SEO Site Migrations – Planning Phase

Jun 26, 2024It Depends - An SEO Podcast, SEO

In this conversation, Lindsie and Jay discuss the importance of integrating SEO into the site migration process. They emphasize the risks associated with site migrations and the potential loss of organic traffic and revenue. They recommend involving SEO from the early stages of the project, including the discovery phase, to ensure that important pages and SEO considerations are not overlooked. They also highlight the significance of data review and understanding the current traffic and revenue from organic search. Additionally, they discuss the importance of considering site architecture and involving other teams, such as merchandising, in the decision-making process.

Takeaways

  • Integrating SEO into the site migration process is crucial to mitigate risks and avoid loss of organic traffic and revenue.
  • SEO should be involved from the early stages of the project, including the discovery phase, to ensure important pages and SEO considerations are not overlooked.
  • Data review is essential to understand the current traffic and revenue from organic search and make informed decisions.
  • Considering site architecture and involving other teams, such as merchandising, can lead to better outcomes and opportunities for organic search.
  • Building a good working relationship with the development team and other stakeholders is important to advocate for SEO and make effective decisions.

 

Listen to SEO Migration- Development Phase (Pt 2) Here!

Transcript

Lindsie Nelson (00:01.687)

Hello, hello.

 

Jay (00:03.566)

Hello, Lindsay. What’s going on?

 

Lindsie Nelson (00:07.287)

Well, today we’re going to do more of a tangible, like, how -to podcast. I think a lot of times we talk about big ideas or changes in the industry, and today we’re gonna do some, like, real tangible, these are the things that we do, and I’m kind of excited.

 

Jay (00:26.318)

On a related note, I’ve got a text from a friend who is, they’re working on some website for like basketball stuff. I won’t get into it, but he texted me and was like, I think we’re gonna actually make this site. And unless it’s a huge boondoggle, I’m gonna try and project manage it myself. What do you think? And I said, it’s always a huge boondoggle.

 

Lindsie Nelson (00:52.367)

Literally, it’s going to be that way no matter how prepared you are or not. Hopefully it’s just a small little baby site with a little bit of traffic and it won’t be a big deal.

 

Jay (01:03.246)

no, it’s going to be really complicated.

 

Lindsie Nelson (01:07.639)

I’m gonna start saying boondoggle. I don’t think that’s a word I’ve ever put in my language that I use on a regular basis, but it’s a fun one.

 

Jay (01:15.758)

you gotta practice it. It’s an intimidating word to just like throw out there because you can like somewhere in the oon and and dog part you can get really tongue -tied easily.

 

Lindsie Nelson (01:27.383)

you’re gonna really like, and then you have to do it with some emphasis, and then you just like, people get real wide -eyed. Like, did they just say boondoggle? What? All right, all right, well let’s get into this a little bit more in terms of what we’re gonna talk about more specifically. So this is gonna be a part one of likely a three -part series on site migrations. So in episode three, we talked about losing traffic.

 

during a migration or some sort of platform change. And that was kind of high level risks, rewards type of ideas. This is going to be what does our process look like? We take out a lot of clients that are either in the active process of changing, evolving, migrating their site. But we also have our current clients that do this. It seems like we have.

 

many per year even just of our current clients that decide to do some sort of big change. And so we’re going to go through kind of what our process is to help mitigate the concerns and loss that could potentially come along with a site migration.

 

Jay (02:42.254)

Yeah. And I always approach this topic with a lot of reluctance. You know, it’s something that’s really interesting from a technical perspective, but on the, like, our agency side, I think Transistor largely exists because of people screwing up SEO as they migrate to a new website. And…

 

that’s, hey, that’s been great for us because it’s led to us coming into recover and then having more work than we know what to do with and hiring people and and yada yada. But those are usually not enjoyable projects. Like they’re very stressful. People are losing lots of money, you know, sometimes millions upon millions of dollars. And it’s it’s never a snap your fingers and fix it. So.

 

Lindsie Nelson (03:25.559)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (03:38.03)

We’re going to talk about how to avoid finding yourself in that situation.

