The glitz, the glam, the glorious design elements that make your website look like a million bucks. When contemplating a website redesign, it’s easy to focus only on those features that are appealing to the eye.
Unfortunately, redesigning a website isn’t simply an exercise in aesthetics. Sure, the purely visual elements of your newly designed website will likely get the most attention, but remember: a great website redesign also requires that you consider (and improve) what’s under the hood.
A flashy exterior doesn’t help much if the actual machine fails to function. If people can’t find your website via search, or if they can’t intuitively navigate through your site’s pages and easily understand what information those pages contain, it doesn’t really matter how beautiful it looks.
When it comes to your website redesign, form and function need to be a package deal. So while you should absolutely incorporate that new color scheme and add that big beautiful hero image to your homepage, don’t forget about what’s happening behind the scenes.
Why You Need to Think of SEO From the Start
To ensure your new site will truly resonate with your target audience — and to save yourself from some major headaches down the road — you need SEO to be ingrained in your redesign strategy from the very beginning.
“The most common SEO mistake that I see marketers make when redesigning their websites is not involving the SEO team early in the process,” says Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Digital Marketing. “All too often, when we’re brought in for SEO work on a redesign, it’s often late in the process, such as when the site is being coded or even totally complete … The advice that usually needs to be passed on at this point will most likely cost the company much more in design, coding, and more.”
Laura Hogan, marketing director at OverGo Studio, takes a similar view. “If you don’t have SEO in mind from the initial strategy session, you’re going to lose what you took so much time and effort to build. Everything from the structure of your website to the meta description of your website pages is important and should be taken into consideration.”
Website Redesign & SEO: Your Major Action Items
So, how exactly do you make sure SEO is incorporated into your redesign strategy from the very beginning? Here are a few items to add to the to-do list:
Do an Audit of Your Existing Site
Before you bust out the wrecking ball and start demolishing your soon-to-be-forgotten site, make sure you take the time to examine and audit your site to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Here are some key metrics you may want to consider:
Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors (monthly average)
Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic, and lead generation)
Number of inbound linking domains
Total number of total pages indexed
Total number of pages that receive traffic
Armed with this knowledge of how your existing site is performing, you'll be able to make informed decisions about which of your pages should stay, which ones should go, and which ones should get revamped or reorganized during your redesign.
Identify (and Include) Commonly Used Keywords
It’s a new era for SEO, an era where you can no longer keyword-stuff your way to search ranking success. Nowadays, if Google finds out that you are blatantly overusing (or hiding) keywords on your site, your credibility (and rankings) could take a serious hit.
However, this doesn’t mean that keywords are totally irrelevant. In fact, if you’re doing what Google wants you to do (creating high-quality content), keywords will work there way naturally into your website’s pages. To quote from Google directly:
“In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.”
Consider Your URL Structure
If your site is littered with lengthy, indecipherable URLs that don’t align well with the actual content of your site pages, restructuring your URLs should definitely be a priority during your next website redesign.
Wondering where SEO comes into play here? Just like the searchers themselves, search engines prefer URLs that make it easy to understand what your page content is all about.
A general rule to follow when creating your new URLs: use dashes (-) between words instead of underscores (_). Google treats dashes as separators, which means it can return results when you search for a single word that appears in a URL and when you search for a group of words that appears in a URL. This means that Google sees the individual words in the URL inbound-marketing-tips.com, which means the website could show up in searches for terms like “inbound tips,” “inbound marketing tips,” “marketing tips,” etc.
In contrast, Google treats underscore as connectors, which means it will only return results when you search for a group of connected words that appears in a URL. So Google reads the URL inbound_marketing_tips.com as inboundmarketingtips.com, which changes how often the site appears in search results.
The bottom line: Using dashes creates more opportunities for your pages to be discovered.
Opt for a Responsive Solution
As Google’s preferred configuration for mobile-optimized websites, responsive design is your best option for delivering a great search and browsing experience to mobile users.
With responsive design, all of your website’s URLs are the same across all devices, and they all serve up the same HTML code. This isn’t the case with other mobile configurations, like setting up a separate, mobile-only site (which requires a different set of URLs) or implementing dynamic serving (which uses the same URLs but serves up different HTML).
With responsive design, the only thing that changes across devices is the styling (which is controlled by CSS). This configuration makes it easier for Google to crawl your pages and retrieve your content.
Have any website redesign and SEO tips you'd like to share? Sound off in the comments section below!
Erik was a Sr. Content Strategist and launched HubSpot’s first-ever Medium publication, ReadThink (now ThinkGrowth.org). Erik is now taking a break from the tech/marketing world to tackle some passion projects.
