Tips for Preserving SEO Value: Monitor Post-Launch

We’ve been taking the last several weeks to discuss critical steps when designing and building a website for a successful launch – so organic search engine rankings don’t take a hit and maybe even improve! You can read about these SEO tips in our posts on 301 redirects and website content. But what happens after launch?

A website should never sit stagnant. It should always be evaluated, refined and updated to satisfy your industry as it changes, your customers and the search engines. Monitoring organic rankings, traffic and Google Search Console in the months and years after a new website launch will help develop short and long-term strategies for improvement.

Monitor Rankings and Traffic

Google analytics admin

With a new website launch, you can expect fluctuation in both rankings and organic traffic. Ideally, within one month you should hit a baseline. By monitoring Google Analytics closely in the weeks post-launch, you should be able to identify problems and solve them quickly. Larger sites can take more time for a recrawl.

And while it’s impossible to rank and track every keyword that goes into driving traffic to your website, monitoring organic traffic will provide data on what keywords are performing best, what pages are out-performing/under-performing and what updates need to be made for improvements.

Use Google Search Console

google search console admin area

Google Search Console is a diagnostic space, provided as a free resource from Google. As with all Google products, Search Console keeps improving and providing more data for your benefit. All you need to do is know about to interpret the data. You can track your 301s and 404s here to ensure your strategies are working; and information covering clicks, impressions, CTR and average position are all critical for a long-term SEO strategy.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

As with anything, you’ll likely want to weigh the options of a DIY approach or hiring a professional Omaha web design and SEO team. From the initial stages of website design, to the content building and population, to the post-launch monitoring – do you honestly have time to do it yourself? DIY is always an option, and in some cases the only option. But considering the information we’ve reviewed in the last four posts relating to preserving SEO with a new website launch – it seems that the failure of a botched launch could cost a lot of money down the road.

If you have the time and skills to prepare your new website for a successful launch by analyzing old data, evaluating SEO strategy, implementing redirects, refining website content and monitoring data post-launch, then DIY is definitely a viable option for you. But, if you do not have the time, skills or know-how to complete all the needed tasks for a successful website launch, then hiring an experienced Omaha web design and SEO team is worth its weight in gold!

 

 

JM Rolls Out New Bus Advertisement in Omaha-Metro

Omaha bus ad for JM Web Designs

 

If you’ve spent much time driving around the Omaha-metro this last year, you’ve likely seen JM advertisements wrapped on the back of a couple Omaha transit buses. After a successful effort in 2017, our Omaha web design and web marketing team is continuing down the route of more traditional branding, adding another bus advertisement to our fleet. This time, we wrapped a half a bus.

Bus advertising offers us a high impact and affordable method of branding. With a positive response from current customers and prospects, it’s clear that our mobile advertisements are helping to keep JM top-of-mind in Omaha. Additionally, advertising on an Omaha-metro bus ensures that we are promoting environmental responsibility and community improvement efforts. Public transportation reduces traffic, promotes individual health (walking to a bus stop), provides access to education and health care, reduces pollution, and increases public safety. Our advertising dollars also help go toward public improvements and to upkeep the roads we all use every day.

Our Omaha web design and web marketing team values supporting local, Omaha efforts that benefit the entire community, and we’re excited to see the results of our new bus advertisement.

If you see our bus ads rolling around the Omaha-metro, be sure to snap a photo and post to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #JMonWheels.

 

Preserving SEO Value: Website Content

graphic showing all the moving parts of seo services

Launching a new website is exciting… and there are many critical steps to be taken pre-launch to carry over organic rankings from a current website. Because lost organic search rankings and decreased traffic is NOT exciting. This post is the third in a series about preserving SEO value when launching a new website. A website should not only keep its rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines with a new website launch, but it should also incorporate new SEO opportunities – which were either not utilized in a previous website build, or not yet known.

Website content is so much more than just content on a page. Website content, in this context, includes text, images, new pages, H1 tags and webpage titles. All these items working together (along with countless other criteria) help Google rank a website.

A website that’s been around for years has been ranked according to it’s content. And depending on the website, this could either be a great opportunity to implement quality content on each page, tag each image appropriately and properly title the webpages… or a devastating botched SEO effort with lost rankings.

The Data Doesn’t Lie

screenshot of Google Analytics pageview data

Good decisions can only be made by looking at data. If a website has little-to-no content, H1’s have never been optimized and images are not tagged… it’s fairly safe to say there’s a lot of room for improvement in a new website launch. However, if you’ve worked hard over the years to create good quality content packed with keywords, optimized each page with relevant H1 tags and properly tagged each image in an extensive gallery the data can tell us how to move forward with preserving work that’s already been done.

