Archive for the ‘web-design’ Category
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.
Page Load Time
A site redesign gives you the opportunity to re-code, condense externally referenced files, and achieve faster load times.
Don’t let the designer use the word “Flash” during your call(s). In an attempt to make a new site look pretty, the reliance on multimedia usage can have a negative effect on site speed. Ignoring this is bad, as Google has stated in the last year that site speed is a ranking consideration – also, slower sites annoy users.
Ensure that your development environment or beta sections of the site are excluded from search engine’s view. Relaunching your site when these elements have been indexed by the engines means your cool new site is a duplicate and you will be in a mad dash trying to redirect the development environment that was leaked. Also, make sure there are no live copies on other servers that have visibility with the search engines.
Another form of content duplication is the creation of new URLs without properly redirecting old URLs via a 301 permanent redirect. This will leave search engines wondering which page should be ranked.
It’s also worth mentioning that 301s are a must and that 302 temporary redirects should not be used. Make it commonplace in the redesign process that no one used the word delete in reference to site content. You should never delete any pages, these should be permanently redirected to the most relevant launching page.
Redesigns are difficult, time intensive, frequently expensive, and often frustrating. Religious wars can be waged over anything and everything (the messaging, style, imaging, layout, and infrastructure, etc).
These wars can create the kind of hostility and hard feelings that can last for years within an organization.
Redesigns can become contentious because the dedicated actors within organizations frequently have very different beliefs about the makeup and future of a company. The worst thing that can happen is that subject opinion blossoms into a vision that won’t be compromised under any circumstance.
There are a couple important reasons you should never wait until after the redesign to get your search engine optimization firm involved:
- A sound SEO strategy can help swing internal debates such as choosing the right platform, programming language, and layout.
- Getting an SEO involved early in the process will remove the possibility of additional development work after the launch.
If you don’t have an SEO firm, select one that can effectively communicate and coexist with your development firm. Try asking bidding development firms to recommend a search company with whom they’ve already had successful engagements.
While some might consider this a conflict of interest, copacetic agency coexistence can reduce petty sniping and encourage cooperative collaboration. This will reduce the cost of the project, mitigate risk, and assist in meeting the launch date.
The trick to a successful e-commerce site is making transactions easy and enjoyable for customers.
If you design a gorgeous website, use search engine optimization to generate steady traffic, and add a shopping cart and store, your online sales will manage themselves, right?
Well, despite the plethora of easy-to-use web tools available for running a business online, it turns out you’ve got to keep a close eye on your e-commerce game. If sales are flat or declining, don’t just question the quality of your product offerings and pricing.
Consider something more basic: Your website might be turning away customers.
In December AOL released a number of logos as part of their rebranding. Here are of the logos:
Not really to my taste but we can see they’re trying to be more creative and take advantage of wider colour palettes available online. Unfortunately, they fail the fax test.
The Logo Fax Test is really just taking your prospective logo and changing it into 1 channel colour. That will simulate how it will look when you fax it through a standard machine.
It is important to apply the logo fax test as it will show you how it appears via fax, but also shows you how transferable your logo is in different scenarios. Will your logo look good on a t shirt, mug, or ball cap. What about as a temporary tattoo? Any logo that passes the fax test will also look good in other forms of media.
Not the AOL Logos – they all fail the Logo Fax Test: