ďOne of the most dangerous times for websites is during website re-design.Ē
Many firms, particularly firms which attract a large customer base over the internet, and firms with several competitors, resort to sophisticated search engine optimization to get higher listings on search engine results pages (SERPs). A higher listing on and SERP over other firms means that a customer is more likely to click on your site link, before he scrolls down to discover another firmís website link. The benefits of a good rank on an SERP through such optimization are clear. Search engine optimization often involves money spent on specialized consultants whose only job is to carefully alter your web page code and design in ways that would ensure that the web search engine ranks you higher.
Yet, many website owners fail to recognize the need for utmost care when re-designing their website. They need to realize that in the process of making their site look more attractive, they should not do away with aspects of the design and code that guarantee that good rank.
Consider this scenario. A company hires great SEO consultants and manages phenomenal search engine ranks and visibility through the optimization process. This higher rank in fact leads them to thousands of dollars of new business generated by visits to the website after it was easily found on all major search engines. The job of the SEO people is done, and perhaps, the original website designer at the firm leaves making way for a new hire to manage their website.
The new hire decides that the original site has too much text and needs more images. So without asking anyone why the website was doing so well on all major search engines, he decides to all the carefully crafted pages and put in a whole lot of images instead. Considering the search engine crawlers cannot read images, the rankings of this website on SERPs begin to plummet. Eventually, any benefits that this firm got by being up there on the SERPs were transferred to its competitors who instead managed to make it to the top spots.
This is not an uncommon scenario. Often many website designers hires by companies, even professional designers have no knowledge about the importance and the implementation of Search engine Optimization. Many website designers are more interested in a dazzling entry page, and pages done with Flash. Sure it looks brilliant, but there really isnít any point to that if your website is not found by any potential customers in the first place. The website being of a good design is far from the most important thing with respect to improvement of business, whereas search engine optimization surely is.
So it is extremely important for all firms to pay careful attention to the process of re-design, when it does happen.
A few pointers when hiring that website designer to do the re-design:
- He should know all about your business
- Should ask questions about Search engine optimization programs adhered to in the past.
- Should know who the target audience of your website is
- Should put usability of the site ahead of how visually attractive it looks.
- Should use Flash in a limited manner (since search engine crawlers do not crawl or index Flash)
- Makes sure that the title and meta tags should be distinct for every page.