Whether you’re thinking about setting up a website for your business or you want to update your existing one, there are a number of things you need to consider when it comes to creating something that is going to be successful. Whilst you may be able to bring in customers with a simple website that lists your products or services, there are several things you can do to ensure your website is bringing in more than enough business. Whether it’s focussing on SEO driven content or using stunning imagery, your website gives potential customers their first impression of your business. With that in mind, here are 9 things every website needs to succeed:
An Easy To Remember Domain Name
One of the first things you need for your website is an easy to remember domain name and URL. Whilst this isn’t essential, having a web address that is easy to remember will allow people to easily visit your site without having to search for you. They can simply type your address in a bar – whether they’ve seen it on a flyer or someone has told them in person – and they will be on your site in seconds. Keep it short, relevant to your business and ensure it is on brand. For a guide to setting your domain name, you can visit this site here.
Strong Branding Throughout
Another important thing to consider is the branding on your website. As a business owner, you will have brand guidelines that you adhere to on a daily a basis, all of which should apply to your website too. Whether it means you use your business logo, you use the same fonts or your website uses your brand’s colours – ensuring people see the same branding wherever they look is important as it will make it easier for them to remember you. If you’re struggling with your branding and think you will benefit from some extra help, you may want to work with a marketing agency. For more information, you can visit NetSearch Digital Marketing.
A Clear Message That Is Easy To Understand
Not only do you need to have strong branding, but you also need to ensure your brand's message is easy to understand and is clear when you visit your site. Whether it’s showing the products that you offer or presenting your values to your customers, this should be clear to people when they visit your site. Often this is the hardest thing to do, so having people test your website and write down what they think your message is can really help. Not only will you get customer feedback, but you will see how well people have understood your website and your brand.
Incredible Imagery That Resonates With Your Brand
Often when it comes to setting up a website it is the imagery that lets it down. Although text is important when it comes to ranking in Google, people often skim the text and look at the images on a site. Whilst you may not be able to afford a professional photographer for each and every photo on your site, it’s definitely worth investing in if you want to create a site that is visually pleasing to your customers. For a guide to working with a photographer as a business, you can visit this site here.
Attractive Videos That Showcase Your Product Or Service
If you want to take the previous point a step further, having attractive videos that showcase your main products and services is a great way to attract attention. Not only can these be reused on your social media channels, but they’re a great way to show that you’re forward-thinking and professional when it comes to business. Again, they’re expensive to create but they are well worth it when it comes to return on investment.
An Easy-To-Use Navigation System
Having an easy-to-use navigation system will ensure that visitors to your site have absolutely no issues when it comes to finding the information they need. Whilst a lot of pages run off one main standalone page, those that have a range of products may need to have a number of different categories and pages. If this is the case, make sure you make it as easy as it can possibly be for people to find the products or services they are looking for. The longer someone has to spend looking for something, the more likely they are to go looking somewhere else.
Corresponding Social Media Channels
Alongside your website, you may also want to consider setting up social media channels that can be used to attract people to your site. Using social media to gain traffic can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have a following, so the sooner you get these set up and start building an engaged following the better. If you’re struggling for things to post, start by considering what your target audience may want to engage with.
Regular Content That People Want To Share
As well as using social media to attract people to your site, regular blog content is a fantastic tool. Using well thought out blog posts, you can your target audience directly to your site. Whilst this may take some practice and a lot of work, regular content is also great when it comes to improving your rankings in search engines. For a guide to producing regular content for your website, you can visit this site here.
An On Call Support Team
Finally, you may want to consider having a team of people on call that can help you if you experience any issues. Whilst you may never need them, you never know what could happen when it comes to the internet. Whether it’s an issue with payment or your whole site suddenly goes down, the sooner a professional can fix it, the better.
Are you looking to build a website for your business? What do you need to ensure it has in order to be successful? Let me know in the comments section below.
There’s a lot Google doesn’t like when it comes to owning and operating a website, and you’ve always got to be careful about the techniques and methods you use to rank yourself highly on their search pages. But when you do know and understand what Google likes, you’re going to find your content, and your products or services, at the top of the first page without spending any extraneous time or money making sure of it!
And because of that, this post is here to try and shed a little bit more light on the advertising techniques online search engines enjoy the most. You want to be organic with the traffic that comes to you door, and you want to know your website has that kind of natural draw, so let’s go in search of it!