By sifting through analytics for bounce rates, total traffic, organic rankings, keywords and several other items, we can determine if your current strategy is successful or where it can be improved.

Room for Improvement

If there is room for improvement with the designing and launching of a new website, there are a few thing our Omaha web design and web marketing team would recommend implementing prior to launch.

  • Clear, concise, keyword-rich text on all pages
  • Strategically selected keywords and keyword phrases
  • Optimized web page titles and H1 tags
  • Clear calls to action
  • Strategic landing pages for AdWords/social campaigns

To be clear, building a strong presence in the search engines does not happen overnight. Implementing even just a couple of the items above is a step in the right direction and can contribute to a long-term strategy.

Carrying Over Success

If, upon evaluating the data, it seem that your current website is performing well in the search engines then it’s best to keep things as similar as possible on the new website – URLs in particular. If you can keep the URL structure and page names the same, it’s ideal. Any changes should be done strategically and for the greater good of website performance, and not just done for the heck of it. Also, where you have page content that currently performs well you’ll want little, or no, changes. There will be plenty of opportunities to tweak the content post-launch, after it is indexed and ranked. This includes well tagged images.

And as for carrying over webpage titles, H1 tags and META descriptions, your old site may allow you to easily export all the key on-page elements to import into the new website. By keeping these items the same, it offers the same benefit as keeping the web content on the page similar. You can always go back post-launch and make updates as-needed, but avoiding a severe loss in SEO ranking is more important than making any major shifts in webpage titles or H1’s before launching a new website.

 

So the bottom line: when it comes to webpage content, H1 tags, page titles, page names, etc., if your current website is performing well make little-to-no updates until after launch. This is less work on your plate up-front, and will give you a chance to evaluate the performance of your new website’s design and layout before considering how to update the text on each page.

 

 

JM Welcomes Eric Wallace, New Web Marketing Account Strategist

Our Omaha web design team has always put a priority on serving its customers; and in an effort to provide continued cutting-edge services and excellent customer service, JM has welcomed a new team member – Eric Wallace.

JM New Web Marketing Account Strategist, Eric Wallace

Eric brings vast diversity and experience to JM’s team. As the web marketing account strategist, Eric works directly with JM’s web marketing and SEO customers to gain an understanding of their goals, then draws up a methodical plan for a successful web marketing campaign, monitors results and keeps clients updated on progress.

Eric’s previous work experience includes construction, bartending, private investigations, digital forensics consulting and debate coaching. Having drawn some valuable information from each experience, his eclectic background brings versatility, strategy development knowledge and effective communication skills. But, what Eric enjoys most is working with data and developing strategies – making every unique piece fit together in surprising and effective ways.

Eric is a California native, having grown up only an hour away from the set of Back to the Future III, who now lives in Nebraska with his wife and two children. When he’s not digging into website data, Eric enjoys reading (about anything and everything), playing the cello and working at a local radio station.

Tips for Preserving SEO Value: 301 Redirects

Rebuilding and relaunching a website brings much anticipation and excitement. And while significant effort usually goes into designing, layout and population, the critical steps of launch preparation and post-launch support are often overlooked – causing catastrophic results in lost SEO value.

As we began to discuss last week, in preparation for launching a new website our Omaha web design team implements many strategies and methods for retaining a website’s credibility in the search engines. A website should not only keep its rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines with a new website launch, but it should also incorporate new SEO opportunities – which were either not utilized in a previous website build, or not yet known.

rocket launching graphic to symbolize new website launch

Best-Practices

Best-practices are often overlooked, because they can be laborious. It takes preparation, thoughtful execution and continued monitoring to ensure SEO value is retained. Let’s, first, hit one major checklist item in preserving SEO rankings in a new website launch.

arrow representing redirects

301 Redirects

If possible, try to keep the URL structure and page names the same. Less can go wrong this way. When your URL’s change, search engines can still serve the old pages they’ve indexed. When this happens, redirects must be implemented to avoid to serving your users the wrong content and to prevent old URL’s from displaying errors.

The 301 redirect is for both users and search engines and indicates to both browsers and search engine bots that the page has moved. For instance, www.examplesite.com/contact is now www.examplesite.com/contact-us on a new website. These will be considered two separate pages to the search engines until a redirect is in place.

Search engines take a 301 redirect to mean that not only has the page changed location, but that the content can be found at the new URL. It could take some time for the search engines to recognize this URL redirect and credit the new page with the ranking from the old URL.

