Online Marketers often develop their newly designed web site strategy by spending all the time designing and then deploying the new site… then measuring the results of the change. I shutter when I see some companies deploying multiple sites within months of each other because each one “didn’t work”.
Before you begin to even plan the designs of the new site, you need to fully realize where your site is currently established. Deploying new sites over and over is like starting a marathon over and over. You’re not going to make up the time that you’ve lost, you’re pushing the return on investment further out.
If you didn’t have analytics fully deployed and measuring each and ever aspect of your site, take the time to properly deploy it now – on your current site. It may seem foolish to spend time implementing analytics properly on a site you’re going to trash, but you need to understand how people were getting to your site, navigating your site, and converting on your existing site before designing your new site.
As well, you need to be acutely aware of what pages are currently ranking well for relevant keywords. Utilizing a tool like SEMRush, you can pinpoint the pages you already have indexed and that are ranking well with search engines. Many times marketers deploy a new site with the hierarchy and paths totally changed. Not good.
In addition to search, referring sites and pages are very important. If other sites have referred traffic to you, or your pages have been bookmarked on social sites… you don’t want that traffic to end up on a 404 page. Develop a redirection plan from your old pages with traffic to your new pages – and ensure the content is consistent.
In short, measure twice and cut once. Measure your old site effectively through analytics, search engine ranking and backlinks. Deploy your new site to take advantage of any current traffic and authority you’ve already built and, only then, deploy the new site.