If you are building a new site or re-designing the old one to boost your business ROI, it’s not only about the look and functionality. Although design and functionality are very important for user experience, so are website speed, rich snippets, social previews, and much more. And then there are meta titles, site maps, security, and other behind the scene check points that will seriously affect your website’s ability to generate revenue.
But unless otherwise outlined in your SOW, most agencies and web designers are in the business of building a website and handing it off to you (read no optimization of the back end). In addition, many web developers are not even skilled to optimize a website for SEO, social media, or anything else beyond code. So don’t leave it up to a third party to ensure that your website is a well-oiled marketing machine; make sure to ask the right questions for your business and your marketing goals.
Although everyone’s business goals and technology set up are unique, there are a number of questions that any business owner should ask when re-designing a website.
Questions to Ask Your Agency to Optimize Your Website Like a Marketing Machine
Ask about Your URL Structure and Permanent Redirects
This is especially important during a website re-design. Make sure that your URL structure didn’t change. If it did, ask for and QA permanent redirects to maintain your traffic and page authority. Also ask for permanent redirects, if you removed legacy content from the site to preserve your traffic volume.
Take Control of Your Meta and Social Previews
Having full control not over only of your content but of your meta and social previews is important. You don’t have to pay an agency (unless you want to) to improve your on-page optimization every time requirements to meta titles or descriptions change, or when you want to include new keywords.
Ask to Losslessly Compress Your Images and Improve Website Speed
For user experience and SEO fast websites are a must. Not to mention mobile optimization in the age when the majority of traffic comes from mobile devices. You agency can do a lot of tweaks and changes to help your website be faster regardless of your content management system (CMS) or server type.
Prioritize Website Security
This should be one of the key questions in any development program. What can your agency do to secure your website and user data, and how can they set you up to be in a position to update your software and plugins continuously?
Ask for a Secure Certificate (SSL)
It doesn’t matter if your are accepting credit card payments online or not. An SSL is a standard expectation these days. Both users and search engines require secure experiences online, so it’s up to you to ensure you have an SSL and all of your content is served securely.
The video at the beginning of this post walks you through a few additional items that are not as crucial as the list above, but are certainly nice to have for successful marketing. Why not ensure that you are paying for a truly optimized website, if lots of these features do not require a large investment, and in fact, some of them are absolutely free?