A company’s corporate website is its face and an instrument of interaction with the user. In 2022, it is not enough to have a page with a minimal set of information. The site needs visitors and customers, which search engine optimization helps get. In this article, we talk about updating the site in terms of SEO.
How to understand that the site needs to be updated
If visitors to the site are becoming less and less, it is worth to understand what is wrong. Perhaps the site has not been updated for a long time and is no longer of interest to people and search engines. The site may have outdated design or content, broken functionality, it may not be adapted for mobile devices, poorly optimized. In each of these cases, the site needs to be redesigned: partially or completely.
Comprehensive analysis, SEO and usability audits will help you find out what’s set up correctly, and what can be done even better to increase positions and conversions.
We offer you an express check-up. If you answered “YES” to at least one of the points, then it’s time to update the site.
9 signs that the website needs to be updated:
The website is old and obsolete. Developers are advised to update the site every 3-5 years. If the site is from the 2000s, made on an old template, with an old layout – it will not be able to adapt to the new realities. Design trends change lightning fast, the visitor quickly picks up the old techniques, competitors do not sit still, the conversion rate is falling. For example, some sites still use Flash technology, support for which ceased in December 2020. Some tools were once popular, but new ones have taken their place.
- Traffic has dropped. First, you need to understand the reasons for the drop in traffic and confirm this drop in analytics systems. It is possible that the analytics tracking code may have come down due to a CMS template update. In this case, you need to check the correctness of the settings. The output may “storm” because of an update of the ranking algorithm. In this case, you need to calm down and wait: a week later everything itself will be back to normal, and you will not be able to influence it. Also, low requests may be associated with a narrow niche or seasonal demand. But if the dynamics of falling traffic is persistent, then you need to think about SEO audit and a comprehensive analysis of content, semantics, site structure, behavioral factors.
- Incorrect structure. The structure of the site – a logical structure of all pages of the resource. The structure directly affects the ranking. The better it is, the faster will be indexed. If the structure of the site will be vague, it will confuse the search robot. As a result, the site will not be shown for a part of queries. Visitors to the site also do not like to search for long to find the right information. As in the supermarket, they expect to find the bread in the department of bread, and on the website, they expect to find the right product in the appropriate section.
- The website is not designed for demand. You can’t sell both tables and refrigerators on one site. If you have several lines of business, information about goods and services needs to be clearly structured and grouped on different sites.
- The website is not adapted to screens on different devices. According to the Digital 2022 study (We Are Social and Hootsuite) in January 2022, 55.7% of pages load on mobile browsers and 41.4% on PCs and laptops. This suggests that the site needs to be adapted to different devices. While mobile traffic is important, people still use computers. And they may also have different screen resolutions to consider. Since 2015, Google and, as of 2016, Yandex have stated that having an adaptive or mobile-friendly version has a positive effect on site ranking. The ranking is sorting and lining up a specific order of sites in search engine rankings. Based on many factors, the search engine evaluates how useful the information on the site is to the user. A new rule is working: no adaptive version of the site = no site.
- Low site load speeds. The Gomez Peak Time Internet Usage Study says: 88% of users say they will not return to a site that fails to load. 75% of visitors leave for competitors if they encounter problems with the site. Page rankings also depend on loading speed.
- Poor-quality templates that interfere with SEO-promotion in technical terms. Do not allow quick editing of content, change headings, contain a lot of unnecessary elements that blur textual relevance. Textual relevance is the relevance of the text of the page with search queries. The higher the textual relevance, the more the page has a chance to get to the top of search results.
- The website no longer meets business objectives. This happens when the company’s business processes change: order processing works differently, payment or delivery is made. Or new functions need to be introduced, such as a calculator and other services. When the business has new tasks, then there is a need to modernize the site.
- Incomplete commercial factors. Not up-to-date contact information, inaccurate information about prices and services, old articles, recognizable stock photos, non-existent pages and broken links lead to the loss of customers every minute. For example, when there is a map, detailed directions and lots of contacts, work schedule, we immediately understand who to contact, when and where to come. Such design is more appealing to the user.
What happens if we leave everything as it is
A company’s prosperity depends to a large extent on the ability to respond quickly to changes. This also applies to improvements to the site. They help the business to rise to the next level and conquer the heights. If no action is taken, the state of the site and subsequently the entire business will deteriorate. There are certain risks to which a site that is left unupdated is subject to.
First impression. A site created several years ago may seem irrelevant and not fit in today’s standards. Since the visitor assesses the site in a few seconds, it is critical to have a fresh and modern look of the resource. An outdated look alarms customers and lowers conversion rates. The impression of visitors is also affected by the adaptability of the site: if the user is uncomfortable using the resource on a mobile device, he will close the browser tab.
