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SEO Quick Tips: Preparing for a Website Redesign
Thursday, September 08, 2011
It seems like all site owners go through a website redesign at some point or another. Previously, we have posted tips for planning a site redesign, but we thought at the very minimum there are a few items that are sometimes overlooked when planning a site redesign.  As a result we have compiled a Quick Tips list of five things that will help you prepare for your redesign.

SEO Quick Tips for Planning a Website Redesign
  1. Take inventory of your site's pages - this is so important yet is often overlooked due to the inability to compile and keep an inventory of your site pages.  Understanding not only how many pages your site consists of but knowing what those pages are is critical for moving forward with your redesign.  I know, I know some of you e-commerce site owners are thinking, "...but we have millions of pages...".  The fact is if you do not even know what your site consists of how can you possibly ensure that your site is fully optimized?  This topic warrants a post unto itself but  for now it makes our list of quick tips for planning a redesign.  Some site owners are able to perform an internal crawl of their pages to take inventory, other may require the use of tools.  Depending on the size of your site, tools such as XENU and Screaming Frog may work well for your needs.
  2. Take inventory of your links - at least gain an general understanding of who is linking to your pages, and have an idea of which pages currently have great inbound link inventories.  The same can be done with regards to your internal links.
  3. Prepare checklists - when planning a site redesign, working from a checklist or checklists will make your life more easy and will help ensure that you do not overlook any key elements of the redesign.
  4. Pick a realistic launch date - by doing this you can provide ample time to plan, test, transition, launch and monitor your site, through the redesign process.  This also gives you something to work towards.  While launch dates frequently change, having a realistic launch date in place should mean that changes to the launch date should happen less if at all.
  5. Understand your keyword rankings - many folks say that rankings don't matter.  That is total BS.  Everyone monitors their rankings.  If you are at all interested in how your site is performing in search you need to monitor your rankings in conjunction with traffic data and such.  Prior to proceeding with your redesign take the time to know where you rank for your important key phrase, in particular your non-branded phrases.  Anytime your perform a redesign or make major site changes you run the risk of losing rankings and traffic as a result.  Mitigate this risk with a knowledge of where you stand in the search engines.
There you have it, five fairly easy things that you can do to help prep for your website redesign.  Trust me levering these items can save you some grief, time and money.


posted by Jody @ Thursday, September 08, 2011  
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Name: Jody
Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
About Me: SEO guy by day, family man 24/7.
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