 

Lindsie Nelson (03:42.999)

Yep, and I think one of the big questions we get a lot as we’re talking to sales prospects or even current clients about these migrations is, well, when does SEO come into play? When should we integrate you guys into this process? And this part one is really going to be about those really early stages and how important SEO can be at the very start of your planning process.

 

I think it’s easy to have SEO just kind of loop in at the end. But then there’s a lot that can get missed and issues that can pop up if that’s what you end up doing. So for today, let’s talk about kind of what the agenda is. So first of all, really light talk about what is scope? What does a migration look like? What are we talking about? What are we not? Risks associated to this. And then really that first…

 

stage that SEO should be involved. So let’s get right into that scope. So what do we mean by a migration real lightly here?

 

Jay (04:47.406)

Yeah, so this conversation could go in tons of directions and we want to keep it somewhat organized and not have to constantly caveat a million different things. So we are talking about when we say website migration for the purpose of this podcast, we’re talking about you are moving your website from some platform or technology to another one. You know, massive upgrade, not just like we installed a patch on.

 

WordPress or something like that. But we are going from one CMS to another one e -commerce technology to another. There’s almost always a redesign. I mean, it’s, this is an expensive process. So why would, why would you not do a redesign? And usually like content on the site is changing. URLs are often changing. A lot of times that’s outside of your control. We’re not talking about much.

 

Lindsie Nelson (05:34.423)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (05:46.606)

bigger, wider ranging projects like a rebrand. Like we are changing our name or our company used to do X and now does Y. We’re not talking about a change of domain because there’s like massive SEO implications in that that are just gonna be more complicated than we’re gonna get into. And we’re not talking about like acquiring or merging multiple sites together. Like we had five sites and now we’re doing one or.

 

We bought this company and we’re going to merge them into our website. Because again, so many things we’d have to caveat and so many other rabbit holes we’d have to go down. But also this, we are, you know, changing our site from one platform to another or redesigning our site and other things come with it. That happens a lot. Like that’s most, most companies that exist on the web will do that five times for every one time they rebrand or.

 

Lindsie Nelson (06:34.103)

a lot.

 

Jay (06:43.534)

merge sites or maybe 10 or 20 times for every one time they do that if they’re lucky enough to be around that long. So I think this will cover a lot of ground and apply to so many people and also in our experience so many sites mess things up that lead to really bad outcomes.

 

Lindsie Nelson (07:06.455)

Really, and it sounds dramatic when you say like losing millions of dollars, but I mean, we’ve seen it, unfortunately, more than once. And that segues into this segment two of what are the risks? What are we trying to mitigate by integrating SEO during this type of migration process?

 

Jay (07:28.366)

Yeah. So I think the easiest way to look at it is, you know, whether you have Google analytics or some other tool, everyone has the report that’s like, here’s your traffic and revenue by channel, you know, like the general buckets of how the traffic is getting to your site. Look at the traffic and revenue for organic, for organic search, you know, the Google, Bing, Yahoo, et cetera, traffic. Imagine losing.

 

50 -60 % of that just in one day. And how would that impact your business? So for most people that organic search traffic is like 30 -50 % of their overall traffic and revenue. So losing half of that, we’re talking whatever 15 -25 -30 % of your overall traffic and revenue. And there’s obviously spillover effects. People discover you through organic,

 

they come back through social or email or whatever. So it’s gonna impact more than just that one channel, but it’s really gonna impact that one channel. And that’s pretty often the like, when these things go wrong, that’s about how wrong they go. There’s folks that like, hey, we made changes and we knew that there were risks or we knew some things were gonna be unavoidable.

 

Lindsie Nelson (08:44.567)

Yeah.

 

Jay (08:54.222)

and we lost 10 % of our traffic and revenue and we’re just going to live with that or organic traffic and revenue. Or, you know, we screwed up something minor, but more often than not, just like SEO is not a factor in these migrations or developers are still to this day saying, yeah, you might lose half of your organic traffic, but it’ll bounce back on its own.

 

Lindsie Nelson (09:19.863)

Well, and I hear a lot too, our developers know SEO. We work with a lot of great developers. We’ve worked historically with a lot of great folks that build websites, big, big companies, small companies, the whole range. And you need somebody representing the value of your organic search traffic. Your developer’s job is to build a site that functions, that looks nice, all of these pieces. SEO is…

 

a small part of the puzzle for them.

