Firefly Digital is sharing a list of seven website redesign secrets that we have developed over the years in the blog series “Seven Website Redesign Secrets” to help you get the best possible results and to avoid disastrous mistakes in your next redesign project. Below is the second post in the series: Secret 2 – Build your Website Around Secure Assets


SECRET 2 – Build your Website Around Secure Assets

When you decide to begin your next website redesign project it is crucial to protect and preserve your websites assets. Your website is composed of valuable assets such as inbound links, keyword rankings in the search engines, content and conversion tools that form the foundation and framework of your website. These assets drive traffic, and that’s critical if you want to convert leads to customers.

In the past, an exciting and professional looking website was highly valued. While great design is still important, website traffic has emerged as the most critical and highly valued aspect of a website. Great content, search engine listing and ranking drive traffic volume and conversion of traffic to leads and customers: the ultimate end-game for most websites.

Update Your Content, Not Its Location!

Over time, and as you create great content to attract visitors to your website, search engines list your web pages within their search engine. Changing your content — updating it for example — improves your rankings. However, changing the location of the page (changing the page name) could have devastating effects on your search engine rankings. In many cases, your content disappears from the search engines. This is a mistake you do not want to make.

Our clients too often devalue their content in the website re-design process and ditch their original content for new content. Great content trumps great design. Updated, better content is a good thing and makes great content better. However, the MISTAKE is moving the original location of content in the website redesign process.  Improve content but keep existing content in the same location or establish a page redirect strategy to protect your website assets as part of your redesign project.

Do you have the content assets that will propel your business beyond the competition?

We have created an asset checklist so you know just what assets are helping you and what assets you need to develop or work on!

Determine how many pages you have in your website.

How big is your “online footprint?” Creating relevant content on the web that you own has enormous potential to increase your “online footprint” and improve your chances of getting found.

Figure out which pages are most popular.

Focus on your strengths. When you can identify which pages are more successful (attract more qualified traffic) compared to other pages,  you are able to better improve page performance. You could add more content to your most popular pages, getting more exposure for the new content. Or, you could add a lead capture form and call-to-action on popular pages to boost the marketing value on those pages, for example.

Determine how many inbound links you have.

Inbound links are those links on other websites that link to your website. A few years ago, establishing back-links from these other websites to pages within your website was key to boosting your traffic. Now, these sort of back-links from link pages don’t work. Links to your website must include at least 600 words of relevant content to even be qualified as a legitimate link source in a search engine. These legitimate links to or from high page ranking sites will provide the drive you need to push your website traffic beyond your competition.

Determine where these links are coming from.

Not all links are created equal. Evaluate where your links are coming from, whether it be from a blog post or a forum comment. Discovering where your target audience is coming from will allow you to gain more traffic by putting more effort into those website pages.

Look up which interior pages have inbound links.

Most exterior links come directly from your homepage and flow onto the other pages of your website. Generally, a particular product or service will have more value than others and the traffic getting driven towards that product is usually equal to its demand. By determining which products and services have inbound links, you can create more content surrounding that product or service to help drive even more traffic to your site.

Figure out which keywords are most effective.

It’s not about which keywords you’re ranking for, it’s the keywords you WANT to rank for. You might think that “stuffing” your website with a large number of keywords is encouraging traffic to your site. The reality is just the opposite of what happens most of the time. Very often, keyword stuffing can be identified by the search engines. If this happens, your page ranking may be penalized or even delisted.  That puts all of your SEO work at serious risk.

Identify a few keywords for each page of content and create great content that visitors will value. Then utilize those keywords in the content as noted below:

Use keywords in the:

  • URL
  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags
  • Alt Image Tags

Keyword placement and density also matter, so be thorough, but don’t overdo it (i.e. stuffing).

Determine which keywords you rank for before the move.

Keyword research will tell you exactly where your prospects are coming from, how they got there, and how to keep them there. Knowing where you rank with your keywords provides the info you need for effective analysis and improvement.

Moving Forward…

It is so important to take great care with your content and website assets as you work through your website redesign, or you risk losing all of the SEO value you have worked so hard to create. If you do not fully understand the process of on-page and off-page SEO work, you should enlist a digital marketing services agency before redesigning your website.

If you don’t already have a system in place that allows you to track and analyze your metrics, hiring an SEO specialist is a critical step in achieving the gains and improvements you hope a redesign will bring to your website.

Up next in the “Seven Website Re-design Secrets” series, “SECRET 3 – Formatting your Homepage” Don’t miss it!