Just a quick Google and the search engine itself can shed some light on your situation. (Unsplash)
Make Use of the Webmaster Tools
There’s nothing like putting Google’s own analytics tools to good use to make sure the engine likes you! If you register your website with the Webmaster tools, you make it a lot easier for Google to find you and put you on the map. After all, when you create a website, it’s not going to be accessible by the billions of internet users immediately – Google has to index you first, and collect all the right kinds of info to return back to common search terms when they’re tapped in.
Once you've registered your new website, make sure you have a good look through the options available for things like arranging page category tabs, and adding in something like a site map. If you can sort your content out, Google doesn’t have to go the extra mile to do it for you! That saves you a lot of time right there.
Have a Long Term SEO Plan
SEO isn’t done overnight, and you’re not going to see results for your website overnight either. You’re not going to wake up suddenly one day and see one of your blog posts at the top of a search engine page, and you’re not going to get any results at all if you only invest in one or two seo techniques every now and then.
Instead, you need a long term seo plan, and you need to be consistent with your use of it. Make sure you know what keywords and phrases are popular right now, and which ones you could employ to get your content recognised as relevant. Even think about getting some professional seo management on your side, as you’re going to have to work for 6+ months at least to be able to watch your advertising efforts pay off!
So, does Google like you or not? Well, only you can say for sure! Depending on your content schedule and management, and the advertising techniques you regularly employ, Google can put you first and foremost when all kinds of search terms are tapped in.
On page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing individual web pages so that the pages are ranked higher and therefore get more online traffic. There is a difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page optimizes both the content and the HTML, with a focus on websites, while off-page optimizes links and other external factors. However, on-page SEO does not work independently; it has to be used in conjunction with technical SEO and off-page SEO.
Use headings and sub-headers. It makes it very easy for the reader to skim through your content and get the key points within a glance. It could also be of use in increasing the keyword density in the article.
Have only one H1, or heading tag. When coming up with the other headings, h2 and h3, avoid using single words, try to make them as interesting as possible and incorporate your keywords.
When making important points in your text, make them stand out by either using bold, italics or underlining them. Use a font that makes reading easier and especially on words that are in bold. Make sure that the type of font chosen does not become illegible when made bold.
Split your text into small portion as people stay away from articles that look bulky.
2. Optimization of the length of the article
Google gives priority to articles that are longer. The advised range is a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 800 words. Keywords shouldn’t be thrown all over the place, especially in long articles, but kept at a saturation of around 2%.
3. Be selective in your choice of keywords
Image by freepik.com
Keywords aren’t just the words that you want the readers to see as often as possible.
Once you choose your keywords, create a list of related keywords or long string keywords and use them like you use your regular keywords. It is because as everyone is becoming more aware of keywords and how to use them effectively, Google search has had to go a step further and not just consider keywords but also relevance to the topic.
There is a methodology that helps you to choose keywords. It can be done even on a feature that Google provides such as Google suggest and the ‘People also ask for’ feature. If it is too tedious, there are also paid tools for this. You should use Keywords in the title, headers, tags, and main text.
4. Optimize your images
Other than the images on your website being attractive and relevant, images can further be optimized by adding keywords to the image files and providing ALT tags. ALT tags help search engines understand the contents of the image.
Make the filename as descriptive as possible.
Use an original image. Where not possible, make sure to quote the source of the image.
The size of the photo should also be appropriate, pictures that are too large make the page take a long time to load. If you have multiple images, you can use a CDN service. This is where your image will be hosted by some servers as opposed to one and thus speed up the page loading process.
5. Make your content shareable
Once you have an SEO friendly article, the next step for optimization would be to make sure that your article gets as much viewership as possible. Make sure to add social media and email tabs to enable your readers to get your content with just a few clicks.
6. Write high quality content
Make sure you do proper research on your articles and that you don’t have catchy titles with no substantial content within. Your website will soon be tagged as one that looks for click-bait, and although you might get a lot of traffic at first, it won’t be sustainable.
Here are examples of what is seen as good content:
Original content: Picking another article and retelling the story differently does nothing for you.
Synchrony with your entire website: Make sure that articles on your website are coherent and have the same quality, if not quality that is improving. Don’t just write and post an article for the sake of doing so.
Make sure that you are the first to publish the article.
7. Page title and meta descriptions
The first information that search engines get is the page title, the description of the page and the headings.
The page title must be catchy yet describe the entirety of the page in a few words; sixty or less. As previously noted, include the keyword in your page title.
Include power words, for example amazing, checklist, etc
When using meta descriptions, avoid using the ones that are auto-generated and also remember to include your keywords.
This process has two parts: URL optimization and URL structure.
