Thinking of a Redesign?
If You’ve Been Optimizing your site and would like to change the look and feel, it’s important that you don’t compromise the old sites content that may have been getting ranked in the search engines.
Ensure you don’t waste time and money by starting your SEO all over. Simply send this post over to your designers to ensure they have the 411.
Designers and marketers have separate skills. Please don’t assume your designer will understand how to recognize an Internet marketing campaign and maintain its integrity.
A Marketing Friendly Website Redesign Checklist:
- Ensure all content including text and videos are carried over to new design.
We work hard (and you spend money) to develop search engine friendly content. While a designer can certainly change the look of this text, its still important to keep it all.
- Keep “H tags”
Sometimes designers will create their own names for formatting a style sheet. To the search engines, the H1-H6 tags are WAY MORE RELEVANT than your own. they look for these tags first. Please keep them.
- Page names should remain the same or search engine friendly redirects should be created.
When redesigning a site that is optimized, you run the risk of changing the page name or file extension during the redesign. Maintain the same names id crucial so that they aren’t dead links in the SERPs and you don’t have to work on re optimizing a new page name you already spent time and money working for.
If exact page names are not possible (including extensions like html, asp, etc.) you will need 301 redirect all old pages to the new versions of the page.
- Custom 4o4 page
Just in case any pages are missed above, it is important to have a custom 404 in place in case someone lands on the dead link. While this will still hurt you in the search engines, it means if someone finds a dead link somewhere, they still have options. Custom 404 pages should have a search feature, link to homepage, sitemap, contact us and other important calls-to-action.
- Make sure all meta tags are carried over and or in one SEO plugin installed.
- Ensure new site has capabilities to install script code into the template for tracking purposes.
- Ensure existing scripts are carried over.
If you are working with a company like Cal Coast, you will often times have Google Analytics java, tracking number scripts and other code that is not visible to the naked eye but will effect items in place if not carried over to the new design.
- Ensure the website has browser capability with current browsers. (i.e. – Safari 4+, FF 3.5+, Internet Explorer 8+, Opera 10+, and Google Chrome.
- Ensure Google Analytics tracking is carried over to see how many viewer are on your page each month and where they are coming from. This could be the scripts above, or a plugin, or, or, or… so many options. Just make sure its there!
- One consolidated CSS file.
We know a good design means a personal and professional reflection on you which translates into conversions. We just want to make sure we don’t lose any of the traffic already getting there from the search engine optimization work.