects are extremely important because they let the search engines know that the old page no longer exists and has been moved permanently to a new destination or URL. It provides a way to maintain as much of the search engine trust that the old page had already established, including age and links. If a 301 redirect is not implemented, the page is viewed as entirely new and all of its credibility is lost.
Password Protect the Test Site
When a website is being re-designed the web development team is working on a test site while the old site is still live. The test site needs to be password protected so that it can’t get indexed and rank. You don’t want both versions of your website to show up on a search results page.
Fix Broken Links
Following links is how the search engines crawl the web and determine website worth and relevance. If your links are broken they lose the trust that has built up over time and diminish the overall value of the website. It’s important to find broken links and fix them.