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Live Blogging Mediative's SEO for Website Redesign Webinar
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Liveblogging Mediative's webinar on SEO for Website Redesign.  Presenter's included Jeff Muendel, SEO Manager, eCommerce Group at Grainger and Charlotte Bourne, Senior Search Strategist, Mediative.

Jeff began by discussing three key points when preparing for your website redesign
  • Get engaged in the redesign process early on - at the the point of wireframe production
  • clarify the needs of natural search
    • document the items that make the site crawlable
    • explain why these requirements are needed
    • clarify what needs to be avoided
  • verify that your SEO requirements are understood and incorporated
    • is the architecture crawlable
    • is the content populating properly
    • is the 301 redirect plan in place
    • are XML sitemaps in place
Jeff stated that the focus should be on architecture and content.   He also stated that the redsign probably won't be perfect.  Document issues and learn from the redesign experience for future site redesigns.  He concluded with some good points:
  • the IT department is your friend
  • usability people are your friends
  • SEO is always a team effort
Charlotte was up next and began by discussing SEO and the impact on conversions if you get your usability wrong.  Website redesign is risky.  Charlotte suggests that you should think like Googlebot. The goal of the search engines is to provide the most relevant result to a user based on a specific search query.  She suggests that you need to focus on:
  1. Crawling 
    • have a redirect plan
    • XML sitemaps
    • HTML sitemaps
    • robots.txt
    • use of AJAX
    • hidding content in iFrames
    • limiting content access via JS
    • Dynamic parameters
  2. Indexing
    • consider file types - images and videos have the potential to rank.  Pay attention to blended/universal search results
    • avoid low quality pages
    • avoid duplicate content
    • monitor in Google Webnmaster Tools - indexation rates
  3. Ranking
    • domain authority
    • page authority
    • anchor text of incoming links
    • on page optimization
Charlotte touched on search vertical such as blended search, social search, local search and mobile search.  She made a great point that good UX will never be discounted.  Webnsites that provide good content to the user will always perform better today and they will continue to do so tomorrow.  Don't chase the algorithm today.

Charlotte finished up by touching on monitoring search metrics pre and post site launch.

Nice presentation.

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posted by Jody @ 11:57 AM  
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