There is a permanent link as the unique URL of each page. Just like headings, an SEO friendly URL should be short, descriptive and include target keyword.
The URL structure should be a reflection of the structure of the website. It means that you should group your pages into categories to help the user find what they want easily.
9. Internal and external links
Internal links are links to pages within your website. They are a way of making search engines aware of your other content and for you to let them know which pages on your website hold more importance than others. It also increases the time that a reader spends on your website as they are more likely to click on a link within the article. It is advisable to use around 8-10 internal links.
Quality linking, of course, increases the credibility of your website. Ensure that the links are also from reputable sources as their reputation is linked to yours. Also, you can go a step further and quote credible sources.
10. Mobile friendliness
Make sure that your website opens on mobile devices the same way it would open on a computer. This is because Google records show that more searches are coming from mobile devices.
Try to create a checklist to make sure you check all boxes in SEO optimization. Visit the best SEO company in Toronto for guidance and assistance in optimizing your website to rank on Google's top five results.
In case you're a professional website specialist (or in case you're
making your very own site without any preparation), it's vital to know a couple
of SEO essentials – a little learning goes far to building websites that
contact their target group. Understanding these ten parts of SEO will enable
you to design sites that function admirably, notwithstanding looking
Each site ought
to be designed with a reasonable, logical structure at the top of the priority
list. The landing page should express the big picture motivation behind the
site – its explanation behind existing – and subtleties ought to be separated
For instance, in
case you're designing a website for formulas, the landing page could prompt
separate class pages for meals, soups, and treats. Each of those subpages could
then inspire individual formula subpages of their own.
It's okay to
have a few ‘layers' of subpages on your site, however, don't dive excessively
deep or Google may experience difficulty crawling every one of them. When all
is said in done, attempt to hold your site's profundity to three or four
layers. Here's a visual from Moz of what a very much structured site resembles:
URLs influence a
site's SEO, so it's imperative to pick great ones ideal from the begin. Here
are a couple of best practices to pursue URLs:
better since shorter URLs are more vital than longer ones
A URL ought to
depict the content of the page as obviously as could reasonably be expected.
Utilize plain English rather than abbreviations or series of letters and
For subpages, go
through hyphens to break words for lucidness. For instance, use
https://example.com/fabricateanaviary rather than
keywords in URLs at whatever point it appears to be normal to do as such (yet
keep away from keyword stuffing).
3. Site navigation
being very much structured, your sites ought to be simple for visitors (and Google) to explore. A site menu ought to be located prominently at the highest
point of the page or along the sidebar. Each page on the site ought to be
findable. Abstain from making ‘stranded pages' that aren't connected from some
other pages on the site. On the off chance that visitors can't discover a page
by following links, search engines won't realize that page exists either.
The period of
versatile is here, and responsive website architecture isn't discretionary any
longer. For a site to give great UX and rank well, it needs to change for happy
with a survey on a little screen. If you haven't as of now, make responsive
design your default design mode. You can go without much of a stretch test the
versatile neighborliness of your sites utilizing this primary tool from Google.
5. Site speed
versatile agreeableness, site speed is another UX thought that influences SEO. Google punishes moderate sites in their rankings, and visitors are more
reluctant to stick around if a page takes a couple of moments to stack. Google's PageSpeed Insights tool can disclose to you how quick your sites are
and what you can conform to make them faster.
headers and meta descriptions
and meta descriptions are critical parts of on-page SEO. Each page on a site
ought to have interesting content in its <title> tag – as it were, don't
reorder a similar title over your entire site. Each page's title ought to
incorporate no less than one keyword that is pertinent to the content on the
page. Moreover, include keywords in the header tags on each page, particularly
the <h1> tag.
descriptions – the blurbs that show up under links in SERPs – are somewhat
unique. They don't legitimately influence SEO. However, they do affect what
number of individuals click on your site in SERPs. They're fundamentally free
publicizing space, so put some idea into them, and incorporate your principle
keywords to get searchers' eyes.
can't ‘read' and get pictures (yet). However, you can disclose to them what
your pictures are and what they allude to. Here are a couple of things you can
do to improve your pictures for SEO:
pictures precisely. For instance, it's smarter to call a picture something like
png than img238.png
Use alt tags
with your pictures. This is a smart thought for accessibility purposes, yet
also, tells search engines what your pictures portray
Try not to
utilize bigger pictures that would generally be appropriate as this can
moderate your site's stacking time.
Utilization of Flash
By and large,
avoid Flash except if it is significant. It's particularly imperative not to
utilize Flash for critical pieces of your site, for example, the navigation bar
and the principle message on your pages.
