In Marketing Analytics, Marketing Operations

A big part of lead gen is content, and the simplest content machine on the web is a blog.

The blog is our corporate thought leadership beacon, and it’s good mojo for our partners (blogroll!).  And as Neil Patel, Eloqua, Marketo and Hubspot have shown us, when B2B content is crafted correctly, it becomes a killer tool for attracting qualified prospects to your sales funnel.

Let’s assume you’ve got a great blog, but it’s time for a refresh (like the simple weekend facelift we just had here at The B2B Lead). You hire a WordPress Designer / developer, define your requirements, fine tune the visuals and content elements and then move the existing content to the new theme.

The new blog goes live, and you’re feeling great, check that one off the to-do list.

But… you just broke part of your lead gen machine. And if you’re not paying attention to your analytics — you may not know it until it’s too late. 

Demand Generation Checklist for Safe Blog Redesigns

If any of this is outside your wheelhouse and at all confusing, go find your “web guy” and ask him for help.

Google Analytics on your blog is step 1 for tracking (other tools work too, but this is a good gut check if your company uses it). Make sure you also have Google Webmaster Tools access – it will give you incredible insight for your top ranking content and organic keyword search data. Additionally, it will show you crawl errors and broken links that will help you fix any (sadly almost inevitable) port errors when you redo your blog.

Danger 1.    Is the original permalink structure being maintained with the new design? If not, you have broken links and you are officially losing business.

And here at theB2Blead we know what we are talking about:

Changes to permalink structure can tank your B2B lead generation

Your broken B2B blog links will turn up in Google – just search by the name of a popular blog post and see if it’s there. ! A good workaround if you don’t have access to analytics or Webmaster Tools. By the way, we fixed this one already

Simple fix: In WordPress dashboard, go into the permalink tab and find the structure that matches your earlier configuration. If you had a custom structure there’s space for this too. Reset this, generate a new sitemap in WordPress and submit the new sitemap to Google.

2.    Did all of your tracking scripts and analytics get moved over into the new theme? Maybe not. Ours didn’t.

Your B2B Lead Generation can be hit - hard - if you can't analyze your content.

Your B2B Lead Generation can be hit —  hard — if you can’t analyze your content. Trust – but verify – that your analytics and tracking codes for your marketing automation are properly ported when you redesign your blog.

Simple fix – add your analytics back in and any tracking scripts like Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot or Pardot (or any others). Also, most implementations of Google Analytics are wrong (even at top notch, super professional organizations like yours). Spend a little money to get a Google Analytics Ninja to make sure yours is perfect.

According to Cardinal Path, most Google analytics implementations are wrong anyway. (They are good at helping fix them, tho, just contact them.)

3.    Do you have SEO Plugins to make writing and posting for organic search/B2B keyword phrases easier? Are they still there? If these didn’t make the move, get them added back. And if you didn’t have them before, add them now.

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What nightmares have you experienced with web redesigns? If you feel like sharing your story or “your friend’s” story, please leave it in the comments below. Note: Comments are moderated and have a “follow” attribute. That means awesome folks in the B2B Lead Generation community can earn some link love; spammers look for cheap backlinks will feel the punt and won’t be posted.

About the author:  Mary Firme is Chief Lead Accelerator (and Director of Marketing) at Reachforce. Mary started in automated B2B lead generation in 1990 (yes, they had computers back then) and she has been crafting content to attract and build offline and online audiences since 1996. Mary started hardcore blogging in 2008 with a focus on lead generation and learned about SEO the hard way. She is a Proud Marketing Nerd™.  Mary will sometimes send out emails and wants to hear back from you!