Doe SEO really matter? In a word, yes.
The most beautiful website ever designed won't get much attention if what's driving the machine fails to function. If people can’t find your website via Google, Bing or Yahoo, and if they can’t intuitively navigate through your site to find what they are looking for, it doesn’t really matter how beautiful it looks. When it comes to website design, form and function are a package deal. Go ahead and add your call-to-action buttons and that beautiful hero image, but don’t forget about what’s happening behind the scenes.
Now that we know that SEO really matters, here are three steps to keep in mind regarding SEO and website redesign to make sure your site stays on the fast-track to getting noticed.
Step 1: Think SEO Right from the Start
When planning your redesign strategy (yes, you need a strategy), make sure to take search engine algorythyms and accessibility into account. How will people find your site? What long and short tail keywords will they be searching for? Write your copy keeping these keywords in mind. Be sure to include meta descriptions for each page and always use alt tags for photos.
Step 2: Do an Audit of Your Existing Site
Make sure you take the time to analyze what’s working and what isn’t in your current site, such as:
- Average number of visits
- Top performing keywords
- Number of inbound links
- Total number of pages indexed
- Total number of pages that receive traffic
Step 3: Set Up 301 Directs
Don't waste your previous SEO efforts. Set up 301 redirects, permanent redirect from one URL to another, when you are consolodating content or restructuring URLs. This will avoid the broken link issue (404 error) when people click on an existing URL.
The way we think about SEO is always evolving — with focus recently shifting toward optimizing content for humans rather than search engines. Make sure your site stays high in the rankings by keeping up with the newest trends.
Want to find out more? Download our free e-book on the 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid During Your Next Website Design.