Prior to launching you will want a spreadsheet of all URLs on the old and new sites, so you can implement and test 301 redirects. When the new site is live, you will want to crawl the old list of URLs to ensure everything 301 redirects correctly. Additionally, keeping the old website as a backup will aid in knowing how to implement unforeseen redirects.

Wait… there’s more

301 redirects are critical for ensuring success in the search engines after a new website launch. But this is just one piece in the larger picture.

A credible Omaha web design company will be able to execute these redirects, but it’s also possible for anyone – if you have the foresight and time.

Follow us in the weeks to come for more new website launch tips for preserving SEO rankings.

 

 

Tips for Preserving SEO in New Website Launch

Our Omaha web design and web marketing team is celebrating it’s 20th year in business, and over the 20 years we’ve designed and redesigned our own website, and of our client’s websites, countless times. The life of a website varies – depending on when it was built, the technology/platform used and the branding needs of your own company. Platforms and design trends are constantly changing, so reevaluating your website’s performance and design every few years is always recommended.

But when you do decide it’s time to redesign and launch a brand-new website, the process and execution are critical to your online credibility.

rocket launching graphic to symbolize new website launch

Preserving Online Credibility & SEO

Credibility is achieved through a professional, creative and functional design – of course. But also, don’t forget about the potential credibility you’ve built with Google for years, which you don’t want to lose. Building a new website should not only be about gaining a new website design, but also about gaining access to new SEO opportunities (not just retaining current search engine credibility).

Among countless things that can be problematic in retaining organic SEO with a new website launch are:

  • New, edited or removed content
  • URL changes
  • Page-level optimization changes
  • New sections or pages added to the website
  • New technology
  • Internal link structure changes
  • Domain name change
  • Subdomain change

We’ll hit on the items above in more detail in future posts. But, before launching a new website it’s important to identify a strategy to preserve SEO rankings and improve ranking and traffic moving forward. Carefully planning a new website launch and then monitoring results are critical in refining SEO strategy and refining your website for maximum success.

A website redesign is an opportunity for more traffic and more revenue, so don’t let a botched website launch hurt your credibility with Google.

 

New Website Launch: Moylan Iceplex

Moylan Iceplex has been a staple in the Omaha metro since 1995. This facility boasts an NHL sized rink and provides camps, classes and open skates for the enjoyment of the entire community. Moylan Iceplex needed a website to serve as a marketing piece and as a informational resource. With a simple design and subtle creative splashes, Moylan Iceplex’s website is both beautiful and informative.

This website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and provides an affordable and robust platform for Moylan Iceplex. Using some simple plugins, this website has an easy-to-use calendar and class information. And with responsive technology this new website is mobile-friendly.

With websites like Moylan Iceplex, it’s always fun for our Omaha web design team to use subtle creativity to portray a business online. We are grateful for the opportunity to assist Moylan Iceplex in creating a credible online image and look forward to a continued partnership for years to come.

Visit Moylan Iceplex’s New Website

 

Drive Website Traffic and Revenue with Online Branding Efforts

Because we build websites, we often help build a business’ brand. Whether a website is strictly informational, used as a sales tool, intended to advertise a service or is an ecommerce website – a website is setting the tone in terms of credibility and branding.

Once a website is built it’s time to drive traffic. A website that’s not driving traffic is not driving revenue… and not making you money. Driving traffic online through Google AdWords text and banner ads is critical in such a competitive marketplace and excellent for targeted branding. But, partner this with additional branding efforts on YouTube – and a branding campaign is well underway, driving traffic and money to your website.

youtube logo

YouTube Marketing

We’ve touched on creating a video marketing campaign through YouTube on our blog, but basically YouTube provides an affordable platform with millions of eyeballs on which your business can brand itself. Like a Google AdWords Campaign, a YouTube marketing campaign is highly targeted and easily tracked.

Bumper Ads

And if you REALLY want to hit on branding, you’ll want to consider a bumper ad. A bumper ad is a six-second video meant to hit a targeted audience while watching YouTube videos. The best part? A user can’t skip it. Google looked across 122 bumper campaigns in the US last year and found that 70% drove a significant lift in brand awareness, with an average lift of 9%. On ad recall, over 9 in 10 drove ad recall globally, with an average lift of over 30%.

Branding in 2018 consists of cohesive design, a strong message and traditional avenues – as it has for many, many years. Heck, even our Omaha web design company utilizes traditional forms of advertising on occasion. But branding through online marketing is the branding of the now and future.