Difficulty of perception. Complicated, unclear, outdated content and difficult-to-receive website structure scares away the visitor. As a consequence, conversion is lost. The perception affects the speed of loading – if the visitor can not get on the site, it will affect the position and growth of traffic.
The threat of security. Using outdated content management systems leads to leaks of sensitive customer data and the infiltration of hackers who can use your servers for their own purposes. For example, older shopping cart systems are vulnerable to intrusion if operated without developer support.
Shift in focus. As new products and services become available, it is necessary to enter a new market. A shift in business focus may require an update to fit the new focus. If new products or services aren’t on the site or are hard to get to, no one will ever know about them.
Rating. The degree of freshness of a site affects its rankings. Search engines evaluate the relevance of data by deciding how to rank their search results. An outdated site can drop several positions in the rankings at once, depriving you of conversions.
Even if you have a beautiful site with a positive history of the domain, but it has not been updated for a long time and does not take into account the latest requirements, then most likely it will not take high positions in search engines.
For them, the information on the site will seem “dead” and not useful to the visitor. Refusals will increase, conversion will fall, and the resource will lose the positions gained in search engines. Restore the former position is costly and long, so the problems arising is better to eliminate as soon as possible.
What to do to the customer
The first step is always to analyze the current state of the site to determine whether it is worth saving the work. You can do the analysis yourself, but without knowledge and preparation it can take a long time. Such a check by a professional takes from 3 to 5 hours. Let’s talk about the main points:
1. traffic analysis using Yandex Metrics and Google Analytics. What reports we’re looking at:
- Total traffic. The sources of traffic that were on the site:, social networks, search networks. How the traffic came, were there sharp drops or ups.
- Attendance from search. It is important to understand the dynamics and causes of ups and downs. Whether or not the fall is related to seasonality.
- We divide search traffic into Yandex and Google. It’s important for us to understand what’s been happening in each system for several years. Yandex can grow, and Google can lag, and then we have to deal more with the second system.
- Attendance by device: desktop, mobile. It can rise or fall.
- Seasonality according to Yandex Wordstat – a service for assessing user interest in specific topics and for selecting keywords. We take a period of time when there was a drop, and go to Wordstat and see if there was a drop in the main query cluster, the fall in seasonality. If there was a drop in seasonal demand – that’s normal. If our site began to fall during a general upswing in demand, this is a big problem.
- We study the history of positions with the help of specialized services for SEO-analytics Megaindex or Topvizor. We need to know what positions the site had six months ago, a month ago. This affects the decision. For example, if the position drops sharply, and this is not due to seasonal fluctuations or other organic reasons, it may be a sign that the site has been sanctioned by Yandex or Google. In this case, you need to find the filter that got the site and fix the problem.
2. Analyze the site’s visibility for search queries through the keys.so and Megaindex services. These services collect keyword databases and help us understand how many keyword phrases are used to rank the site in the top 10, top 50. We compare it with competitors.
3. It is important to study the domain and determine whether it is worth keeping and investing in it or it will not work. To do this, we look at the link profile of the site (link mass) with the services Ahrefs, Megaindex. This is the totality of all links pointing to the website and its individual pages. We study what were the links to the site, their quality and dynamics. Additionally, we study the Web Archive to better understand the history of the domain. Web archive is a web.archive.org project that stores different versions of all websites since their creation, provided there is no ban on saving the resource. If this is not done, it can happen as in the examples.
Example 1. We decided to make an online store on the same domain that used to be an information resource. The site is growing well on infozaprosam, not promoted on the commercial, respectively, the online store does not work as you need. A simple domain replacement will immediately solve the problem.
Example 2. On the domain before some garbage could be placed or the site was trading links. In this case the domain will not be very attractive for search engines, so it is better to immediately take a new one.
4. Next, you need to evaluate the structure and content of the site, the usability. To do this, manually go to each page, press all the buttons. Try to determine whether the site is easy to navigate and search for products, whether there is enough information for the buyer, how worked out the commercial ranking factors? These are elements that increase the reputation of the site in the eyes of users and search engines (eg, detailed information about the company with OGRN and TIN).
In the same point we evaluate the service pages and tag pages – additional landing pages on the site to optimize for a particular query:
- Are there such pages as contacts, delivery condition, payment and how developed they are? These pages help the customer make a decision to buy from you and build trust.
- How are landing pages such as listings, product cards, service pages, detailed articles, and do they take into account SEO recommendations?
For example, if, as in the picture on the left, the visitor does not see the price in the preview of the product, its brief characteristics, then he will think, is it worth it to go further to the site? This is a signal and for the search engine – if there is no such important information as price, then the site will not be attractive to the visitor. The picture on the right has much more information: there is an age category, product size, materials, “hit” and “availability” markings. This offer is more tempting for the consumer.