 

Jay (09:52.494)

Yep. Well, and development is a, it’s a technical job. I mean, and SEO, there are very technical aspects to SEO, but SEO is a marketing role. I mean, if what it comes down to, if you had to pick a department to put SEO in, it should be in marketing. And in the case of building a new website or migrating your site, SEO is like the most important conduit between all of the marketing and technical teams.

 

Lindsie Nelson (10:03.543)

Yeah.

 

Lindsie Nelson (10:23.575)

It’s a go -between that ties all those things together. Yeah, it’s so much is that piece of looking. And I think it’s about having somebody that stands up for that traffic to where that is their number one priority. Because if you don’t have that person and who knows what they’re looking at, the risk is just, in many cases, not worth it.

 

Jay (10:23.693)

So, yeah.

 

Jay (10:47.566)

Yeah, and we’ll get into some of the specifics, or a lot of the specifics of where this all goes wrong, but it’s, you know, this isn’t just a like, let’s dump on developers, like designers do things too, you know, UX people do stuff where they’re like, people don’t like to read things, let’s take all the copy off your website, and that’s not great for SEO. So there’s a lot of competing interests, and you just need to make sure that, again, if,

 

Lindsie Nelson (11:06.583)

Yep.

 

Jay (11:17.326)

30 to 50 or more percent of your traffic and revenue comes from SEO essentially, you need to make sure someone is explicitly looking out for that.

 

Lindsie Nelson (11:28.631)

Yeah, one last caveat, we’ve had a lot of clients too that then have to massively increase budgets after a site migration for paid search or other methods to get traffic and it’s just so much more expensive. So the cost of hiring an SEO agency that knows what they’re doing to help you through this is gonna be a lot less than having to pay for traffic after you lose it.

 

Jay (11:53.646)

Yep. Yeah, and that, you know, just to jump back, that common line of your traffic will fall off when your site launches, but it’ll bounce back. It won’t bounce back. I mean, I think we covered this in pretty good detail on back in episode three, but you’ve got about a week to fix things after site, your site launches. You know, when in cases of like Google can’t find a URL anymore.

 

Lindsie Nelson (12:17.367)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (12:22.798)

whatever the case is and then we’re talking about permanent damage you’re essentially starting over you know if you were ranking number one for all of these things however long it took you to rank number one for those things it’s gonna take you that long to rank again or close to it.

 

Lindsie Nelson (12:39.319)

Yeah. All right, well, let’s move into the more tangible pieces. So at the first question is when, in your opinion, Jay, should SEO begin? When should it be integrated into the site migration process?

 

Jay (12:54.35)

Yeah, all right, let’s try and minimize the doom and gloom from here on out and talk about how to do this right and how to make it a good process. So every website project starts with a discovery process. And so one just general caveat, I feel like people want to just rush through discovery as quick as they can. Like,

 

the agencies building sites, I think kind of hate it because if they’re not big enough to have like a dedicated discovery team, then it’s like, you know, I’m dedicating all my time to this and I have to do all my other work at night or whatever. And clients are like, I’m paying all this money for like meetings when that money could go to actually building the site. So this is the time where we talk about like, what are the requirements? What are the technologies involved?

 

How do we get customers? How do they convert on our site? Who are these customers? What do they need when they’re interacting with our site? And how are we gonna bring all that stuff together? So SEO is like a fly on the wall at the very least is an important part of that process. So if nothing else, if you as the like SEO person don’t say a word other than hi, my name is.

 

build the SEO, you can at least understand what’s coming up. And if we start talking about like, like, Hey, we, we don’t, we don’t need a blog anymore, or we don’t need this knowledge base, or we don’t need, we don’t need like category pages for our e -commerce site. We’re just going to have products and people can search and filter that can be a giant red flag where you can raise your hand and be like, look at all the good stuff that these types of pages.

 

Do for our site today and and like start make that case for organic visibility You know you can sometimes there’s already decisions made on platform and stuff like that by the time discovery meetings happen and maybe I don’t know maybe there’s talk of we’re gonna do this like headless CMS integration. It’s all gonna be JavaScript and blah blah blah blah and

 

Lindsie Nelson (14:49.271)

do.

 

Jay (15:15.534)

then you can be like, hey, Google might not be able to render this and we need to plan for that. So these like massive, like change the course of the project decisions happen at this time more often than not. So as an SEO, like you need to be aware of them and you, you know, we always say like, it’s always better to say like, hey, we need to have this massive investment to correct for this.

 

issue early in the process rather than after the site is launched. So if you know we’re talking about like client rendered JavaScript stuff that you’re worried about Google being able to crawl, this is the time you want to flag that and get a plan in place.

 

Lindsie Nelson (16:05.591)

Right, and so at the top level question of when to integrate SEO, it’s right away. And I know for us, we shy on the side of involve us in everything. If, you know, I think we have a lot of clients are like, well, you know, we don’t want to bog you down with too much work. It’s like, we’ll tell you when it’s too much or we will communicate with you if we don’t need to be involved.

 

in these meetings or these steps, whatever. But like you said, being the fly on the wall where we are listening, I mean, and again, standing up when there’s concerns and, you know, seven out of 10 times, there isn’t a concern and we just, you know, we can be in the background and it’s not a big deal. But at least when there is that, that percent of chance that there is a concern, we can at least voice it.

 

and that it can be discussed and maybe we decide or maybe the overall team decides that’s okay if we lose the traffic, but this is what we wanna do. At least the value and the opportunity of organic search was discussed in that decision.

 

Jay (17:18.926)

Yeah. And when we’re, when we’re talking about something like building a website, so often there’s, there’s like an agency involved, maybe multiple agencies, there’s outside parties, all of, all of these things. And this like day one discovery process is critical for like the relationship building going forward. So, you know, we experienced this all the time and I hear this from other folks in SEO.

 

Lindsie Nelson (17:29.367)

probably.

 

Jay (17:48.334)

whether they’re in -house and their company is bringing in an agency to build a site, or we work for a marketing agency and do SEO and they’re bringing in a different agency to build the website. It’s like, you know, we don’t want the SEO person to be here. Like they’re gonna get in the way, or this isn’t relevant to them, like you said, or, you know, they’re.

 

there’s maybe this thought that they’re gonna start throwing out all these opinions about how the site should look and operate and this and that. So if you can get in at this point, it’s gonna be just building the expectation that you’re part of it for everything going forward, rather than saying like halfway through, now everyone needs to change what they’ve been doing to involve SEO. Like that’s gonna be tough, because everyone’s already built their workflow and has their meetings and whatever. But also,

 

approach this from a reasonable point of view. Like, don’t like make it, make it known that you need to be in these meetings, but let people know why. So what we always say is we’re not coming in to like throw our opinion around about everything or get involved in stuff that isn’t SEO related. We are trying to understand the risks in this process and make sure we speak up.

 

to try and mitigate those risks or just be sure that people are aware of them if they can’t be mitigated, that there’s no surprises or as few surprises as possible when that site launches. And then do that. Resist the urge to speak up about every wireframe or design mockup or whatever that, if it’s not going to definitely impact SEO, don’t make yourself a pain in the butt.

 

work on building a good working relationship with these people and kind of just get into that cadence of we’re always going to be working together on this thing and we all want the same thing, which is a really awesome website at the end.

 

Lindsie Nelson (19:54.551)

Yep, building that team environment from the start. All right, let’s talk about the specific tasks that happen in this early kind of discovery phase. So part of it is being in meetings, listening, hearing for things. But there are also some core tasks that the SEO team can be doing kind of in the background. So let’s talk about one of the first ones, which is really a data review.

