Thinking of redesigning a well established website? It needs a keen eye since we don’t want to negotiate on SEO rankings your existing website has gain over a period of time and start the entire cycle of SEO from scratch. Smarter way is if you can able to redesign your website and keep continuing from you existing SEO status. The essence of retaining SEO status becomes even more critical when your website is a major source of generating leads.
Below are critical SEO tactics that can help to retaining/gaining SEO status and should be keep in mind during the website redesign process:
- Search-Friendly URLs: URLs should contain relevant keywords and use hyphens as word separators. Having relevant keywords in the URLs is a good idea for SEO, and keeping the URL short and memorable is helpful for visitors. Re-writing URLs to display as clean and static can prove to be good tactic.
- Interlinking with Keyword-Rich Anchor Text: Interlinking pages can help increase page views of the site as users can easily navigate through the site to find the information that they are looking for. Think of multidimensional navigation & breadcrumbs to address this.
- Optimize Meta Data: It lets the search engines know what your page is all about. Prior to launching the new site, be sure that your Title tags and Meta keyord & descriptions are unique and optimized for each page. For pages that remain the same, transfer the existing meta data to the new pages.
- On-page optimization: On-page Headings Each web page should be themed around a targeted key phrase. This topic/key phrase should then be included in the main heading of the page (<h1> tag). The heading tag (<h1> tag) should also be placed higher up within the page coding to help the search engines crawlers access this content.
- Keyword-Rich Content: Providing well optimized copy that is keyword-rich, unique and informative will help a site gain visibility in the search engines. Though, HTML text is preferred for search engine optimization; at the same time, images and videos can provide a richer content experience on your site. It is important that the content is unique and at least 300 to 600 words.
- Update HTML and XML Sitemaps: Both the HTML and XML sitemaps should be updated with any new site URLs that have been created. That’s most important way to let crawlers know about your updated site structure & pages especially when pages are dynamically generated.
- Know your External Links: Use tools such as Yahoo Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools to identify sites that are currently linking to your existing site pages. You may need to take care of them so that they won’t result in Page Not Found (HTTP 404) errors.
- 301 redirects from existing to new URLs: If existing URLs are being changed to new URLs, be sure to map the old to the new by using 301 Redirects.