The article gives the leadership five key elements to focus on for a website redesign. [This article has been updated as of July 15, 2020 from the original, which was written on January 20, 2011.]
For companies looking to strengthen the visibility of their websites, SEO efforts must be ongoing. Search engines “crawling” websites, for example, value fresh and informative content. Pages that hold older, static, possibly outdated information are not graded as well. Therefore, businesses looking to rank high on results pages should seriously consider a website redesign or refresh every three years.
If you would like to give your domain a face lift, here are 5 key elements that will please your prospects and search engines alike.
- An Attractive Design – Visiting a cluttered or visually unappealing site can be immediately off-putting. Whether the page looks extremely outdated or has so many unorganized elements that it’s an eye sore, a bad first impression can drive a heck of a lot of traffic away. When outlining a plan for a new design, less is more. A bold, clean web page with current graphics, that support your brand, goes a long way.
- Powerful Content – A good deal of thought and care should go into creating fresh content. Language should be concise, informative and easy to understand. Websites coded in high level lingo, acronyms or technical speak will only appeal to a small group of visitors. The rest will click the back button with a heavy sigh of frustration. On the other hand, websites flooded with sales pitches or shallow content will be about as effective as an empty pool. Important questions to ask while writing include: Who is my audience? What can I talk about that my competitors cannot? How can I establish my business as a thought leader? How can I avoid industry jargon?
- Friendly User Interface – All site visitors should be able to quickly and easily navigate to every corner of a domain. All web pages should be easy to use on their phone or tablet and Google gives high marks for mobile-friendly sites. To determine if your site is mobile-friendly, Google has a simple test you can use. Companies should include updated company contact information. A phone number, address, email, and contact form are essential in assuring that interested prospects are able to inquire about services or ask questions.
- A Sitemap – The sitemap should be located at the root of the website where search engines can easily access it and utilize it almost as an index. Website owners should submit their sitemap (XML site map) to search engines.
- SEO – Website optimization includes many elements (and will most likely call for a whole different blog on key SEO elements for a successful website redesign) that can substantially boost the power of its site. Important features include strong titles and headings, strategic keywords, optimized title tags and alt tags on images. Websites should never, ever cheat or utilize “black hat marketing” techniques. Search engines are way too smart to be tricked and will heavily punish websites dabbling in dishonest strategies.
What important elements do you consider when redesigning your website?