 

Jay (20:20.654)

Yeah. So mentioned before, like the risks in site migration, look at your traffic by channel and yada yada. So before the first meeting you have with the discovery team for your website project, you should have some numbers like at your disposal. So, you know exactly what the risk is. Knowing the actual percent of traffic and revenue from organic search to just understand how

 

big of a deal is SEO in this process. There are like big brands out there that that number is super low. It might be 10 % of their traffic and revenue or maybe they get a bunch of traffic but it’s just people like going to blogs and it doesn’t really turn into anything they think. That’s fine. But you know if more than like 30 % of your traffic and revenue is coming from organic search, that’s a big deal and we want to…

 

take it very seriously and just know that. But also understand how that traffic is getting to your site, just at least at a high level. So, you know, what types of pages are they landing on? Are they going straight to products? Is it some long process where they’re going to long form content and then clicking their way to buying things or filling out forms? Are they going to categories? Are they going, what, you know, kind of understand what…

 

buckets of pages make the biggest impact because you’re gonna have discussions in discovery and you’re gonna have discussions in like the later architecture and wireframe meetings where these pages are going to be changing in some way, shape or form. And you just wanna be ready to be like, shoot, they’re making a big change to this part of the site. And that drives like half of our organic revenue. Like I need to speak up.

 

Lindsie Nelson (22:14.903)

It’s that preparation before having an opinion, making sure you have all of that information. In some cases, it’s really helpful for the client to see that too, where it’s like, hey, this is what we found. As a heads up, as you guys are going into this process, it’s important to note some clients, it’s like, you know what? You guys speak up when you need to, kind of depends on the relationship, but definitely doing your homework there.

 

before those meetings even happen is so critical.

 

Jay (22:47.598)

Yeah. So to get into specifics, like one thing we always do is we’ll grab like the last 90 days of Google search console data. Grabbing a year worth as well is a good idea, but we want more recent ranking trends. So the, the performance report there, if you do an export, it’ll come with keywords and pages and the clicks impressions, average position, click through rate for all of those.

 

So you can get a baseline of just, you know, how are people from Google get into the site? What are they searching for? All that stuff. And then a year of Google analytics, organic search traffic. Usually the landing page report is the best one. I mean, there’s, there’s other good reports, but that would be a critical one. And going back a year, that’ll help catch seasonality stuff that you might otherwise miss if you’re looking shorter term.

 

And the biggest thing is get as much data as possible. We always use like 90 % of traffic and revenue as a baseline. Like if you have a million visits to your site through organic search over the last year, then you know, get enough rows of data in your export to account for 900 ,000 of those sessions. So that can be some big reports.

 

Lindsie Nelson (24:12.503)

Yeah, and in some cases, we have clients that like that is 20 pages, where their traffic is just heavily focused in a very small percentage of their site. And there are other sites, especially when you’re talking large scale e -commerce, where it could be just a massive, massive amount of pages that are driving traffic.

 

And again, knowing that and that how the traffic is either consolidated or spread across the site helps make more educated decisions as you’re building it out, as you’re trying to decide what to do. And this information is going to continue to be useful through the entire process we talk about because it is going to feed into a redirect strategy. It’s going to feed into consolidation strategies, all those pieces. This is like.

 

really, really foundational to all of the decisions or many of the decisions we will make through this entire process.

 

Jay (25:16.718)

Yep. And I want to harp on that like 90 % thing a little bit more because, you know, again, we can end up with some big spreadsheets. Google analytics is annoying where it’s like, I forget, they have the little dropdown for how many rows of data and it goes up to like 2 ,500 or something like that. Then you have to like edit the URL or make customer. It’s nonsense. Come on, Google. But anyway, I seen it a number of times where,

 

Lindsie Nelson (25:39.767)

No.

 

Jay (25:46.606)

You know, people will look at these reports and be like, here’s a bunch of pages that have like 10 sessions over the last year. And it just goes on and on and on forever. Like the, who cares about 10 sessions? Like we get millions of visits a month. If you’re like a big B2B e -commerce site and maybe you sell a bunch of parts, where people are searching by like really specific skews or part numbers or whatever.

 

And of those like 10 visits, nine of them turned into purchases and you have like 300 ,000 pages just like that. That’s a big deal. we’ve dealt with that exact scenario before where someone was like, I looked at like the top thousand pages or whatever. And again, it was getting into small numbers and it’s like, well, that other, you know, whatever was after the top 1000 pages.

