It’s Friday the 13th – an unlucky day that the superstitious dread. A day to avoid black cats, broken mirrors, ladders, and cracks in the sidewalks. But there is one thing can that make a company “unlucky” year-round, not just on certain Fridays. You might to refer to it as “the curse of the unseen.” Bad luck indeed – your company doesn’t show up in search results and your website is almost impossible to find because it hasn’t been optimized for search. But it’s not really luck that determines how your company is found in search, it’s planning. How can you make sure your company avoids the “curse of the unseen” in your next site redesign?
A company’s website redesign is rarely initiated with only one goal in mind, such as obtaining a new look and feel. Dynamic businesses have many objectives to meet and constituents to please in the collaborative design process. Whether the drivers of the website redesign are a new product or service launch, new positioning, global expansion, new leadership, or all of the above, the redesign team must balance many objectives to create a product which projects the company’s image while attracting customers. This is a large order to fill. As you plan your website redesign, add Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your list to ensure you aren’t affected by the curse — SEO is essential in increasing traffic to your new website.
Optimizing your website for search engines will boost new visitors and increase organic traffic, providing you with more leads to convert into customers. By incorporating SEO strategies throughout the design process, the team is better positioned to author content and develop a navigational structure that improves the impact of the new site. If the SEO considerations are left until the end of the design process, valuable time is wasted reworking the hard-sought design, and you will be doomed to be unseen. Skipping the SEO initiative entirely, in the interest of time, bypasses a golden opportunity to optimize the website’s effectiveness and will, undoubtedly, require revisiting and another time-consuming redesign down the road.
Search engine friendly websites are those that allow search engines to quickly navigate sites, hand-feeding keyword-rich pages to the web crawling bots. This access is essential to successful organic search results. A thorough SEO site audit will enable you to identify any design problems or other obstacles that would cause the search engine spiders to bypass or get lost in your website. By applying SEO considerations to storyboards and testing prototypes, companies can determine their site’s search engine friendliness prior to launch. Your design or SEO team must also clearly identify target keywords beyond product names – the phrases and related search topics that drive prospects to the site. With the help of tools, analytics and competitor evaluations, you can effectively determine the keyword phrases essential to your site design. With those keywords in mind, the website content can be authored with a clear focus toward the words and phrases that entice prospects to visit your site. By incorporating the keywords into the Title tags, Meta Descriptions, and the body of the content, visitors will easily be able to navigate the site based upon those search terms that brought them there originally.
A website redesign without SEO consideration can produce a beautiful website, full of flashes and visually appealing graphics. But without the words and phrases that describe the business, reference related topics, and identify problems the business solves, the search engines will overlook the site and you will be cursed to receive very little traffic. By enhancing the search engine friendliness of the website, you will improve the rate at which website visitors are converted to customers. No website redesign should be without a solid SEO initiative. It is a winning strategy for boosting exposure, attracting visitors, avoiding the “curse of the unseen,” and converting those visitors into leads.
On this Friday they 13th, do you have any other tips on how companies can avoid bad luck? Let us know in the comment area below!
By Kathy Walsh, 451 Marketing Intern