5. Evaluate the technical state of the site. Whether the pages are optimized:
- The link to the page consists of clear words, not a set of symbols and numbers. A person can read it.
- The pages have an elaborate title, description and header.
- The pages are unique texts that match the request. They are structured. Key words are used, but not in excess.
- If it is an online store, the catalog should contain a competitive number of products, not 3-5 product cards.
- The service page should have detailed information about prices, portfolio, terms of cooperation, videos, and other useful material. The user should have no questions, and should leave a contact after reading. Lifehack: On many service sites, in order to reach the top, it is important to put prices in tabular form on the page.
- Pictures on the site should be optimized: graphic files with a meaningful title, prescribed attributes alt and title.
- High speed of page loading. You can check it with the tool PageSpeed Insights from Google. To speed up the loading, just follow the recommendations. How to prepare a site for search promotion in “1C-Bitrix” and Tilda Publishing, we have described in our articles.
- Accurate adaptation of the site to mobile devices. You can check it, for example, with Google Mobile Friendly. Service displays how the first screen of the site looks on a smartphone, gives an overall assessment of the quality of optimization. Yandex has a similar service, but here you can check only those sites for which you have confirmed the rights in Yandex.Webmaster. However, neither there, nor there can you see how the site looks at different screen sizes. Check the site in different resolutions you can, for example, here. This service does not provide a list of specific optimization errors, so it is recommended to use several tools at once for comprehensive verification.
6. At last we run the site through the parser. We use Netpeak Spider. The program scans all the pages of the site and gets a lot of additional data: canonical, response code, title, titles, meta descriptions, robots.txt, redirects, internal and external links and other. Parser at once gives a list of errors on the site, as well as shows the presence of duplicates. Duplicates are pages with identical or very similar content. Search engine robots rank such pages worse, respectively, the site is more difficult to get to the top.
The analysis allows you to gather initial data, on the basis of which the decision to redesign the site is made. If the results of the audit show that the current traffic comes in sufficient volume, it is relevant and comparable to the volume of competitors, then a complete renovation of the site is not required.
But if the site does not attract traffic, landing page templates and texts do not meet the requirements of search engines, then the site will have to be redesigned in terms of structure.
In such a situation, we recommend contacting a SEO specialist. He will prepare recommendations for all the stages of website creation and help to avoid unnecessary actions and costs. Only the coordinated work of the designer, layout designer and programmer in conjunction with SEO will help to make a comfortable, beautiful site, which will quickly begin to grow in positions and bring visitors and profits.
Updating the site in terms of SEO
The redesign of the site is carried out in several stages:
- General and technical analysis of the site.
- Analysis of competitors and commercial factors.
- Preparation of semantics and structure of the new site.
- Preparation of TOR for texts.
- SEO recommendations for prototypes.
- Redesign itself taking into account all recommendations.
- Support and development.
In the first phase we conduct an audit of the site as previously described. Next, the SEO specialist moves on to a full analysis of the competition. Drawn a rough structure and semantics – the base of the new site. It is important to determine the subject, to find the exact queries that reflect the essence of the site. This will make it possible to prepare TK for the texts, to collect templates for service pages, product cards and to prepare recommendations for the designer when creating a prototype.
For example, the analysis of competitors, we create a table for comparison, which collect all the nuances and tricks that are found on their sites. Separately work through all the pages: contacts, product cards, etc. Further analyze how many sites from the list has a particular element. In the picture you can see that the regional phone number is 4 competitors out of 4. This means that if we do not add this element to your site, we will not get the necessary traffic. From this analysis and form the requirements for designers and designers.
During the design, design and layout phase, the SEO specialist makes sure that all recommendations are taken into account and placed correctly. During testing, the site is checked for meta tags, templates, content, and links.
After publication on the live server, the monitoring phase begins. The first few weeks, SEO specialist checks for errors, broken links, watching the dynamics. The transfer is often accompanied by a decrease in position. It is important to quickly raise them. After the technical monitoring stage, the promotion of the site continues.
In general, the process looks like this:
- Technical monitoring;
- We work with the info content;
- Work with links;
- We do usability study, implement improvements;
- We watch the downloading speed once a month, to make sure it has not increased;
- We necessarily test the mobile version;
- Monitor the positions, look at user behavior, bounce rate;
- Expand the core further;
- Go back to point 1.
The more website visitors you convert, the greater the impact of existing traffic on your revenue. These 11 tactics are a great way to get started with conversions. That said, keep in mind that some of them will work better, some will not be as effective. It’s important to define your goals and continually run objective tests to understand what resonates best with your target audience.
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