 

Lindsie Nelson (26:37.207)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (26:45.486)

There were tens or hundreds of thousands of additional pages and that turned into like, you know, one example I can think of that turned into like 30 million dollars a month in lost revenue. So that, you know, don’t just look at, these are the top pages and the numbers are getting small. Make sure you are saying this is the share of traffic and revenue I am accounting for. And we’re going to make sure that we cover that. Like,

 

It’d be great to get all of it, but there’s, you’re going to get into like nonsense URLs and things that don’t exist and whatever. but don’t overlook small numbers or lots of rows that’s of data in a spreadsheet. That seems like a pain, because you could miss something hugely important. And that’s also like a really good, like user experience insight that you can share. You know, if, if you are one of these like B2B e -commerce sites, for example, or if you’re eBay, who they just.

 

Lindsie Nelson (27:18.327)

share.

 

Jay (27:42.414)

like all of their individual auctions list or get rank organically, you know, you can share like, Hey, this is how people buy stuff. Like they are looking for specific part numbers and we might, you know, we might need to like invest more in search or whatever it is. but that, you know, other people might find that very helpful to know.

 

Lindsie Nelson (28:03.191)

Yeah, absolutely. All right, so let’s get into the last piece of this kind of early discovery phase and what SEO does. Let’s talk a little bit about architecture and what we should be thinking about early in this discovery phase, again, from an SEO perspective.

 

Jay (28:21.07)

Yeah. So when we’re talking about architecture, I don’t know how other people talk about it, but we’re talking about kind of how is the site organized? You know, if, if we were to build a visual site map of just where things are laid out, what does that look like? And some, I mean, the top navigation is one of the most obvious things that tends to change in these migrations and.

 

you know, are we having pages that are really important for organic traffic that used to be in the navigation and now they just aren’t? Are they not in the navigation because they don’t exist anymore? Yeah, or they deeper? We built out, you know, we had a simple set of drop downs and now we have this mega menu that goes four layers deep or you have to click to a page and then there’s like on page navigation to get deeper. You know, there’s…

 

Lindsie Nelson (28:58.775)

Are they deeper?

 

Yeah.

 

Jay (29:19.438)

There’s a lot of potential impact there of just Google is going to be like, well, this page used to be so important that it was in the top nav on every page of your site. And now it’s like five clicks deep from your homepage. So maybe that’s not an important page anymore. And it’s going to rank lower for whatever it ranks for. but yeah, the pages, pages getting pushed deeper, consolidating categories, getting rid of stuff altogether, all of these things happen and.

 

like this architecture site map review is where you can usually spot that. And again, this it’s critical to raise your hand about it at this phase, because if we start building the site and writing copy and designing things without some important pages in mind, it might be a thing where it’s like, well, after the site launches, we’re going to have critical bug fixes. And then.

 

you know, a couple weeks or months down the road, we’ll get to adding these pages that we got rid of. So speak up now, or you could just be in for some trouble in traffic loss. So yeah, I don’t know if you have any good tips for this. It’s a lot of spreadsheet work and looking at things side by side. Busy work.

 

Lindsie Nelson (30:22.871)

brain.

 

Lindsie Nelson (30:30.039)

Right.

 

Lindsie Nelson (30:39.575)

I think this is the moment where having an experienced SEO is really important. Even if you have somebody internally that does SEO and they look at the site all the time and they’re doing kind of the boots on the ground work, having a support system of people that are looking at it from a broader perspective, especially when you’re talking about things like architecture, can be really, really important.

 

This structural conversation is something on a typical day to day. We don’t have the control of restructuring an entire website. This can also be one of the greatest opportunities for organic search. How should the site be structured? How are people using the information? How are the competitors structuring their websites that are more or less successful than us? I think this is such a moment of opportunity for SEO.

 

And having a third party look at it with a fresh set of eyes can be completely life -changing and very illuminating for the opportunities on the site. So I think that’s the biggest thing of this. I think this architecture conversation can be so interesting when SEO is driving the bus in some ways here.

