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The experts at SEO.com are willing to reveal small changes you can make to your website to make a bigger difference in your online presence and rankings.

Discover when, why, and how you might need to rework your website and explore new opportunities for improvement in our recorded ebinar. Stay ahead of the competition by learning about powerful tools and adjustments you can make to your website in order to solidify your position online.

If you want to yield the best results possible, register for the webinar Redesign Your Website: When, Why, and How now. Find out the best techniques that will help you increase your influence and what it takes to achieve higher rankings.

Watch the replay and check out the presentation slides below. Also check out Greg Shuey’s recap post Redesigning Your Website For Users And Crawlers

Redesign Your Website: When, Why, and How

[flv:2012-03-29_Redesign_Your_Website_When_Why_and_How.flv 512 320]

Webinar Transcript

Pat: Greetings, everyone. Thank you for joining us for the SEO.com webinar today. We’re here with Greg Shuey. He’s going to be our guest presenter. He’s going to be talking today about redesigning your website: when, why, and how you should redesign it. How are you doing today, Greg?

Greg: I’m doing well.

Pat: Thanks everybody for being with us today. We have a nice audience gathered. Greg Shuey is the VP of Client Services. He’s got some great tips for us today about redesigning your website and boosting your search engine rankings, hopefully, in the process. Greg, where are we going to begin our conversation today?

Greg: We’re going to start off by talking a little bit about SEO.com. As many of our blog readers, clients, and potential clients know, we just recently went through a redesign, and that’s what spurred this webinar. SEO.com is one of the leading search optimization agencies in the world. We focus most of our efforts around organic SEO and getting our clients’ websites ranking well in the search engines organically. We also dabble a little bit in social media marketing a little bit. Basically what we do is help our clients drive more revenue from organic search results.

Pat: Excellent. What are you going to be talking about today?

Greg: Redesigning your website. So, to jump right in, I have to apologize in advance. Some of my slides are very text-heavy. As most of you know if you have been on a webinar of mine, I usually like to use big images for my slides. I am filling in for another employee, so I had to throw these together last minute. But I feel we do have some good information in here. I’m going to be spending most of my time on how to redesign your website and what you should be looking at. But we’re also going to address when you should redesign your website and why you should be redesigning your website, along with the how, so let’s jump in.

Pat: Excellent.

Greg: So, first thing: when to redesign your website. Now, there is no hard and fast rule. You can find probably millions of websites online that haven’t ever redesigned their websites. They probably look the same as they did 10 or 15 years ago. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it’s not a good thing. HubSpot did some research and you can find this data over on a slideshare PowerPoint. I have the source at the bottom of this slide. They did some research on when companies should redesign their websites. They found through their research that 39% of marketers feel that a company should redesign their website every 13 to 24 months. That’s every one or two years. Almost 40% of marketers feel that way. Another 29% of marketers feel that a website should redesigned should be redesigned every 25 to 36 months. We’re looking at about 70% who feel you should be redesigning your website every one to three years. Not a hard and fast rule, again, but that’s the general consensus among marketers, every one to three years, to get a little facelift for your website.

Pat: So, I guess the next question is why do we redesign?

Greg: That is the next question. Why redesign? There are many reasons to redesign a website. Here are just a few. Marketers and business owners redesign websites for a few different reasons. First and foremost, they want something more user friendly. A lot of websites from the past aren’t exactly user friendly. They want something where their users can come to their websites, they can find what they’re looking for, they can take action and generate revenue for their business.

They want their website to look more professional. If you have an old website, it probably isn’t on par with other websites in your industry. Maybe it is—maybe everyone in your industry has a website from 10 years ago and that’s perfectly fine. But professionalism is another reason why people redesign. Again, stay in check with other websites in your industry. If every one of your top competitors has an up-to-date website—a very modern and current-looking website—and yours still has animated gifs on it or it has a neon blue background or what not, it isn’t up to par and you’re going to start losing market share to those who have a facelift and look more professional.

Another reason: they want to improve their branding or their position. Another reason: they want more freedom to customize their website. They may transition from a website that was hard-coded to a website that runs on WordPress or some other CMS so they can make those changes on the fly and add their customizations easily without having to know HTML or hire a web developer to do that for them. They want the freedom and the ability to customize at will.

