When you’re at the helm of upgrading your company website for your organisation, it’s all hands on deck - everyone in your team has a part to play.
Your job starts with mapping out your journey before you set sail. You do this by setting objectives which will lead you to success.
To succeed, you learn about your crew and your audience who you’ll encounter on the way.
Your destination will be a new website that outpaces your competition and hits your objectives.
Once you’re on your journey to a better website, you need to consider your existing content.
There are two routes you can take when it comes to your content.
Route 1: Safely move your content to its new home in its current form
Route 2: Review and improve older content for SEO and to align key messages.
Route 2 will improve your future SEO and align with your key messages. It’s also a great opportunity to see what content needs to be left behind as it no longer adds value to your visitors or your website.
Our previous article explains what you can achieve from spending a little extra time on your existing content before you move.
Now, we must get your existing content working harder at achieving your newly set objectives on your upgraded website using our simple process and template.
When you move content - including text, images, videos and even your site structure - from your old website to your new one, it’s known as content migration.
As Dani mentioned in her blog, it can be easy to lose sight of the content you have and what you plan to do with it ready for the move.
Keeping a log of every piece of content on your site from your main pages (Home page, about us etc.) through to your blogs, whitepapers or podcasts will give you the best opportunity for a successful migration.
As we guide you through getting the most from your content, this log will become your map of what should happen to every piece of content you own.
Use our template to help you create a visual plan for all of your existing content.
Start by completing what pages you own, their URL and description. We recommend using your sitemap as a base line. Most sitemaps can be found adding /sitemap.xml to your url. E.g. www.example.com/sitemap.xml
Your Top 50
If your old website was linked with Google Analytics, you’ll have enough data to get to know your site’s most and least visited pages.
This helps you to understand what content your audience loves and what is no longer adding any value to your SEO efforts.
You can whittle down the pages you need to migrate by leaving behind the pages that are just collecting dust.
To help you decide what needs to be cast away, look at your:
- Top 50 most visited pages: This shows you what your audience is looking on your website
- Top 50 least visited pages: An easy starting point to determine which pages need leaving behind
- Top 50 pages with highest bounce rate: These pages will show you that your content is on the right lines. They may have good content but something is not engaging them enough to keep your visitors on board
Your new website usually comes with a new or updated strategy.
You may be focusing on a new service or your current website is just not aligning with your other marketing activities.
Be brave enough to let go of content that doesn’t align with your new priorities.
Update and Improve
Now you’ve decided on the content that you need to improve for the move, it’s time to put a plan into action.
This is where you’re the expert - we won’t tell you how to market your organisation as you know it best.
Decide how you want to work through your content to improve it.
We’d recommend starting with your highest bounce rate pages as these have a lot of potential but are just not working well enough to keep your audience engaged.
But, this is down to how much time and crew you have to help.
Your improvements need to do a number of things:
- Update broken links
- Fix spelling and grammar mistakes
- Improve the accuracy of your content
- Link to newer, better resources
- Optimise for the right keywords
- Fix for the recent Google algorithms
Structure and navigation
As you’re working your way through improving your existing content, it’s important to think about the structure of your current website.
If visitors are struggling to navigate through your website, we encourage you to make a few structural changes and make your visitors experience better.
We recommend talking this through with your development team who are working on the migration.
You may also decide to change a few URLs, especially if you’re improving content titles or aligning your new site with your key messages. If you are changing links, use your log to show the new URL and make sure your agency or development team knows to create them.
At some point, before the move, you’ll need to do a content freeze.
A content freeze is when all content must be left alone.
You can’t publish new content and you can’t update what’s already there.
You’ll need to plan this freeze with the team or agency doing your migration.
Finally, if you’re using a new or an external agency to do your migration, it’s worth finding out who has access to your website code, database and assets. This will be one of the first steps when your migration set sails.
This Is Just The Start
Updating and improving your content shouldn’t stop at your migration.
Regular updates help to keep your website ranking higher on search engines.
Your migration is the perfect trigger to get your content working harder at reaching your audience.