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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
If you have come here looking for SEO help, you have found a blog that can help you. There is much information here to be held and please feel free to comment anytime...Even with a question.

July 26, 2007

Redesign or Fix what you Have | Pros and Cons Page Design

I am sure many of us have a site that's just.......out of date. I myself have 2, one is just kinda parked the other matters to me. The question at hand is whether to optimize - optimise what you have or redesign. There are many valid proponents for both theories. So lets have a look.

Redesigning Existing Sites

This can be a very good thing, but often followed by a period of reduced SERPs. The more authority a site has the less the "hit" will be. I have seen sites completely de-indexed. I have seen others held back a few weeks the explode in the direction of what I suspect was always their potential. The most important thing to remember is you cannot redesign every month, or even every 3 months... is not good. Plan your design very carefully, design with SEO and usability in mind and you won't have to change it for some time. There are some simple measures you can take to lessen the impact of the redesign.
  1. Send a newsletter out to your subscribers about the redesign a few days before the launch, invite them to come look on the launch date.
  2. Don't launch the new site live until it is COMPLETELY done!
  3. Use the old URLs or redirect (301) the old URls to the news ones if the page content is comparable. This will preserve links, listings, and traffic to that page.
  4. Be certain to use Google's URL removal tool to remove the URLs orphaned by the redesign immediately, or just 301 them all to a landing page with a nav for the new site that explains the redesign and they should change their bookmarks.
  5. Try to retain some elements of the old page, users will be trying to determine if it has the same ownership. I doesn't hurt to add a temporary blurb on the main page to that effect also.
  6. Praise the new improved features and how they will affect the user's experience.

Optimizing - Optimising Existing Sites

Many times if a site has a little PageRank, some Decent SERPs, and the design can be lived with....then perhaps optimizing the design is the valid option. No where is is written (yet) that ALL page designs have to be CSS, or XHTML, or XML, etc. If you have an old HTML page that has a good position and PageRank, you can probably save it without a redesign or any reduction in SERPs and PageRank. Try this tool to help with the mechanics.

  1. Reduce the use of tables.
  2. Add a doctype if you do not have one.
  3. Add a DHTML or CSS menu, there are even generators.
  4. Reduce the number of colors in the images or crunch them so they load faster. If you have more than 5 reduce the number of images.
  5. Add a sitemap both html and xml, you can generate them for free here. It is very helpful to add your html sitemap link to all you pages, it helps to get crawled deeper and better.
  6. Work to validate your pages, this will help with indexing and position.
  7. Work to improve your Trust features, add a contact page, company address, privacy statement, personal information collection and handling disclosure, increase the length of your Domain's registration, vigorously check your outbound links.

So redesign or improved design, forward motion is growth. Perhaps an improved design will suffice for now, but in a year you might require a full redesign.

Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.
Francis Bacon

As always if you have a relevant contribution, comment and I will edit the post and credit you.

Peace and SEO


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