The Role Of SEO During Web Redesign
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A web redesign makes something familiar look and feel fresh and new once again. Adding SEO to the process will make your audience love you more because it enhances site speed, navigability, functionality, and overall user experience. Done properly, web redesign with SEO can improve your conversion rate. Done incorrectly, it can affect your search rankings and website traffic.
Why Web Redesign Needs SEO
What if one day you walked into your favorite hamburger restaurant and discovered that it underwent a redesign? The company spent a ton of money to make the restaurant more modern and sophisticated to meet the changing needs of its customers.
However, the redesign didn’t factor in service speed, navigability within the premises, and overall functionality.
Customers didn’t know where to line up and place their orders. The food claim area was too small and not visible. Finding the condiments station had the feel of an Easter Egg Hunt.
In terms of aesthetics, the redesign was a home run. In terms of customer experience, the redesign struck out.
The redesign team should have factored in service speed, space navigability, and functionality into the design process and not just focus on aesthetics. Web designers know this and that’s why the best ones will always include SEO in the redesign process.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization employs tools, techniques, and tactics that are designed to make content more visible to the search engines. Strategy design is based on identifying the processes that will conform to the search engine’s search algorithm.
With close to 2 billion websites on the internet, SEO will help yours get found by people who need your products and services.
Incorporating SEO techniques into web redesign will result in these benefits for your business:
- Increase website traffic
- Enhance site visibility
- Improve User Experience (UX)
- Give your search rankings a boost
- Generate better leads
- Improve your site’s sales conversion rate
By making SEO a key component of your web redesign strategy, you cover all the bases. You add substance to the image. The redesign isn’t just about aesthetics. With SEO, you’re prioritizing UX.
And your audience will love you for it!
6 Ways to Incorporate SEO In Web Redesign
Incorporating SEO in web redesign is not as difficult as you might think. You just have to take the time to plan and strategize your approach. To get you started, we’ve laid out 6 simple steps to put your SEO strategy on the right track.
Audit Your Current Site
The first thing you have to ask yourself is “Why do I need a web redesign?” To find the answer, a site audit is in order. If the numbers are falling, you have to identify the factors using empirical evidence, not guesswork.
Pull out your website analytics and review the data on the following areas:
- Bounce Rate
- Number of Unique Visitors
- Domain Authority
- Average Time on Site
- Rankings for Important Keywords
- Number of Forms Submitted
- Total Sales Generated
At Mountaintop, we take the extra step and analyze the quality of backlinks in our clients’ content.
We search and remove backlinks that might be perceived by the search engines as irrelevant or unrelated to the topic. These types of low-quality links can affect your search rankings.
Analyze the Performance of Your Content
Not all of your content will perform well and that’s perfectly fine. Some pages will have more views and shares than others.
Some may have a good number of inbound links. These are the pages that are driving traffic to your website and improving your domain authority ranking.
Identify these high-performing pages and keep them intact during the website redesign process.
Changes should not affect how these pages have been optimized. Otherwise, it could adversely affect your search engine rankings.
Identify Your Goals for the Web Redesign
After auditing your website and reviewing its content, you should have a good idea of how your website is performing and the areas that need improvement.
Similar to other ventures, for a website redesign to be successful, you must give your plan purpose and direction by identifying your SEO goals.
What do you want the SEO strategy to accomplish?
- Increase website traffic?
- Improve content engagement?
- Generate more leads?
- Increase sales conversion rate?
- A higher position in the SERP?
- Better Domain Authority ranking?
You can have more than one SEO goal but these goals must be realistic and can be incorporated into a timeline.
For example, your initial goal would be to increase website traffic so you can generate more leads. In time, as your website captures more leads, you can increase the probability of converting interest into sales.
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Review and Create a Content Optimization Strategy
The smart use of keywords is the foundation of a successful SEO website redesign strategy. Keywords are the words or phrases that Internet users use to launch a search query. It’s how search bots find content and index them for the SERP.
Put simply, without keywords, your content won’t be found.
But not all keywords are alike. For your website redesign, you have to identify and highlight 1-2 keywords that you want to rank for.
These keywords must be associated with your industry, type of business, and relevant to what your audience is searching for.
Once you’ve identified these keywords, then implement an SEO strategy that incorporates the keywords in the following key areas:
- Heading of the Home Page–Your Value Proposition
- Tags – Meta, Descriptive, and Image
- The site’s URL
- Title of a blog topic
- Body of the blog
- Conclusion of the blog
Conduct a performance review of your content every end of the month to find out if the content optimization strategy is delivering the desired results. At the same time, use the analytics to shore up weaknesses.
SEO is not a perfect science. You can always find ways to improve your optimization strategy.
Improve Site Navigability
People love surprises but when it comes to websites, make sure they can find what they’re looking for. The redesign might give you an eye-catching website but there’s a reason why someone clicked on your URL.
For example, you have an e-commerce website that has undergone a redesign. You want to make sure that the customer can find the product he’s looking for.
At the same time, you have to assume the customer wants to transact. The redesign must make it easy for the customer to buy your product.
You could improve UX experience by undertaking the following improvements on navigability:
- Place the images of the products right below your value proposition – the “Why” of your business.
- Include a Call-to-Action (CTA) button with a direct command such as “Buy Now!” near the images of the products.
- The CTA button must link directly to your e-portal.
- The sidebar of the e-portal can also provide the customer links with articles about the products he wants to buy.
This way, you might be able to reduce the risk of cart abandonment as the articles are intended to give the customer more reason to push through with the purchase.
The bottom line is that when planning a web redesign, everything – all of the pages and their contents- must work together to accomplish your SEO goal.
Measure and Improve Site Speed
In sports, the popular saying is “Speed kills” which means the faster athlete will have a big advantage over a slower opponent.
In web design, the lack of speed kills your SEO redesign goals.
The mobile lifestyle and the continued innovation in digital technology have spoiled consumers. They want access to information in 2 seconds or less. If you can’t deliver results fast enough, 47% of Internet users will abandon the search.
When we’re looking to speed up our clients’ websites, we’re usually considering the following courses of action:
- Compressing files
- Adding a caching plugin
- Resizing images
- Incorporating a CDN or Content Distribution Network
- Reviewing the programming code of the website
As your website grows, so does the amount of information that’s stored. For this reason, a web redesign strategy must also consider reorganizing its files.
The purpose of reorganization is to streamline the assets and allow your website to shed off the excess weight so that it can move faster on the internet.
The Road for Future Customers
Incorporating SEO into your website redesign strategy is a smart way of creating more opportunities for your business. SEO will help your website get found on the internet and improve UX for existing and potential customers.
It’s smart because the redesign process has the basis for the improvements that need to be undertaken in order to make the website more functional, accessible, and appealing to your target audience.
You know what your audience needs and what they want to read. SEO shows you how to deliver content faster and the best ways to present them to your audience.
Are you thinking about a web redesign? Give us a call before going through with the process. We’ll take you through our approach that has made our clients very happy with the improvements on their websites.
And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends who are also planning a website redesign.