The Importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
So does SEO really Matter or what? Whether you’ve decided to redesign your current website or build a new website, it’s essential for SEO to be done on your website. Below are some of the most important optimization elements to make sure are being complete on your website. The short answer is YES. During a website redesign or update, it is possible that your page URLs (actual web address links) may change. If not handled properly, this can result in a loss of individual page rankings, culminating in a loss of overall site visibility in search engines.
Does SEO Really Matter in a Website Redesign?
SEO search engine optimization is absolutely critical during a website redesign. It is important that any pages that need to be rerouted with a permanent 301 redirects are done. Often webmasters will skip implementing redirects for pages with minimal traffic. Having a menu or hyperlinks to pages that are not able to be found is not only frustrating to potential customers but also Google, and that can hurt your sites position in search results.
Ideally, you should contact your webmaster hosting each link pointing to your site and request for them to update the URL. If this is not attainable due to the number of links or webmaster inaccessibility, preserve your link equity from your old website pages to your new ones by establishing what is called a “301 redirect” that redirects search results from your old page to your new one.
- Old page: /my-web-page.html
- New page: /my-web-page/
A website has many parts that need to be accounted for. Many of them you can check yourself to make sure they are done, and if not done you to make sure these thing are taken care of, otherwise your current search position will drop dramatically.
Website Redesign: Technical Considerations
Below is a list of the most important website design elements that simply can’t be overlooked, from a technical standpoint, when redesigning your website:
• Missing page titles
• Duplicate page titles
• Page titles over 55 characters
• Missing H1 tags
• Duplicate H1 tags
• Missing meta descriptions
• Duplicate meta descriptions
• Meta descriptions over 150 characters
• Broken internal/external links
• Image alt text
• XML sitemap
• Duplicate content
• Pages indexed by Google
• Site speed and performance
• URL structure
It all sounds very complicated and technical, but if as a business owner you are at least passively aware of these things, you can at least ask the right questions and make sure your web designer is doing a good job for you.
All these components help Google and Bing to properly read and index your website correctly. When all these things are done properly, then search engines stand a much better chance of ranking your site higher than if your site is full of errors.
It’s not all that difficult. Just browsing through your site page by page, you can often see what SEO was done or not. Giving your website redesign this needed attention will help assure that your website if given the best possible chance to being visible search engines and letting your customers to find you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including website design, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design. Paul grew up in Cedar Rapids, attended Washington High School and is Mike Albee’s brother, serving clients across upstate New York, Eastern Iowa and nationwide.