A fresh website design can do so much for your business. It can help increase load times, retain leads, or just reflect the updates you’ve made to your brand. Most businesses consider a number of things when they think about a website redesign. Unfortunately, SEO isn’t always among them. Instead, SEO often falls to the bottom of the list, but the simple reality is that SEO, when redesigning the website, should be a primary focus. These tips can help you make that happen.
- Think Website Structure: Any redesign that has SEO in mind should focus on the structure of the site. Naturally, this might lead you to think content, and you want that to be keyword-rich, but with every redesign comes folder structures that have to be carefully arranged and web page file names that should be deliberately applied. The decisions you make at this point actually have a real impact on the traffic you’ll see. Google will determine the relationship you see between your pages. If you don’t have a solid structure in place, you might actually be competing with yourself for a higher ranking in the search engines. More than that, though, developing an appropriate, easy-to-navigate site structure can enhance your user experience, which means anyone who lands on your site (not just search engine bots) won’t have any trouble moving from one space to the next.
- Do Some Keyword Research: As you begin to think about your site’s redesign, you’ll want to research the keywords that are being use most often in your vertical. Keywords are what connect your site to those searching for sites like yours. Search engine rankings are, at least in part, based on keywords, and those you choose to target will determine which audience members see your site and which ones are redirected to your competitors’ sites. You want relevant, high-volume keywords throughout the site, but it’s tough to know exactly what those are without some solid research.
- Optimise Your Meta Tags: If you’re not familiar with them, meta tags (sometimes called metadata) are bits of information that appear in the search engine listing for your site. They actually appear in the code of your site page, and they tell the search engine bot exactly what the page is about. They’re a bit like a first impression at an interview. If you’re optimising, you’ll want to focus on the title tag and the meta description tag above all else, but there are other tags that could be optimized. Working to understand which ones are most applicable for your site during a redesign is an absolute must.
- Internal Links: As you think about SEO when redesigning the website, you’re absolutely going to want to consider your internal links. They’re an important element of a successful SEO design and they help a search engine determine exactly how relevant your site is for given keywords. If you’re not familiar with the concept, internal links are any time you link one page to another on your site. That’s essential because a search engine bot will follow the links to look for your content and rank it. The more links a given page has, the more importance it perceives around that article, so you want to develop those relationships among your content for the search engines. It’s just as important for your site visitors, though, because pages linked together are pages more likely to be visited, so you need to ensure they can find the content for which they’re searching.
- Content Matters: You’ve likely heard this every time you’ve read about SEO, and there’s a reason for that. High quality, evergreen content really does matter to the search engine placement. Google has suggested that your content needs to be useful and informative, more valuable than you can find on other sites, credible, and engaging. They want to offer relevant results to searchers, so the algorithm plays heavily on solid content. That content isn’t just important to the search engines, though. It also matters to users as well. No one wants to land on a site where they can’t find the information they need. If you want to improve your SEO rankings and your user experience at the same time, crafting great content is the only way to make that happen.
There’s much to be said for focusing on SEO when redesigning the website. A careful eye toward SEO can help your redesign be much more successful.