The last item on my list: they want to better optimize for lead generation or sales. Websites today pretty much are set up for the purpose of generating revenue. They are set up to generate leads and generate sales. There are informational websites out there, but the majority of those are not intended to generate revenues. People want to redesign to bring customers to their website and direct them to their form (to generate a lead) or their product (to make a sale) online, and they can do that through a redesign.

Webinar Highlights

  • Design the website to be convenient for the user. Make sure they are easily navigated by using a good, intuitive internal link structure. Users will leave if they can’t find their way around.
  • Use organic SEO to help users find your product pages straight from the search engine so they don’t have to navigate your site at all.
  • Your website should solve your users’ problems and “reduce their pain,” so to speak. This is how you generate revenue. It should also answer their questions.
  • Each page of your website should have a clear call-to-action that leads to solutions, answers, and information.
  • They will go to your competitor’s site if they cannot find a call-to-action or if it does not seem to solve their problem right away.
  • Put your phone number and a lead form about your key product or service on your home page. Make it easy for users to see what you do and how well you do it.
  • Have just a few categories, each with a drop-down menu, to access other pages. About pages, product pages, and success pages are all crucial to capture the interest of your clients and generate leads.
  • Provide content that answers your users’ questions concisely. You need to get to the point quickly and cut out unnecessary information. Take a few days to develop the content and make it more concise each time you come back to it.
  • Avoid long paragraphs and sentences, and use easy-to-understand and shorter words and sentences. This helps people to read quickly.
  • Break up your website content with headings. Make certain the most essential content is in the first paragraph. After that, have sections with headings on supporting details and other related information.
  • Use bulleted lists to keep your content shorter and easier to read.
  • I need to mention to Aubrey that I rendered percentages with the % rather than spelling out the word, which is not typical of formal writing but is typical of marketing writing b/c it draws attention to convincing stats.
  • Search engine crawlers want more content than readers do. Your pages will need to have 300 to 400 words for crawlers to rank your pages well. However, you want people to get the point within the first few paragraphs.
  • Keep your website code as lean as possible. If your website is mainly text with only a little code, search crawlers can read it better.
  • You must build social media sharing into your website. This is now essential to success. This includes Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. One of the best sources of leads comes from your customers sharing you with their friends.
  • Make everything easy to share through social media. You should have ‘share’ buttons on the top and bottom of every page and connected to every product / service you offer. Put it on every blog post too.
  • In some industries, such as fashion, Pinterest will be a crucial source of social media leads while LinkedIn will be unimportant. For other industries, you will want to focus on LinkedIn instead of Pinterest. It depends on your target audience.
  • WordPress is a very SEO-friendly website builder. It comes with many plugins that can help you maximize your site for search engine results. You do not have to be tech-savvy to use it.
  • You can get WordPress in one click from several hosting sites, including BlueHost, Media Temple, DreamHost, and MyHosting.com.
  • The Yoast plugin for WordPress is particularly good in helping you improve your SEO. Other good plugins include “yet another related post,” Google Site Verification, Google XML Sitemap, Redirection, SEO Smart Links, SEO Friendly Images, WP Super Cache, and Broken Link Checker.
  • You must track the success of your new web design. Google Analytics will help you track user behavior. You can also use Century Interactive for organic search analytics and MongooseMetrics for PPC analytics.
  • Phone call tracking is also every important. Use CallRail for this purpose.
  • Google Analytics now tracks code in the footer instead of the header, so make sure your website is set up for the latest version of Google Analytics. Use it for lead and e-commerce tracking as well.
  • Use simple and intuitive URLs that just use page titles and no numbers.
  • Use intuitive internal links to other important pages on your site. This helps increase crawlability by search crawlers. It also helps users easily find relevant pages. Use keywords as links to make it clear what the linked pages are about.
  • Schemas (found at schema.org) enable you to tell search engine crawlers exactly what your web page is about. All major search engines read these markups.
  • Schemas also build up what users see in the search results themselves. Your company will include an address, a phone number, a map, and a link to reviews in the search result. This is crucial in your visibility in web searches.
  • Your authorship helps to boost the visibility of your site. The picture of each author helps to build credibility and draw in more readers.
  • Summary: redesign your website every 1-3 years to improve appearance, branding, customizeability, and lead generation. Make sure it’s user friendly and SEO friendly.