Developing a new website in 2023? The time is NOW for SEO
5 Tips to Improve SEO with Early Intervention in a Website Design Project
In my experience in digital marketing, I have witnessed more requests for SEO services after a new website build than before it. And while that’s not optimal, it is better than avoiding SEO altogether.
The preferred time to employ SEO is in the infancy of a website design project.
Before planning a new website with designers and programmers, start with your analytics and SEO team. Not only will you launch a higher-performing website, but you may save some money too!
Consider these five recommendations to help you build a better website in 2023.
1. Audit your current website
Start with an audit of your current website. What business goals do you seek to improve? How will those goals come to life on the new website?
Here are a few questions you can ask at this stage:
- Does the current traffic analysis reflect the priorities of your business?
- Do search engines index all of your website pages?
- Are your top products or services part of your top-trafficked pages?
- Are your top landing pages giving consumers a reason to believe in your company?
- Are consumers finding your products and services quickly and easily from the home page?
- Does your website have errors that distract visitors, encouraging them to exit the website?
From an audit, you can get a strong sense of pages you want to keep, remove, redirect or optimize for the new website. All of which will have SEO impact.
2. Keyphrase data is imperative
SEO research will influence several elements of your website, including site architecture, page naming, tags, and page content. It will even extend itself to off-site content like social media and campaign messaging.
There are numerous keyphrase data tools available online. Start there.
- What are the most common terms and phrases consumers use in search engines to find products and services like yours?
- Are you employing those keyphrases in the link and page naming conventions?
- Are those key phrases used in your copy and tags?
Have fresh keyphrase data ready for early website redesign team meetings. Be sure to spend time with the larger team to help them understand this data and how it can be used.
3. Don’t “delete” pages. Preserve their value.
Many SEO professionals cringe when they hear “delete pages.” In most instances, we prefer to redirect older pages to newer versions. At an early stage in the website design process, you will be tasked with inventorying your current pages and deciding which ones to keep, remove, redirect or edit.
Examine page and entry traffic to any pages you consider removing. This is an excellent gauge to use when deciding whether or not to redirect a page or delete it.
You can preserve some SEO value in a website redesign if you redirect pages rather than simply deleting them.
4. Learn a little (or a lot) about technical SEO
Technical SEO is crucial to SEO ranking. Technical SEO focuses on user experience metrics.
For example, a fast-loading website can reduce the number of people leaving your site before your web page is fully loaded. Not only is a faster loading website a better user experience, but Google also recognizes it as a search ranking factor.
And yes, working with your designer to understand image compression is important. A website build’s technical aspects also improve the user experience. Google calls these “Core Web Vitals,” reflecting a website’s loading, interactivity and visual stability.
Be sure you select a website developer for your redesign that is familiar with “largest contentful paint,” “first input delay” and “cumulative layout shift” metrics. These are challenging metrics to improve after a website is built.
5. Save money
As I mentioned, most people reach out to an SEO agency after a website design. And that’s ok too.
But many aspects of a website build influence SEO optimization. A post-launch SEO project will cause you to incur further costs as it will require additional revisions and services, for example :
- Developer modifications
- Design changes
- Writing revisions
All of these elements come into play when providing search optimization services. Why re-write your most important pages for SEO when you could have written them that way in the first place?
If your company is planning on a new website in 2023, be sure that SEO & Analytics team members have a seat at the table early in the process. It will not only empower your website to drive search traffic from day one, but it will also save your company money in the long run.
If your business is looking to build a new website in 2023, contact us to see how we can partner with you to be sure SEO is a priority for your new project.