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SEO Considerations for a Website Redesign

Posted on 2.23.2017
The job responsibilities of web designers have changed dramatically over the years. 

Once concentrated exclusively on delivering visually impressive products, they are now also asked to influence a range of other highly important factors to the success of an enterprise, and the success of search engine optimization campaigns in particular. These demands are amplified when it's time to redesign a digital presence. 

Let's take a look at a few of the considerations web designers should make as it relates to the practice of SEO, specifically in the case of a website redesign. 

IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

The Web is a visual place and it serves enterprises well when the image assets they use are designed for viewing on a range of devices, have descriptive file names, and provide ALT text. A redesign is a perfect opportuity to revisit current naming conventions, and optimize the meta and file data associated with those assets.

SCHEMA MARKUP

Most enterprises are completely unaware of the benefits of markup, but they are well documented. Take the time as a designer to understand the data you're working with as a website is redesigned and the opportunities for optimization. There will likely be opportunities to add schema markup for events, location, products andmore. 

URL STRUCTURE

Search engines may not assign more value to URLs that include descriptive keywords, but users do, and search engines most certainly care about the experience of users. Create short, descriptive URLs for every instance and make sure that if you're changing your URL structure, 301 redirects are in place before launch (and monitoring for broken URLs takes place post-launch.  

SITE SPEED

Arguably one of the most important ranking factors, designers play an integral role in ensuring a speedy experience for users. Impliment known procedures and processes to ensure optimal load times including leveraging browser caching, eliminatng render-blocking Javascript, enabling compression and more.

H-TAG USE & PRESENTATION

Images are important to the digital experience, but nothing is more powerful than text. The manner in which text is organized and presented matters to users as well as search engines so use H-tags appropriately. Use them in order (if only for your own benefit) and ensure they are sufficiently differentiated from one another so the reader can understand natural breaks in the copy.

NAVIGATION SIMPLICITY

Never forget that the Web is really just a set of interconnected devices and documents. The easier, more useful, more descriptive designers make navigation the better it is for search engines and users to follow them. Audit the navigation menus on a digital property pre-launch to understand if there is a way to combine and thus simplify the link opportunities available.
 
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