The jury is
still out on whether structured information, for example, outline markup, gives
sites a lift in search engines. Be that as it may, it can bring all the more
high-quality traffic by providing valuable data to human searchers. After some
time, this traffic lift can improve your rankings.
Great SEO isn't
just about specialized subtleties; it's additionally about helping individuals
and providing extraordinary UX. While it's vital to focus on everything on this
rundown as you deal with a site, don't give incredible design itself a chance
to fall by the wayside – particularly in case you're making your very own
website with a free website developer. An alluring, simple to-utilize interface
will encourage visitors to remain on your site and make it simpler for them to
discover what they need. This keeps your ricochet rate down. An appealing site
is extraordinary for a brand's picture, as well.
enhancement isn't the specialty claim to fame it used to be. Search engines are
assuming an undeniably essential job later on of the web, and it's vital for
individuals in other tech fields –, for example, website composition – to have
the capacity to keep up. If you design your site in light of these significant
parts of SEO, the completed item will be both excellent and practical.
Jone Works in a HR and Recruitment at Alliance Recruitment Agency- an IT
Recruitment Agency. He specializes in helping with international recruiting,
staffing, HR services and Careers advice service for overseas and international
SEO is like a semi-mystical art that seems to be at the core of all successful business ventures in the digital age. This isn’t too surprising when you consider the fact that SEO is all about increasing the visibility of your product or service, so that the many denizens of the Internet can find you.
SEO is, in other words, the ultimate form of marketing, since it brings attention to your business in the most fundamental way possible.
There’s a lot involved in a successful SEO strategy, including off-site link building, which can be conducted via guest blogging, and so on.
Before you get to any of that stuff, however, it’s important to get a handle on the most basic and fundamental elements of SEO – in other words, getting your on-site SEO protocol under control ValentLegal.ca.
Get comfortable with using 301 redirects
A major element of successful SEO is getting high-quality links pointing to the right pages of your website. These links will inevitably come, in part, from other pages on your site, but should primarily come from other websites that have a good ranking on Google, that are well trusted, and that don’t have any reputation for being dubious.
In theory, the more high-quality backlinks you have pointing to a particular webpage of yours, the more SEO-boosting “link juice,” as it is sometimes known, will be imparted, and the better that webpage will rank.
So, bearing all this in mind, you can see why it would be a potentially devastating thing to have to reformat or recreate a particular webpage, and have it become associated with a different URL. While this process is often inevitable, it can lead to a loss of all your SEO ranking if it’s not handled in the right way.
So, what is the “right way” to handle such a situation? Well, a 301 redirect, of course.
A 301 redirect is essentially a way of redirecting an old URL that has links pointing towards it, to a new webpage, while also signalling that all associations with the past URL should be transferred to the new one.
A 301 redirect allows you to recreate or redo your webpages, without having to start from scratch in the SEO sense.
Research your keywords carefully, and find the right niche to corner
All SEO starts with the right keywords, and those keywords aren’t just things that you think sounds cool, or that roughly correspond to your business idea.
To identify the right keywords to embed in your site and content, you’ll need to do some independent research, likely using Google’s external keyword tool, and other similar services.
Understand that every keyword you might choose to use will have a certain associated search volume. If your keyword has a truly enormous monthly search volume, the odds that you’re going to be able to rank for that term on the first page of Google search results is minimal. The competition is simply likely to be too strong.
What does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means that you can expect to remain in perpetual obscurity, at least when it comes to Google search results.
The other potential pitfall is that you choose a keyword term that has far too few monthly searches – perhaps none – and so end up optimising for a largely useless term that gets you no traffic.
Keyword research is something that you should take quite seriously, and do quite diligently. Keep in mind that even small variations in the keywords you use can result in significantly different monthly search volumes.
Understand that “Content is King,” and update your site often
A well-worn truism in the SEO world is that “Content is King.” This sentiment was largely developed as a pushback against the earliest SEO practices that developed, where trash content stuffed with keywords was enough to help sites to rank well on Google and other search engines.
Since then, the algorithms involved have become far more sophisticated, and trying to do this kind of unsophisticated “keyword stuffing” will get your website dropped off the deep end and never seen again on the search engine.
What Google’s algorithm rewards is, fundamentally, high-quality content, specifically of the written variety.
Ensure that your website features well-written content, that clearly and effectively communicates your core message to your audience.
In addition to creating high-quality content for your static webpages, you should also consider running a blog, or otherwise updating your website on a regular basis – as this also seems to be rewarded by Google’s algorithm.