As online marketing becomes mainstream, more and more companies are looking into revamping their old corporate/company website. Your website is one of your most important online assets. It is instrumental to do it right when you are revamping it, to avoid unnecessary extra costs and time, and more importantly to avoid lost opportunities. Here are seven things that you should be discussing with your web developer before embarking into the project. I also noted down Gapture's best practices and policies for your references.
1) Mobile responsiveness - This is one of the main reasons companies upgrade or revamp their website. More than 50% of online traffic comes from mobile devices since 2014. This is a non-negotiable feature for your new website. If any web developer proposes otherwise, I strongly suggest you to walk away.
2) Secure https connection - As pointed out in this article by Google Security Blog, Google has started giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in search results since 2014. We have switched our own website and all our clients' websites from HTTP to HTTPS and we have seen a 0.5% increment in organic CTR (Click Through Rate) on our website, https://gapture.com. One of our clients, Maclean, has seen their website being boosted to Rank 1 in Google Malaysia on their industry keyphrase, "professional cleaning services". We strongly advise to deploy https for all your new websites, as that would give you an unfair advantage in SEO (until the rest of the herd follow suits). Many website developers out there may not have the knowledge or capability to implement this properly.
3) Proper tracking on website traffic - I get agitated when I see websites that do not have Universal Analytics (Google Analytics) installed or worse yet, not installed properly. You can't improve what you don't measure. Universal Analytics is a free and very comprehensive traffic analysis tool developed by Google. When it is properly installed, you get to see where the traffic of your website comes from, how good are the traffic (by looking at bounce rate, visit duration, page per visit, etc). You may not be able to fully understand all the metrics without learning Google Analytics, but it is important to start tracking your traffic now. You will not be able to retrieve past data before Analytics is installed. At Gapture, we install Universal Analytics using Google Tag Manager (GTM) for every single website project that is entrusted on us.
4) Google indexing - We have seen websites that are not properly indexed. You can do a quick Google search using "site:<domain>" (e.g. search for "site:gapture.com" without the quotes on Google) to see how many of your pages are being indexed and what are the indexed titles and descriptions. We set up and register Google Search Console (a.k.a Web Masters Tool - WMT) for every single one of our clients' websites and make sure that their sitemaps are properly submitted for indexing. We also monitor for errors from the console before handing over the websites to our clients.
5) White-hat SEO & content architecture - Nowadays at Gapture, we only do white-hat SEOs and our strategy mainly focus on site content. We architect the contents for our clients to increase the relevancy of their website to the keywords that are important to them. We leverage on the blog feature of the Content Management System to build the content structure for our clients so that they can update their contents easily. One example is building "Past Projects" category for clients to constantly upload their completed projects to the website, in order to add content for the relevant keywords. Gapture is ranked page one in Google Malaysia on multiple high competitive industry keyphrases, like "digital marketing agency" and "digital agency".
6) Keeping the old URLs - You may have a lot of URLs from your old website being indexed and ranked by Google. Seeing website developers dropping the old URLs like hot cakes make me feel pity for the clients. If the URLs are dropped, all the old indexed pages will go to "404 - Page not found" and it may impact your SEO and brand image. Over here at Gapture, we actually painstakingly go through all old indexed pages and redirect them to the corresponding URLs in the new website before going live.
7) Content Management System - Open source (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, etc) vs. proprietary vs. building from scratch (e.g. ASP coding). Each of these choices has its own merits and flaws. We only go with Squarespace for our website deployment, mainly because this platform is superbly optimized for SEO and the software is automatically patched and upgraded by Squarespace. All our websites are fully hosted so you no longer need to deal with two parties (website developer vs. web hosting system administrator) and Squarespace is accountable for everything that goes wrong with their system. Squarespace runs on cloud infrastructure and it is automatically scaled to handle pretty much any traffic that you can possibly get.
I hope the above pointers will help you choose the right vendor to revamp your website. If you would like to engage Gapture to handle it for you, kindly contact us here. Please ask about our "Money Back Guarantee" when meeting up with our digital consultants.
- Professional Cleaning Services - https://www.maclean.com.my
- Food & Beverages - https://www.anwmalaysia.com.my
- Desserts & Beverages - https://www.coolblog.com.my (with video slider on homepage)
- Water Purifiers - https://www.cuckoo.com.my
- Electrical Engineering Contractor - https://www.dexon.com.my
- Digital Marketing Agency - https://gapture.com (our own website)