SEO Training - Lesson Three
Re-Design and SEO
New sites offer the best opportunity to maximize the impact of search engine optimization. Performing thorough SEO services like improving site structure on an existing site can be cost prohibitive. With new or redesigned sites, every SEO factor can be addressed during the pre-construction phase and you end up with a high performance site!
Site Structure: Improving how the web site is navigated by robots can have impact on your rank. For example; using page names with your keyword and then linking to that page using the keyword is a way to boost relevance for that page.
Removing Roadblocks: Often this is the primary reason for a redesign. Sites that use frames or flash are virtual dead ends for search engine robots.
Most importantly, consult with an SEO expert BEFORE you begin. A good consultant will help you with planning and strategy. They will advise on content and keyword research as well as technical SEO issues. Even if you intend to do the work yourself, getting a consultant to give you a "laundry list" will help you do a more thorough job.
Considerations for SEO and Re-design:
For dynamic sites (database driven content) often a redesign accompanies a URL rewrite. See technical SEO for more information.
After reorganizing your site use a spidering program (like Gsite Crawler) to uncover dead pages, broken links, duplicate content and more.
Keeping Old Rank:
One of the questions asked most often is "will I loose all my rank on some pages if I change their names?" The short answer is yes, but, there are things you can do to pass that rank onto the new replacement page.
Analyze your past couple month's statistics. Note the top performing pages in terms of human visitors and search engine referrals. If these pages have a place in your new site you may want to consider keeping the URL the same. If that is not possible use a 301 Permanent redirect to the new page. You can also do a thorough backlink check to see if there are sites linking to your pages. Some of these may be worth redirecting.