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Knock Your Website Redesign Out Of The Park With These 5 SEO Tips (PART 1)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like the support staff behind your favourite baseball team. Your team may be awesome, but not without all the coaches, trainers, scouts and personnel who develop those players into stars.
Your website redesign is similar - you may have a beautiful page, but without an efficient SEO strategy (or "front office") directing web users your way, your website will underperform.
If you don't know much about SEO, then you are in luck - we outline why it is essential here and you can check a more detailed guide here. If you are ready to revamp your website, here are five (out of ten) tips to ensure a flawless website redesign!
SEO From The Start
A kick-ass website is always a good idea. But making sure internet users will actually find that new website is even better, and that's where SEO comes in. You need to ensure your new website is discoverable and accessible to everyone searching you out online. So, from the start of your redesign, incorporate keywords into your title, metadata and code. The lesson? Plan ahead and get the SEO team involved from the start!
Audit Your Current Website Before You Redesign It
Before plowing ahead on your new website, take stock of your old one (Get a Free Website Audit here). Think about what's working, what isn't, and incorporate that information into your revamped site. Keep any high performing pages from your old site active, don't delete them. By linking them to your new site (more on that below) and directing users to your redesigned one, you are making SEO work for you while ensuring you don't lose any customers.
Target Commonly Searched-for Keywords
Overloading your site with keywords to boost your Google ranking is not a good idea. Instead, put some thought into what keywords you would enter if you were searching for what your site offers. Think in terms of what humans want, not what you think machines are looking for. At the beginning of your site redesign, think about what keywords best describe your website, and include them naturally on each page of your site.
301 Redirects Are Your Friends!
"Out with old, in with the new!" I hear you cry as you start your website redesign process. Don't forget that your old website actually holds key SEO value for your new site. A 301 redirect is a permanent link from old web pages of yours to your redesigned site. If people are seeking out that old site, you want them to be directed to the new one, not see that dreaded "404 Not Found" message. When designing a new site, incorporate 301 redirects into your design.
Clean Up Your URL Structure - Make It SEO-Friendly
When redesigning your website, take a second look at your current URL. If it is littered with underscores, it's time for a change. With underscores, Google sees those words connected as one, and only return results matching that one "word."
Instead, deploy your SEO wisdom in coming up with a new URL. Include keywords and separate them with dashes. That way, Google will return searches containing each individual word. It will also bring you results with all your URL keywords as a connected group, not one long word. Your search results will offer much richer value to web searchers.
Remember to have a solid SEO strategy baked into your site redesign. When your new site is bringing in tons of traffic, you'll be glad you included SEO as a vital part of your process.
Check back here next week for five more tips on using SEO to redesign your website. Also, give Awkward Media a call at 647-849-1082 if you want to hit a home run on your next web design or SEO project!