Considering Redesigning Your Website?
Don’t Forget SEO as Part of Your Website Redesign Project Plan
If you are considering the redesign of your Website, it is critical to consider the impacts this could have on your existing and future search engine positions.
In many cases your business will have an established Website with some decent search engine positions. In order to update your site to a new or fresher look and to include more functionality, you may be considering investing in a Website upgrade. This will usually be a more expensive Website redesign and functional upgrade which includes a CMS, maybe a blog, some sort of Social Marketing and other substantial functionality upgrades to really enhance your Online presence.
If the SEO impacts are not addressed during the planning and design of your new Website, the results could be devastating. Some of the impacts may include:
- A complete loss of all your current positions on the search engines
- Penalizations by the search engines which move your results to the bottom of the listings or get you banned from showing up in the search engine results for 4 to 12 months
- The creation of a Website which cannot ever be effectively marketed on the search engines
SEO Considerations for Your Website Redesign Strategy
In over 95% of these projects, critical SEO considerations are never addressed. This happens for a number of reasons.
- Most of the focus goes into what the new site will look like and what enhanced functions will be included Businesses 100% assume that all Web development companies understand how SEO works and that this is part of any solid plan. Most Web design companies DO NOT have expertise in SEO and therefore they DO NOT include this as a part of their plan. They are simply building a new Website to replace the old one.
Website Redesign Tip: Make Sure the Website Redesign Proposal Includes Search Engine Optimization for the Website
To maximize the SEO of your Website, steps must be taken by an SEO expert during the planning phase of your new site and implemented into the content architecture and application development plans. These critical steps include:
- Keyword research to determine the best keywords for your marketing
- Current positioning research to determine your current keyword search engine placement
- Review of your current site’s page rank
- Review of your current site’s site saturation
- Create an inventory of all relevant site pages currently indexed on Google
- If necessary, create a new site URL plan to maximize the site’s ongoing organic search results (considering all the public areas of your new site plan)
- Create a 301 redirect map for all URLs which will not be utilized in the new site
- Create an Online Marketing budget and action items list for all initial and ongoing Online Marketing activities which will be implemented at the new site
- Content Generation
- Local Search Marketing
- Link Building
- PPC Marketing
- Social Marketing
- Analytics and Tracking plans
- Work closely with the site designers and application programmers to make sure all necessary functional specifications to maximize your site’s SEO activities are included in the application scope!!
Is it Time for a Redesign of Your Website?
The marketplace is continuously evolving. In recent years, the number of purchases made online has sky-rocketed. Considering this change, it is essential for companies to have a well-functioning Website for their audience. According to a study done by Nielsen, “the average person in the United States visits 2,614 Websites per month.”*
The convenience of providing your company product, information and brand online can help draw in users that are spending those lengthy hours online. To not have a properly working or up-to-date Website can be detrimental to your profitability. This is why it is important to consider how well your Website is working now. Is it time for a redesign?
Redesign tends to be at the bottom of the checklist, always there but never getting done. Great web design enhances your company image as well as user experience. Here at Webolutions, we help companies to redesign their Websites in order to receive maximum profitability from their online visitors. However, a redesign may not be the best solution for everyone.
Below is a list of things you should consider when deciding on a redesign:
Does Time Allow for a Site Redesign?
As mentioned, Webolutions helps companies to redesign their Websites so that they don’t have to spend the time learning how to do it themselves. Hiring a trustworthy and reliable SEO company to do the redesign can save you heaps of time that would be wasted otherwise.
If you do not have the money to hire somebody for a redesign, it is essential that you set a timeline for yourself to complete the redesign. By setting a timeline, you do not get lost in work. Without a plan, problems and road blocks are much more likely.
What Types of Content Should be Re-done?
Content may be the most important aspect of a Website. Design attracts the eye and establishes your brand, however solid design and good content will build reliability and accountability. Also well written content portrays your professionalism and knowledge of your industry. Basic things to consider about content include:
Readability – Does your content make sense to the user?
Typography – Does your type appear properly on your Webpage?
Optimization – Does your content allow your Website to be searchable?
Imagery – Does your imagery complement the content?
How do you Know What to Optimize your Content for?
Again, hiring a professional company to optimize and develop your content is a wonderful solution. Optimization of content can be daunting if you are not familiar with the best methods of doing so. Here at Webolutions, we have an Online Marketing team that specializes in specifically optimizing content for our clients based on research and the overall theme of your Website.
However if you are not able to hire a company to optimize your content for you, consider using free tools like the Google Keyword Tool. Other important aspects to consider include: site saturation, header/title tags, meta data, and proper keywords for your brand.
What Should you Consider About the Back-end of Your Website During a Redesign?
There are some questions you should answer prior to deciding how to redesign your site:
Who will be administering your Website?
Is it a content management system?
How often will it need updates?
Will it be built to accommodate future changes easily?
Having these answers will help you determine the proper and best way to redesign your Website.
How will Your “Call-To-Action” Appear?
Having a good “call-to-action” is important to convert viewers into clients. Depending on your line of work, your “call-to-action” may appear in different ways. Though, it should always be very easy for a user to find and click on.
What Does Your Target Audience Want?
Doing some research on your target audience can go a long way. Webolutions provides our clients with a Market Positioning Action Plan that flushes out all this data and leaves the guesswork out. Within this action plan, you will find personas based on their target audience. These personas give insights on how to best market to that audience. Determining your target audience and what they want to see can make the difference between having hundreds of clients and having none.
What Problems did You Have with Your Prior Website?
Clarifying old problems with your Website can help you avoid the same pitfalls in your new site. How was the accessibility of your old site? Analyze not only the accessibility but also your current design. Does your current design need updating? One thing to remember when redesigning is to not make drastic changes to your brand so that it is not recognizable to previous clients.
What do Your Competitor’s Websites look like?
Do some competitor research. This can help you determine what you like and don’t like, what YOU offer versus your competition. You do not want to be a carbon copy of your competitors; you want to stand out in your industry. By doing competitive research, you can determine how to stand out and establish your place in your market.
Remember that these are just a few questions to think about when considering a redesign to your site. The answers to these questions will provide you solid foundation to provide a great Website to your clients.
Also, remember to get feedback as you redesign from designers AND non-designers. Having different sets of eyes and opinions can be crucial in determining what is best for your Website. Asking someone who is not familiar with the project can provide helpful insights out of the designer’s viewpoint. Keep in mind this is not an adequate substitution for proper user testing, but can be very valuable.
Lastly, make sure to review and properly bug-test your entire site prior to launching. There are generally mistakes and errors to be found. Catching these before launching a new Website is crucial. Developing a systematic test plan is the most concise way to test your new Website.
If you are looking to redesign your Website but don’t know where to start, come into Webolutions for a free consultation. We can help you determine some of the answers to these questions and get you on the right path for your redesign.
How to use this information
If these steps are followed, you will not only avoid possibly devastating repercussions from your Website redesign, but you will have the opportunity to greatly improve your search engine positions. We welcome your comments to this post if you have questions, additions or feedback. If you are planning a Website redesign and SEO is important to you, we provide a free initial project consultation. Just call us at 1-800-657-6055.