Ideally, you would keep track of important SEO factors during a website redesign. But that isn’t always the case and websites can always be re-optimized. Although it’s better to have a SEO web design checklist to work off of during the redesign process, it still helps to evaluate your site after a major change. Although the list can be endless, here are a few things to take note of before things get out of hand.
Duplicate content – Have you ever seen a site with hundreds of duplicate pages? You’d be surprised. Make sure to check for duplicate content when you go through your sitemap and cut down any low/no ranking pages with low content. The goal is to funnel down the most helpful information and help it rank even better. There are many helpful tools like Copyscape and Simple Page Checker.
URL changes – If possible, always try to keep your original URLs. This isn’t always possible, especially if you switch over to a content management system or vice versa. If this is the case, make sure to 301 redirect and direct internal links to the right pages. Tools like LinkSleuth should come in very handy for that.
robots.txt file – This text file is a crucial part of any well-optimized website. It tells search engines what pages to ignore and where to look for things on your site. One mistake could prevent your website from being crawled or blocked from Google bot. Not good!
Website analytics – If possible, it’s helpful to check analytics at least once a month. This includes Google Webmaster Tools and anything else you use for checking keyword rankings and search results. Using these tools regularly will help you gauge the success of your website and help you diagnose problems such as a decrease in website traffic and a fall in rankings.
Search engine marketing news – Sites like SEOmoz and Search Engine Roundtable always break the latest SEM news. Articles and comments can help give you a heads up on Penguin and Panda updates and what to look out for. Google’s search algorithm is constantly changing so things that were important, say 3 years ago, can be quickly outdated.
Many things can change and be lost during a website redesign. If you’re handing off your website to a new internet marketing firm, it’s important to know that they’re committed to continuously optimizing your website and not just doing it once and leaving it stagnant for months or years. This checklist can help serve as a starting point for something that can be done on a regular basis to ensure that your website is in good health.
It’s never too late to implement a useful mobile website design or update your current one. With more users searching on mobile devices, it’s helpful to look at some fundamental things to keep in mind that will help enhance your customers’ browsing experience. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I really need a mobile website?
Depending on your business, a mobile site could be helpful or not so much. First, sit down and think of why you want a mobile version of your site. Do you want to help local searchers who are on the go? Will the mobile site be an extension of your desktop site? What key features of your site do you want to highlight on the mobile version?
2. Is my design simple enough for a mobile device?
A simple website design is always better than a cluttered one, especially when it comes down to a mobile format. A clean layout will help customers find what they’re looking for and it will also help with your site’s load time. Many times, users will face spotty signals or slow wireless connections. Many web designers will recommend using lots of white space and a single column design to accommodate a smaller screen. Also think about how your site will look in both portrait and landscape mode on the mobile device.
3. What is your call to action and how easily can it be found?
The call to action on your mobile website should match your desktop site. Customers should be able to see this message clearly and do it in as few steps as possible. For mobile devices, you’ll want to emphasize location with calls to action that include phone numbers, maps/directions and even click to call options. Don’t bury this information deep within your mobile site but don’t make it so front and center that customers can’t find anything else!
4. Have you tested your mobile website?
Testing is important on a regular website but mobile can make things more complicated. Remember to test on iPhone platforms as well as Android-based devices. If you don’t have real phones to test, there are many different tools that you can use.
Hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to achieve with a new mobile site design. Check out these helpful resources below and let us know what you think!
6 Brilliantly Designed Mobile Sites
Developing mobile sites
Uncovering The Best Mobile SEO Resources On The Web
It’s almost Thanksgiving, are you hungry yet? If thinking about dinner tomorrow night isn’t enough to excite you, I’ll do my best to make things interesting by comparing it to your website!
Turkey – At Thanksgiving, we all have turkey on the brain. Do you feel the same way about your website? You can look at a turkey as it represents your site as one whole entity. From a first impression, we can tell if a turkey is going to be delicious or disgusting. And that’s how quick potential customers will judge your site. While an attractive website is enticing, you’ll have to have real substance before customers want to move on or dig in any further.
Stuffing – A turkey dinner can’t be complete without stuffing and your website shouldn’t be complete without quality content. Would you say that your content is bland and mushy, or does it have unique seasonings that showcase great textures? Trust me, it would be truly disappointing to get a great slice of turkey only to find out it was paired with something that’s essentially inedible.
Cranberry sauce – When you think of cranberry sauce, does the image of a jellied log come to mind? Think of this element like your web design. Is it a boring template that looks like it literally fell out of a can? Or is it a rich layout with original features to accommodate your small business?
Mashed potatoes – Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? Although this is a popular side dish, it really doesn’t cut it on its own. Social media marketing is like mashed potatoes in that it complements the main event of a meal – your website. Good mashed potatoes can make a great website even better. But have you ever been satisfied with tasty potatoes with lackluster turkey? I didn’t think so.
Dessert – The crème de la crème to round off your Thanksgiving meal. Think of dessert as your reason for keeping customers interested and bringing them back. Will your customers be back for another meal or will your forgettable website give them indigestion?
An internet marketing firm doesn’t just create websites. Think of a company as a helpful tool to create an attractive gateway to your business. And like a turkey, don’t forget that your website should truly be the star of your show. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Springtime is the perfect for new beginnings and we’ve started ours with a brand new site! What do you think of the new web design?
If you’re thinking about a new website for your business, here are somethings you SHOULD definitely plan for:
- Interesting and organized – Does your website catch your visitor’s eye? Vivid graphics are a great way to hook them in. Next organization of your content will reel them in and keep them on your site for longer.
- Easy to contact and clear calls to action – Different customers like different things. That’s why it’s important to have immediate online contact, like in a form or live chat, and a local number where they can speak to a live person. For most businesses, the ultimate goal is to have that customer pickup the phone and call, so don’t forget to remind them!
- Helpful and informative – This part probably doesn’t make sense to some. As they see it, why should they “give away” something for free when they could be charging for it? The bigger picture in having helpful resources is that you’re showcasing your expertise in a niche area. This isn’t to say that you should give it ALL away but loosen up. (On that note, are you interested in some social media tips or SEO articles?)
- Get personal – History, testimonials, FAQs? Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be ALL about business as you showcase a little bit more about your company. I’ve seen many sites with neighborhood news, favorite charities, personal interests – all which helps in giving your brand a more human and personable touch.
- The point of inspiration – Amazing graphics, wonderful services and engaging videos! What else does a customer need? After visiting your site, customers should be inspired and really see how they can benefit from your product or service. Even if they don’t make a final decision then and there, the important thing is to plant that thought in their mind and standout!
What other elements do you think should be included in effective website design? Feel free to let us know what you think about our new site. And if you’re interested in a makeover for your own site, take advantage of our FREE site analysis today!