Relaunching a website is a tough job. Themes such as design, interface design, usability, content, search engine optimization & technology must be brought in line with the goals, so that the relaunch is a success. What is important to note, so that it does not lead to ranking losses in search engines or the project is a bottomless pit, you will find out in our article.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is a relaunch?
Concept & Strategy
- Target group
- Competitive analysis
- Current state
- What do we want to change & why?
Questions, Falls & risks
- Design, Interface Design & Webdesign
- Search engine optimization
WHAT IS A RELAUNCH?
The launch of a website is the start of a website. A relaunch (latin: repeated start) of a website is always a major change of the website. Small changes of sub-areas are not included. In the relaunch, the design can be changed, the technology or even the entire structure.
CONCEPT & STRATEGY
Before the actual planning of the website relaunch you need a concept.
The concept includes the goals, audience, currently state (with the errors), competitive analysis, showing what needs to be changed, why it should be changed, and how it should look in the future. The concept is the thread of the project. It is important that the conception also involves the future stakeholders as early as possible, as they as specialists can added important information.
In this area, the rough goals of the website relaunch should be defined. Examples:
The goal is to introduce a new CMS that is state of the art in SEO.
The goal is that the website is available in Responsive Web Design.
The goal is a new corporate design that is fundamentally different from the competition.
The goal is to create a clearer news section that makes it easier to navigate between our posts.
Example: Our target group is interested in weddings and consists of 80% women, between 25 and 55 years. Above all, our target group uses the social media channel Facebook. The exact dates are in this Google Analytics study.
Corporate Design: Our main competitors all have the color blue in the CD (how can we differ?).
Products: Competitor X has a very high visibility in the search engines, because the products and the blog have high-quality content (what can we learn?).
Our main competitors specialize in the following product classes and products ... (here is our opportunity for product variant X).
Main navigation: The main navigation contains only the six main categories Home, Services, Company, News, Products and Contact. Our website is not optimized for mobile devices. Every month we have 10,000 visitors on the website at a bounce rate of 80%. The home page has only static elements. The footer contains only the imprint, privacy and terms.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO CHANGE and WHY?
Here is roughly shown what we want to change and what should be achieved with it - so not a very unimportant point. Examples: New design - so that we can address our target group more emotionally and differentiate ourselves from the competition. Removal of duplicate content (URLs) - so that our domain trust increases and better rankings in the search engines are achieved. New navigations - to improve the user experience. Launch Responsive Web Design - User Experience and Search Engine Optimization.
Or: In the future, when user hover the menu navigation points Products and Services, a subnavigation will open that shows further categories. Why do we want to change that? The new navigation allows users to get into different categories faster.
After the concept has been completed and comprehensively tested, the relaunch must be planned. In the first step, the individual large areas are summarized. These include design, interface design, engineering, structure of the main areas, navigation, content and SEO. Then the stakeholders (project participants) are named: project manager, project manager, consultant, designer, web designer, developer, search engine specialist.
The next step is to plan the work. For this, all new features and changes are listed (see concept), assigned to the sub-areas (design, SEO, etc.) and described in detail. Once this is done, the scheduling follows. It should be ensured that work should also be carried out in parallel in order to save time.
QUESTIONS Traps and risks
Before a relaunch begins, one should be aware of possible pitfalls and risks. A research and deep background knowledge are advantageous. Questions can be: What has gone wrong with comparable relaunchs? What can negatively influence the ranking in search engines? What is already very good on our website and can not be changed? What are the planned costs? What if the budget is exceeded? Do we have the right agencies by our side? Is the relaunch feasible in the planned time? It's best to do this for every single section of the relaunch (SEO, usability, content etc.)
RELAUNCH PARTIAL AREAS
DESIGN, INTERFACE DESIGN & WEBDESIGN
The design includes the logo, colors, font, grid, structure of the individual page types, navigation, buttons or icons - but the whole should always be seen from the perspective of Responsive Web Design. Things to be changed should first be roughly planned (requirements, sketch, wireframe) and then discussed. This is to prevent designs that do not work later or are unwanted. Once the first hurdle has been overcome, the design can be implemented in Photoshop or UXpin, for example, to become a prototype. If the result meets all the requirements and wishes of the target group, it can be implemented. It is important to ensure that the result is in line with the requirements of search engine optimization, usability and user experience.
In particular, the selection of the best possible website CMS (Wordpress, Typo3, Magento, etc.) as well as the powerful server belongs to this area. Further topics are the data protection and the protection of the Content. The whole thing has a very high priority.
In a relaunch, the content is usually changed. Texts, images and other information must be recreated in high quality and then come in the appropriate page types. The planning and creation should necessarily be done by professional editors, so that unique and convincing content is available. The creation can usually be carried out parallel to other work.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Most companies want to be found in search engines. When relaunching a website, it is essential to pay attention to search engine optimization. What is there to pay attention to? Lots of things: URL, headlines, meta-title, meta-description, content, backlinks, internal linking, 301 redirect etc. Especially important is the url structure and related, the avoidance of duplicate content. Changes to the URL structure must be counteracted using 301 redirect. It is redirected from the old URLs to the new URLs, so that the ranking (search engines) of all pages and the traffic is not affected. Important: A relaunch should always involve an SEO expert.
If all tasks have been implemented, the launch will take place. This is not a problem for regular websites, but for complex websites, this includes online stores, complex websites, and high-traffic websites. The launch should therefore be carried out on a day and an hour, with the least possible operation. Basically, the launch should also be played once in the test system. Comprehensive backups before the launch are mandatory - because data security has priority.