 

Jay (31:59.918)

Yeah, that whole idea of like, you know, whatever your role is, if you’re doing SEO for a site for a while, like, you know, we’ve all got like the wish list or the things that we wanted to do and couldn’t for whatever reason. This is a good point to revisit that and try and get things structured the way you want, like you said. This is also a good time to like have conversations with other people. Like if you are working for an e -commerce site,

 

talking with like merchandising people. If you’re working for a site that is primarily like driving leads or signups or whatever, you know, talking to the people that are like doing a lot of the writing, it would be a good idea because they’re probably gonna get a task of like review the site map or review the architecture. And they’re not gonna know what to look for in most cases. And they’re just gonna be like, yep, that looks like a site map. There’s some pages. Okay.

 

Lindsie Nelson (32:55.191)

Good. Looks like our website.

 

Jay (32:58.638)

So yeah, having conversations with them of just like, like, Hey, merchandising team, you know, you know how our customers shop, like, is there something like missing on our current site? Or do you think there’s something that’s like really critical with our current site? You know, that we have this, this thing organized in this certain way. and do you think that’s still here in this site map? You know, giving them.

 

giving them questions like that of just like think of it from the customer’s perspective think of what your whole job has been up to this point you know and that that’s big questions but they a lot of times they just need a little bit more probing because again you know a lot of times it’s like hey the web developers gave us this project management tool and now we have site map review as a task and there’s a PDF or something.

 

And okay, I reviewed it. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for. So getting their insights and also just giving them perspective on like what to look at. Sharing some of the things like, hey, this page drives a lot of traffic. I don’t see it in the navigation. What’s your take on that? That can help make these more productive and also get people on your side. If it’s like one team really thinks the navigation should be structured a certain way.

 

Lindsie Nelson (34:12.119)

Yeah.

 

Jay (34:23.598)

and now it’s like you and the merchandising people feel differently, it can be a lot easier to get your way. And you know, this is a political process in a lot of ways. So just, you gotta have allies and not just be on your own, you know, talking about organic traffic numbers.

 

Lindsie Nelson (34:41.175)

Right, right. Yeah, I think it’s definitely a different process. And I think too, a lot of these, like whether it’s merchandising or other teams, they may have never been through a process like this before. They maybe have never been asked about what a site architecture should or shouldn’t look like. And even as an agency, we do this a lot. We see it a lot. But if you’re an in -house SEO,

 

you may not know what to look for. So it’s, again, I think that the conversations, the experience and understanding that this is a process of its own and you can’t just blindly accept what’s being handed to you by a development team. Even if it’s the biggest and best in the country, I can’t tell you again, how many times we’ve been like, but we’re working with like the…

 

biggest agency in the United States and they’re fantastic or one of the best XYZ and they may be really good at what they do. That doesn’t mean they’re really good at SEO and identifying these pieces. So I guess parting words of wisdom there.

 

Jay (35:50.254)

Yeah.

 

And even if they are really good at SEO, presumably you have a lot more experience with this brand and website, and that is invaluable in this process.

 

Lindsie Nelson (36:00.567)

Yep.

 

Lindsie Nelson (36:05.335)

Absolutely. All right. Well, part one.

 

Jay (36:07.47)

So I want to, before we wrap up, a preview of what’s to come. I think, I think we’re looking at episode two is going to be like the building phase. So going through the wireframes and design mockups and stuff like that, and just things to look out for, but also the development phase, you know, we’re, we’re customizing the platform or we’re, you know, writing the code and just like,

 

Lindsie Nelson (36:11.703)

Sure.

 

Jay (36:36.494)

bringing this site to life. And then episode three is gonna be the like pre -launch and launch period. Unless we change it all up.

 

Lindsie Nelson (36:44.695)

Yeah, so part one here was, no, well, no, I think it makes sense though. I mean, part one, this was really about that planning phase. We’re coming up with ideas, trying to structure things, collecting data at the front end. The second one, it’s gonna be pretty hearty in the middle of development, what we’re looking for, what we’re doing from action. And then that launch phase. So whether it’s just before, just during, and just after. Because those are really the three core parts of this.

 

And again, SEO is a part of the conversation throughout. It just depends on where you’re at and what we should be doing within those phases. Okay. All right. Well, part one is done and we’ll see everybody in part two. All right. Thanks, Jay. Bye.

 

Jay (37:23.95)

Yeah. Cool.

 

Jay (37:30.094)

looking forward to it. Bye.

 

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