When it comes to your business image online, it’s important to keep things “fresh”. This of course starts with your website. For the same reason that people buy new clothes in order to keep up with the latest trends, it’s important to redesign your business website every few years to do the same. If your website still has the same design that it had five years ago or more, it’s definitely overdue for a redesign. Of course, a website redesign requires time and resources so if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. In order to do it “right,” be sure to incorporate SEO into the website redesign process. You are already in there changing and fixing the navigation, code, link structure, etc. Whether you have done SEO in the past or not, starting an SEO campaign or revisiting an SEO campaign is recommended as part of the redesign process for a few important reasons.
A big search engine ranking factor is trust. A website that has aged and is established, even if it isn’t optimized, is more trusted than a brand new website merely because of how long it has been around. If your business website isn’t optimized but is still performing in the search engines, think about how much better it could perform if it was optimized! If you are investing in a website redesign, it must have been around for at least a few years. Making some additional SEO tweaks can give your aged and trusted website a huge boost.
A website redesign is the perfect time to add new pages of content. When working on a business website, some website owners prefer to take things in steps or phases. Redesign first, add new pages of content, and then worry about SEO last. The problem with that approach is that it will take that much longer for the pages to get indexed and ranked by the search engines. Optimize the new content before the site even goes live so that the search engines can start indexing and ranking it for relevant keywords from day one.
When redesigning a business website, it’s important to consider the URL structure. If the URLs were previously a string of meaningless words and numbers it limits the SEO potential of the page and also isn’t attractive from a user perspective. Change the URL structure so that each page URL includes keywords and is concise. When changing the URL structure during a website redesign, be sure to 301 redirect from the old page in order to preserve as much of the trust of the old page as possible.
It may seem like one more added headache to do SEO while redesigning a website, but it will save you lots of trouble down the road. If you want to perform well in the search engines (or online in general) you need to invest in SEO, so you might as well get started as soon as possible. The sooner that your website is optimized and indexed by the search engines, the sooner that your traffic and visitor growth will start to improve.