10 Tips for Managing SEO when Rebuilding or Redesigning a Website

It’s perhaps natural that Web designers who are in this industry because they love the artistic, creative side of such a career, concentrate on the design, templates and programming of a rebuild without taking into full consideration the huge impact and possible loss of business (for their clients) a rebuild or redesign can have if they ignore SEO and conversion.

Follow these tips to keep your clients happy and retain their business for them.

  1. If your client uses an SEO company or has in house SEO ensure they are involved throughout the redevelopment process and that you share information and ideas. Build a rapport and relationship with them. Of course the side benefit is you’ll develop a network as well as learn new information. You are more likely to retain your client if they in turn retain their traffic and custom post redesign or rebuild.
  2. Always research Google Analytics.. Speak to your client about the top landing pages that drive traffic and convert. Ensure you keep the same urls for the top landing pages that are still relevant and for those that aren’t consider keeping the same urls and re designing those pages to convert.
  3. Use xenu or other such tools to list all urls and ensure that 301 redirects are put in place for all pages no longer required.
  4. Ensure you have a bespoke 404 page and consider its design and content.
  5. Ensure that there is an XML sitemap. Consider developing a cron job to for an automated xml sitemap to capture any additional pages created via a CMS particularly for large ecommerce sites.
  6. If redeveloping a larger eCommerce site consider what happens when a page or product is deleted and that an automated 301 redirect is put in place for the pages or alternatively if these pages are to remain that these are flagged to the CMS administrator and that a link is added to direct any visitors to a current product.
  7. If developing or using a full CMS ensure that the structure of the meta titles and descriptions have been cleared by the SEO team, that they have a character de-limiter (65 for meta titles and 200 for meta descriptions) and a consistent approach is used.
  8. Ensure that the template has the right structure and there are H1 and H2 titles in place.
  9. Ensure that the template has enough space for adequate body text.
  10. For larger eCommerce sites consider the use of canonicals for products featured on multiple pages  and the use of pagination rel= next and rel= prev.

Anything else? Well you could make a comment and share if you found this helpful – James
Blog image courtesy of SEOPlanter at Flickr.com

avatar Name: James Briggs
About: James is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 12 years of design, development, search engine optimisation and project managment experience previously fullfilling a number of senior roles for two of the South's most well established and successful digital marketing agencies before setting up WebSafe Solutions Ltd in 2009. In his own words..."I've planned, designed and developed countless websites and am proud to have helped hundreds of clients to get the very best from their digital marketing campaigns. Some would say I have an unusual blend of knowledge, skill and experience and for my sins I'm an absolute perfectionist!"
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