Monday, May 16, 2011

SEO & Website Redesign: Relaunching Without Losing Sleep

Redesigns can make an ugly site pretty, but they can also make a high traffic site invisible. Keep these tips and no-nos in mind and you can keep yourself out of the CEO’s office.
SEO Redesign: Teamwork First
It should go without saying, but SEOs, developers and designers must work together cohesively during the site redesign process.
Too often, companies look to refresh the look of their site, and in the end, destroy their search engine presence. How? This can come from a myriad of reasons from coding errors, SEO unfriendly design practices, to even more disastrous practices (e.g., content duplication, URL rewriting without redirection, information architecture changes away from search engine friendly techniques).
Starting the redesign process with a collaborative call between the SEO team, designer, developer, and company decision maker(s) is always the best first step.
Often there are two attitudes present. Either, “We are redesigning our site and are not open to your ideas…but don’t let us do anything wrong,” or the other attitude (and my favorite), “Let’s work together to achieve a refreshed look and functionality and instill any missing SEO opportunities if possible.”
To satisfy both scenarios, your information delivery as the SEO should be to inform designers and developers of the mistakes you shouldn’t make and also to announce to all parties what SEO revisions should be made to the site along with what search engines have recently been paying attention to.

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