Are you currently planning or going through a website redesign? As you are probably already aware, there is a lot of thought that must go into a website redesign. From the look and feel to the features and functionality, there are a lot of details that must be considered and managed to make everything go smoothly. Elements of the newly designed website – including the site’s architecture, navigation, content, linking, and calls to action (CTAs) – need to be carefully assessed and tuned to ensure optimal performance with search engines. Here are five tips to help your website redesign yield better results and drive more relevant traffic to your site:
Tip #1: Use search-friendly URLs – they should contain relevant keywords and use hyphens as word separators. Having relevant keywords in the URLs helps with SEO and improves the visitor’s experience by keeping the URL short and memorable.
Tip #2: Map existing URLs to new URLs – when page names – or any URLs – change you must perform 301 redirects to direct visitors and search engines to the new URL.
Tip #3: Update HTML and XML sitemaps – be sure to add (or remove) any URLs in your HTML and XML sitemaps. Keeping your sitemaps up to date is important for both search engines and your visitors.
Tip #4: Keyword-rich content – develop SEO-focused copy that is keyword-rich, unique and informative. Include important keyword phrases as high up on the page as possible to help search engines determine the topic/them of the page. Additionally, use alt tags and image descriptions to help search engines index non-textual content.
Tip #5: Optimize meta data for main site pages – be sure that title tags are around 60-70 characters and use feature-important keywords. Title tags and meta descriptions should be unique and relevant to the page’s content; and make sure that the descriptions are attractive enough to entice the searcher to click through from a search results page.