Allow our Omaha web design team to build a foundation for your branding efforts with a new website. And then, let our Omaha internet marketing team drive traffic to your website and revenue to your business with Google AdWords AND a professionally managed YouTube campaign – with bumper ads. Call us at 402.292.7500 Option 1 for more info.

5 Ways to Make Your Website a Marketing Tool

Your website has the power to be an effective, affordable and tenacious marketing tool. When a website is designed with the intention of growth, marketing possibilities are abundant. Here are 5 tips from our Omaha web design and internet marketing team to help make your website a powerful marketing tool:

Use the Right Platform

From design flexibility, to ease of development, to website security features, WordPress is our preferred platform. A WordPress content management system allows for website growth in a variety of ways with thousands (yes, thousands) of plugins. If you can think it, there’s probably a plugin for that.

 

screenshot from wordpress admin using all-in-one seo plugin

Optimize

You’ve likely heard the phrase “Content is King” hundreds of times, and it never gets old. A website with engaging content will drive business. Optimize web pages with appropriate H1 tags and page titles to direct hot leads to your website from search engines… and then sell them with engaging content. Did you know websites with active blogs receive 67% more leads  than those who do not?

 

website screenshot highlighting call to action

Clear Call to Action

Users should have a clear call to action on each page. Whether your website is ecommerce or informational, you can strategically lead people to action. Contact forms, click to call, live chats, express checkouts – just a small list of ways your strategically designed website can drive business.

 

screenshot of mobile traffic tracking on analytics

Connect with Users on Any Device

Analytics will tell you how users are viewing your website – desktop, tablet and mobile. In our experience, every year mobile users increase across the board. Considering the mobile layout of your website can make or break conversions. And continuing to use analytics to analyze user activity on all devices will help make user experience better and, in turn, drive business.

 

informational graphic about internet marketing

Visual Appeal

There are SO many options for building a website. From free drag and drop website builders to custom website designers, your price and quality vary. A website is an investment. Putting a bit of money into a website intended to grow and market your business will pay off 100-fold. An intentional design with visual appeal builds credibility and drives business.

 

A website is worth nothing unless it’s driving business. Competing in an online marketplace takes a multi-faceted strategy, with a quality website at the foundation. Never before has marketing been so affordable and attainable. The tools are HERE for you to take advantage of. Don’t let business slip through your fingers!

 

 

New Website Launch: Palleton, Inc.

Palleton, Inc., has a long history in the Pallet Manufacturer field. With unmatched expertise and a desire to better server their customers, Palleton partnered with JM for a new website design that would be beautiful, functional and optimized for the search engines.

Palleton’s new website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and is mobile-friendly. Among it’s features, this new website includes a locations page, using a simple locations WordPress plugin. This plugin allows for easy updating from the WordPress admin. And in conjunction with this new website design. Palleton partnered with JM to optimize each page. With JM’s one-time Search Engine Optimization (SEO) package, our SEO experts craft web page titles, H1 tags and META descriptions to assist in Google rankings for targeted keywords and increased traffic from the search engines.

Palleton chose to invest in a new website design AND prepare their website for more SEO success through page optimization. Forward thinking when designing and launching a website can not only increase success upon launch but can better setup a company for future marketing efforts. We applaud Palleton for investing in their online presence and look forward to partnering with them in the future.

Visit Palleton’s New Website

Palleton, Inc., new website design screenshot

Ringing in 2018 with More Ways to Serve You

Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone, and we are so full of gratitude. 2017 was a year of growth for our Omaha web design and development team. Here are a few of our 2017 highlights:

Certified Google Partner. As a certified Google partner our internet marketing team boasts experience in Google AdWords advertising solutions, having passed exams and delivered a strong performance in client and company growth.

Best of B2B. JM was voted Omaha’s #2 best web design firm by other local Omaha businesses.

Expanded Services. JM hired a new internet marketing manager, Logan Johnson, whose curiosity and experience are benefiting JM’s customers with strategic and purposeful AdWords campaigns and SEO services. Keep your ears open for more changes to our internet marketing department in 2018!

Added 3 Team Members. As each team member becomes more specialized in their craft, we felt it necessary to add to our team to better serve our customers. We added Internet Manager Logan Johnson, Account Manager Jordan Murphy and Finance Director Lindsey Adams.

Meeting the needs of our customers by adding new services and team members was backed by our overall 18% growth! And while we gained many new customers in 2017, many customers from years past have built their second or third website with JM, added new services, and switched web hosting to our reliable servers.

So, thank you Omaha for your continued business and trust. We continue the celebration of our 20th year in business as we begin 2018, and we plan to celebrate by continuing our tradition of excellent service and products.

Cheers to 2018!