Posted on 11 July 2010 by RChurt
The reason you are redesigning your website is to impact your business, not because you are bored with the design. Ask yourself some of the following questions – does your existing website communicate well with the users? Do you want to increase leads – improve your funnel? Is your current website designed SEO friendly (maybe it’s currently based on table layouts? Whatever your reason you need to focus on a goal and understand that doing a redesign alone won’t generate more traffic – you don’t want your site to be a billboard in the desert.
Three tips to help you with your website redesign:
- Establish a goal
Whether for usability or technical improvements you need to have a clear goal and expectations. Start with some kind of website audit or analysis to see what your current situation is and key areas that need improvement.
My previous website for instance made it difficult for users to more readily browse through more content. While there are many channels into your blog, your homepage is still most often linked to and visited. More prominently highlighting new articles and other categories will help me reduce my bounce rate and increase time spent on site.
- Focus on content
Content is still king in SEO. Make sure you have a plan. Plan for new content as well as your old content. You do not want to lose any of your most valuable assets. Similar to my new design you want to make sure to highlight the strength of your content.
- Measure the results
Have benchmarks. It’s important to know where you started. Things like bounce rate, time spent on site can be a good indication of whether or not you made the right choice. Furthermore – leads. You want to be sure that you are now able to capture more leads. Leads can be defined as anything from more people signing up to your blog, downloading white papers, sharing your content etc.
Bonus tip – What if you don’t see the results you expected?
Re-examine your goals. Were you honest and realistic about them? A common pitfall is that after a redesign you will take a bit of a plunge in the search results, this is almost guaranteed (especially for larger sites). So give it a little bit of time. Don’t expect to see immediate results. From there continue to test new content and different offers. Hopefully your new design gives you enough flexibility to try out new things.
Posted on 06 July 2010 by RChurt
You have to know when to make changes. Obviously you want to make edits to your overall strategy or even minor tweaks when needed. But when do you make these changes? When is the best time?
Quite simply – most often your changes will need to be based on data. Analyzing your traffic sources, based on keyword traffic, referring sources, pages most frequently visited, goals met etc will be the most common factors. Based on data like this you should assess your strategy on a monthly basis and make a plan to change things about 3 – 6 months into the start of your SEO and every 1-3 months from there. But don’t let that be written in stone, here are more reasons when to switch things up…
6 Reasons You Know It’s Time To Change
- Positive Keywords – if keyword A brings in lots of traffic make sure that corresponding page has supporting content for that topic
- Make a clearer conversion path – make sure there are calls to actions and landing pages tied to pages
- Negative press/keywords – if you see people searching for negative things – like bad reviews. Take action. Here’s your opportunity to jump into forums, set up review profiles, create a new campaign, press releases, social media etc…you name it. The worst thing you can do is nothing or react negatively in return.
- Following on the tails of the before mentioned, make sure you are adding yourself to review sites, better business bureau, and other directories that matter. They help you with inbound links, a positive image and appear less like spam.
- Take it a step further, create a campaign around large traffic generators. With success from basic optimization efforts you can easily take things to the next level – video, email, pod casts, blog posts, call to actions, events, contests…the sky is the limit.
- Test, test, test. True SEO geeks will test to no end even if things are going well. It’s only through testing (anything and everything) that you will be able to truly see what counts and what has a positive or negative effect.
Posted on 01 July 2010 by RChurt
A website audit should be the foundation for determining how you will proceed with your search engine optimization efforts and/or a website redesign. Read this first if you are about to embark on a redesign and make sure you have the following in place first.
What is this for– To define content more clearly for your users (usability) and search engines (SEO).
Why do you want this– To inspect the framework and architecture of your website for both users and the search engines. So you will be examining some technical issues, infrastructure and the overall robustness of your website.
Who is involved – Your web developers and/or IT team will play an integral part in help marketers get this done. What if you don’t have those resources – then you will want to work with a consultant to help you get this done.
- Keyword Analysis
Review Key Phrase Performance
Number of pages currently indexed by the major search engines
Number and quality of inbound links
- Current SEO Analysis
Page Title review
Meta Description review
Current Stats Analysis (if historical “pre-optimization” information is available)
- Keyword Research
Analysis and suggestions for best key-phrases to target
Identify target market/key buyer personas
- Usability Study
Design and layout recommendations
Page load time check
Browser compatibility check
Conversion path and/or shopping cart or checkout process review
Review for errors, bad copy, broken links
- Copywriting/Marketing Analysis
Appeal to target audience
Writing style and content overview
Additional content recommendations – such as call to actions etc
In short the goal is to assess how friendly your website is to search engines and look for any common pitfalls and room for improvement. There is always room for improvement. The goal should be an actionable list of items for your team to implement to help increase traffic and get more qualified leads.