Here at Pitched we take great pride in designing and building fantastic new websites for UK holiday parks and campsites. From design and development through to adding new content and launch, it’s a complicated and time-consuming process – and one that can easily go awry. So, what are the important things that you must consider?
Carry out a pre-launch audit of your site
If you’ve decided to relaunch your website and give it a fresh new look then well done – it’s certainly a brave move and one that should hopefully pay dividends! It’s important to constantly keep moving forward with web design, pushing new boundaries and aiming to continually improve the overall user experience.
However, you need to make sure that you know exactly what sort of place your existing website is in before you relaunch – otherwise you could create a whole host of new issues on your new site. These range from SEO problems to mobile page speed.
According to Search Engine Land your pre-launch audit should cover 5 main areas:
- Analytics Review
- Technical Review
- Content Review
- Link Review
Here, we take a closer look at these give areas…
Do you use Google Analytics? Hopefully most of you will answer yes but, for the minority who don’t, you really need to! With Google Analytics (GA), when your new site launches you will be able to analyse performance data, for everything from bounce rate to page views, which is key to understanding how your new site is viewed by users – and whether it is doing better than the old site. If it isn’t GA should be able to tell you why and where you can improve…
Do you know how your old site (and new one) performs and looks on a mobile or tablet? Do you know how quickly it loads on different devices? Test your new site thoroughly on any development site and make you’re 100% happy with it before launch. It’s far easier to do this and make changes before it goes live…
Has the content on your existing site been on there forever? Is it in need of a refresh? Do you even know what keywords you should be ranking for? Prior to launch make sure you carry out a review of your keywords and rankings. Wwe use great tools like Raven and Google AdWords Keyword Planner to identify SEO issues and keep on top of search terms, especially around new content.
Another big issue is page speed. We all want our sites to be super quick to load, no matter what device they are viewed on. And one way of helping the cause is by optimising images on your site. Resize and scale down images (150kb is fine for most sites). If you have several 2mb + images on one page you’re potentially adding quite a few seconds to the load time of that page… which could cause people to give up and go elsewhere.
If your website domain isn’t changing then this process is simpler but you need to make sure you redirect any URLs from your old site to your new one otherwise people may no longer be able to find the content they used to (this is especially so for people who have bookmarked pages on your old site – they may now get a 404 error).
Search Engine Land advises: “You certainly want to be sure that you optimise your internal links from page to page on your site. You can also address this post launch, but certainly if you’re in the process of adding or editing content, it’s a good time to add these internal links to pages.”
Just before your new site goes live it is really important to get a final idea of where your old site is at. From search engine rankings on specific keywords and website traffic to bounce rate and demographics… all this is useful information that you can use against your new site to measure its performance.
Post launch.. Check, check and check again!
After your revised website launches it is extremely important to keep a close eye on things. Has your web traffic dropped off? Has the bounce rate increased? Have bookings declined or increased? How about the conversion rate? Are users finding the content more easily than they used to?
Google Analytics should be your best friend during this period: Check year-on-year data to get a true reflection of performance.
Search Engine Land advises: “I like to run checks internally every day for about two weeks to ensure everything stays on track, comparing daily data to my benchmark and looking for signs of dips in organic traffic. If you start to see dips or losses, diagnose the problem quickly. Have certain pages stopped receiving any organic traffic? Check your 301 redirect for that page. Have certain pages dropped in organic traffic or ranking compared to the benchmark? Determine what changes occurred on that page — could it be page load speed or image size?”
Is your holiday park’s website in need of a fresh new design for 2017? Is your current website simply not performing? Speak to the experts here at Pitched today on 01726 418118 or drop us an e-mail enquiry now.