Think Ahead – SEO & Site Redesign

Recently I’ve helped guide many clients through extensive website redesigns. I am thrilled to see that companies are paying attention to the importance of search engine optimization during the redesign process.

But what exactly can you expect when hiring a company like Oneupweb to provide consultation through the redesign process? Is your SEO company going to shoot your design ideas out of the water? Are they going to tell you to go back to the drawing board and make a ton of extensive and often expensive changes? Is your SEO expert going to tell you to lose the new Flash intro?

This blog post is meant to provide marketers/designers some insight into what to expect when working with SEO during the redesign process. It can really make the difference between maintaining current search engine positions and losing them all.

Tip #1 – Hire SEO Early On

Please, please, please don’t hire us at the very last minute. There’s a process to this, and while yes of course we can work with you at any stage (even the day before launch or right after), it is best if we can be involved from start to finish (and afterwards). There are a number of things to consider when resigning a website and it is definitely beneficial to discuss ideas and design items BEFORE the launch date.

I have a couple of clients going through this process right now who did hire us early on. Here’s how they benefit:

  1. Keywords have already been identified – copywriters use these important keyword phrases as they create new site copy.
  2. Source code for the new site hasn’t been built yet. When the design company sends mock-ups of top level pages in jpg format, I provide ideas about how the pages should be coded. With the design company warning about additional costs for making large changes once the code is written, this early insight has proven to be invaluable to my client.
  3. SEO best practices that can make a big difference when the site goes live, have already been discussed.

Tip #2 – Expect to Make Some Changes

When you hire an SEO company like Oneupweb to work with you during your redesign process, expect to get some pretty intense recommendations for changes. This isn’t because we are mean or want to hurt your designer’s feelings. With more than a decade of experience in the industry, it is our duty to use our acquired knowledge to make recommendations that will benefit your website. Again, this is where hiring us early on can help.

Tip #3 – Keep Your Design Company/Dept. & SEO Company in Touch

With web designers actively communicating with your SEO company, it’s more likely you will retain the aesthetic feel you were originally going for with the redesign, while also implementing much-needed SEO recommendations. Moreover, as the design company works on different aspects of the site, an SEO can help make recommendations along the way.

For example, a recent redesign client (who was a client pre-redesign as well) had us evaluate new site copy being authored by the design company. The copy was well-written and accurately described services and site features, however rarely included important keywords. Using the design company’s drafts, we were able to provide ideas about incorporating important keyword phrases into the new copy.

Tip #4 – Think About How to Better Reach Potential & Current Clients

You’ve probably already thought about additional functionality to help visitors find what they need – maybe a new search function, click to talk, live chat, etc. But have you thought about how to market your company differently? What about providing an informative or entertaining podcast to help potential and current clients learn more about your offerings? Why not set up a blog to provide info about new products and services on a frequent basis? And what about usability? Are all of your new features usable?

We wish you luck during your redesign process. If you choose to hire an SEO company to offer insight, visit Oneupweb.com to get in touch with a member of our Client Services team.

And don’t forget to review our Redesign Best Practices blog post before heading into your site redesign.