Sami Khan and Rickard Andersson Smiling

When a company of SEO experts decides to redesign its own website, a large "dose of your own medicine” becomes the prescription of the day. This scenario played out as we designed 18 new websites to accommodate our recent company shift from a globally driven strategy to one driven by our local teams.

As specialists in digital presence optimization, we knew that simply designing sleek, translated websites was not enough. Our business, like most, relies on being found in search results. We embrace SEO principles and continuously optimize with the use of our own SEO tool.

Over time, we had consistently incorporated SEO best practices and our website was a pretty well-oiled machine. However, building 18 new websites from scratch meant looking at a plethora of “little” things that we’d come to take for granted and rethinking other optimization practices to achieve the best traffic-driving results.

Read the full redesign case story

 

Examining What We Had

We defined the scope of the project by looking at our goals and then identifying the pains that would impact our SEO. This overview would provide the blueprint for the entire project.

Our initial task was to look at what we wanted to accomplish. The reasoning behind the global-to-local strategy change was based on insight into our customer needs. This insight showed we needed to tailor communications, strategy, marketing, and language in a localized way. These localizations meant that one size would not fit all from a single global website—even with the translations already in place.

Localizing the sites was not limited to all the languages we service. Several markets have a similar language but different cultural nuances, business needs, and marketing activities. (Take Switzerland, Austria, and Germany as an example.) There are 10 languages that we market in. However, 18 websites needed to be built.

Sami Khan Discussing Code With A Colleague

This Might Hurt

Pain points are the ugly little maladies that keep a project from going smoothly. Addressing these pains was the first step we took after identifying our goal. As a web team, we knew the issues we addressed early on would have a lasting impact on our SEO. The decisions we made in the beginning impacted future traffic driven to our site through search engine page results (SERP).

Some of the hurdles we faced were:

Site Architecture
Constructing a sitemap was the most complex part of the project. The navigation and depth of page levels would impact the size and scope of the new websites. But more than that, search engines prioritize pages and content living at the top levels of navigation on a website. Careful consideration had to be made deciding page priority—and how.

URL
Changing our longstanding URL meant losing all the “link juice” we’d earned over time. This term refers to the many online places that have backlinks to our website. A solution for maintaining these existing links could not be overlooked.

Entrance/Landing Page
A landing page may seem like a small detail, but we spent hours in conversation surrounding the way in which users would be directed to the appropriate local site. Automatic redirects were an option, but not ideal from an SEO perspective. There were several potential solutions, but the pros and cons required careful consideration.

Multiple Language Versions
The impact of having multiple web pages with the same content complicates SERPs to say the least. We knew there would be a lot of duplicate pages, and we knew we needed to ensure users were directed to the right language on the right website. This involved many hours of checking every one of our web pages across 18 sites in order to address these concerns directly in the code.

Rickard Andersson At His Desk With A Swedish Flag

Prescribing Solutions

Once our project goal and all the pain points were identified, we had a blueprint for where to start. The challenges we faced were enormous at times, but the prognosis for success is outstanding. The challenges we tackled were quite numerous so we detailed the process in a full case story that’s well worth the read.

To get a complete dosage of our journey and find out which solutions we came up with to resolve our pain points, read the full SEO redesign case story.

Rickard Andersson is an experienced web developer with over 15 years in the industry. He has worked with all aspects of web development including SEO, Accessibility, UI, UX, frontend and backend. Rickard has been at Siteimprove for almost two years.

Sami Khan is a software engineer with a strong track record in good engineering practice. He produces software for new, innovative products and solutions for web, PC, tablet, and mobile platforms. With more than nine years of commercial experience, he possesses a sound knowledge of modern software development techniques, methods, tool, and languages.