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How do you redesign your website without losing SEO?
A lot of website owners want to do a site redesign as well as SEO but feel they can’t afford both. They struggle with deciding which one to allocate their budget to first. Rebuilding a website may be necessary to keep your site up to date, but a site rebuild without addressing the SEO component can be disatrous.
The Internet is vast… very vast. It is comprised of, at last count, over 1 billion websites…take a wild guess at how many pages. People need a map to chart this unimaginably large landscape… and search engines like Google are the maps. SEO provides pointers to your business on the maps so your site rebuild must include SEO if you want to found.
If you understand the following statement, then which one to do first becomes very easy to decide upon… in order to become visible to their second audience (the visitors), websites must first receive adequate top rankings (the first 2-pages) by their first audience (the search engines).
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (aka. search engine marketing, website promotion, search engine positioning) is probably the single most important thing a website owner can do to increase visibility and visitors. Increased visibility and increased numbers of more qualified visitors help to improve sales, which in turn, improve the bottom-line.
Studies have proven that SEO has the BEST return on investment (ROI) of any form of advertising -online and offline! Savvy website owners who realize just how fierce the competition on the Internet is try to get as much as they can out of search engine optimization. It helps to position their business ahead of their competitors. If you are not incorporating SEO as part of a website promotion/ Internet marketing strategy you are losing out because your competition mostly likely is!
The fact is, there lots of great websites on the Internet. So what? What use is a great website if no one knows about it or can find it? And even if people do know about it, you are still not reaching the largest Internet demographic –the 85% to 90% of ALL Internet users who find what they are looking for by conducting searches! An effective SEO strategy is your mechanism for becoming visible to this group. SEO is critical to the success of your online venture. Rebuilding isn’t… it can wait.
Redesign Website Without Losing SEO
Rebuilding a site makes it look nice, provides fresh content, and most likely improves navigation. Will any of these lead to increased visitors? Most likely not. Making aesthetic changes does very little to increase a website’s visibility on the Internet.
It is estimated that 56% of ALL websites are “lost in cyberspace”! This means they cannot be found in search engines. Your biggest priority – you must redesign your website without losing SEO. It would be a complete waste of time, money, and effort otherwise. All of which translate into a very poor ROI.
It is akin to the early explorers setting out in their ships to explore the oceans of the world. They had no way of knowing what they would find or where they would land. Internet surfers are today’s version of those early explorers. They are people looking to find something but very few of them actually know how or where to find it. Rebuilding your website is like putting up a flashing billboard on a deserted island. No one is going to be able to read it… unless they accidentally come across it. Search engine optimization guides explorers to it.
Some web designers will tell you that they will both optimize and rebuild your website. Be careful. Most web designers do not have the in-depth knowledge to perform proper search engine optimization. There is more to SEO than just putting in keywords in the Meta tags (ie. title, description, keyword tags).
- Ask yourself, what will deliver more results to my business… rebuilding or SEO?
- What is the purpose of your site? If you use it to bring in customers or sell products then SEO is definitely the one to do first. If visitors and sales aren’t important, but having a beautiful, stylish site is, then by all means… rebuild it.
- For maximum benefits, a website must be people and search engine friendly. Will rebuilding accomplish this?
- Some owner’s think they’ll rebuild the site first and then perform SEO, only to discover afterwards that their budgets won’t allow for it. Ask yourself, do I want to be stuck with a nice looking site that delivers NO more traffic than its predecessor?
- View your website as an asset -not an expense. Use it to generate income, leads, or a tool that provides useful information about your company. If it isn’t then why have it?
SEO First, Rebuild Second
It really is a much wiser choice to perform SEO first. Later if the results indicate the need to make improvements, then proceed with rebuilding. And involve your search engine optimization company in the rebuilding process… their input/ advice will be invaluable!
You can find more on this subject on this Search Engine Watch article.