Avoiding a Disastrous Website Redesign with DYNO Mapper

Last Edited October 23, 2015 by Super User in Sitemap Generator

Avoiding a Disastrous Website Redesign

If you are like many website owners, you've worked extremely hard on your SEO to make sure that your site ranks—and ranks well—in the search engines. Maybe you spent hundreds of man hours on SEO efforts or even hundreds of dollars on a professional SEO agency to provide you with exceptional results. With that said, when it comes time to redesign your website the last thing you want is for all of your hard work to be affected negatively.

Keeping that in mind you might ask yourself why you'd even attempt to redesign your website, especially since it can be a hefty undertaking and one that could blow up in your face if it is not handled with care.

There are a wide variety of reasons you should take the plunge and give your business website a makeover, including the following:

Mobile Accessibility. Mobile web usage is increasingly growing and a large percentage of users view websites from their smartphone or tablet while on the go. By incorporating a responsible design into your new website, you will have the ability to reach a larger audience—visitors you wouldn't be able to reach without a mobile-friendly website.

Social Media. Social media has become one of the top ways to market an online business or website, so if your website doesn't incorporate social media, you're behind the times and more than likely, your competitors. During a website redesign you will need to make sure that you include links to your various social network profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram; doing so will make it much easier for users to share your content, spreading the word about your business like wild fire.

Usability & Accessibility. If users cannot find what they are looking for they will likely leave your page and never return. Many website owners are unaware that their site is littered with bad or broken links, but the truth is that this is one of the main issues for many websites. There are many ways that you can fix usability and accessibility issues during a redesign, one of them being a sitemap generator.

Functionality. Functionality is a major player in the success of your website. Adding a blog, forum, e-commerce or other tools will require a redesign so that you can ensure that everything flows seamlessly throughout the website. The last thing you want is for the new feature to look like an afterthought, which can be very unattractive to visitors.

Rebranding. If your business has undergone rebranding, you will need to design your website along with other marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, pamphlets, etc.

Taking the above into consideration you've decided that a website redesign is the best choice for your business.

But now what? How do you redesign your website without sabotaging all of your SEO efforts, not to mention all of the unique content you've worked hard to create?

Probably one of the most important steps you can take before you attempt a redesign is to crawl your existing website. Utilizing a web crawler will allow you to understand your website in a new light; with new eyes, so to speak. The crawler will read through all of the pages on your website and provide you with a report on its structure, meta data and URL's. It's typical for web crawlers to visit websites that have been submitted by their owners as new or updated, and they crawl through the site one page at a time, following the links to other pages until every single one has been read.

It's quite complex, but that is what web crawlers like DYNO Mapper are made for; to provide website with a roadmap of their site and how it's set up. This is a vital piece to the puzzle as you move forward with redesigning your website as you will want to make sure you match the new site with the old.

After you've used a web crawler it is important to perform an audit of your old website—another step that will help avoid disastrous redesign efforts. While it is possible to perform a manual audit, using a software like DYNO Mapper will make the process run smoothly, allowing you to get into the nitty gritty of your website to find any problem areas.

The auditing process will help you view your website from the perspective of the search engines, so that you will be able to see what they like and dislike about your website. That said, during the auditing process and before you dive into a website redesign, you will want to take note of the following in an effort to spot any problem areas that should be revamped during the redesign process and which areas should stay:

  • The Page Title (or article)
  • URL of Website
  • Date Originally Posted
  • Date Last Updated
  • Page Views for the Past One to Two Years
  • Bounce Rate (How many people leave the page in ten seconds or less?)
  • SEO Keywords (What are the focus words for the page?)
  • SEO Meta Description (How is the page described for search engines results on Google, Bing, Yahoo!?)
  • SEO Title (Is the SEO title distinct from page title?)
  • Page Description (i.e. What are the topics covered by the page? Who is the page's intended audience? What is the message you're trying to communicate on the page? What is your call to action?)
  • Content Owner (Who is the author of the content? Who is responsible for updating the content?)
  • Content Status (Is this content that will stay as is, be updated, deleted, rewritten or planned?)
  • Files Associated with the Page (What pictures or downloads are associated with the page? Are there separate statistics for them?)
  • Next Audit Date? (When does the page need to be checked again?)

Utilizing a highly innovative software like DYNO Mapper will help you check a wide variety of information within your website including, but not limited to:

  • Duplicated Meta Descriptions
  • Missing Meta Descriptions
  • Broken Internal/External Links
  • Missing Page Titles
  • Duplicated Page Titles
  • Missing H1 Tags
  • Duplicated H1 Tags
  • Multiple H1 Tags
  • XML Sitemap
  • HTML Sitemap
  • Robots.txt
  • Pages Indexed by Google
  • Website Speed and Performance
  • URL Structure

And more...

When you move forward with your redesign it is also important to create a test site. While this might seem obvious to most, the mistake of not testing a redesign happens much more often than you'd think. The last thing you want to do is trash your current site and start from scratch because you won't have a site to compare anything with. This is more than dangerous, it's catastrophic. Testing is critical for today's online marketer and website property owner, regardless of how large or small your website is.

With your redesign, you will want to use a sitemap generator to create an XML and HTML sitemap with ease. DYNO Mapper features include a sitemap generator that integrates analytics data, content audits and inventory, keyword tracking and accessibility testing. It provides creatives and IT professionals with the insight necessary to make quick and informed decisions about content strategy, information architecture planning and quality assurance. With these features, DYNO Mapper has made it a major quest of theirs to improve usability and accessibility issues for all website properties, including higher education websites throughout the continental United States and beyond.

Utilizing a sitemap generator can play a massive role in your website's redesign and in making sure that redesign is as successful as you want it to be. After all your hard work, you deserve it. And not to scare you any but a disastrous redesign has been known to destroy businesses out of the gate.

For instance, according to a recent article on Reddit, complaints following a redesign range from 100% sales drop to drop two pages on the search results to a steady decline in traffic. By crawling and auditing your websites with a sitemap generator software you will learn about the things you're already doing right so that you can keep those good components on your new site. Again, it's all about testing as this will help to ensure you are on the right track and that you stay there.

DYNO Mapper's latest version makes fixing bad links and solving accessibility issues simple. This innovative software will monitor a website's health to in order to assist administrators of large networks to diagnose issues in order to provide stellar user experiences. The software isn't specifically tailored for government and higher education websites—it's for everyone. Anyone that has a website should be concerned with accessibility and the user experience. No one can afford to miss out on potential opportunities because of neglect.

Stop by DYNO Mapper's website and learn more about what this software can offer you and your business. The company is currently offering a free trial as well, allowing users to try before they buy.

Author: Super User

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