SEO: Why the first step just might be a website redesign!

website redesignA few years ago if someone said they just wanted SEO that meant that they just wanted link building.  It was well known that even though Google said that if you wanted to get good rankings all you had to do was produce high quality content, the reality was that it was a number game of how many links you had to your site.

To many, SEO became simply doing off site link building.

Today this is not the case.

Today Google ranks sites based on different metrics.  To get a site ranked today, you need to have a clean coded, user-friendly site that publishes high quality content that is loved, liked, and shared!

A website redesign is not exactly a separate project from SEO, but rather a part of it.  There are certain elements that top ranking sites have in common.  Some of these elements are things like social sharing bars.   Other elements would be things like pagination or a dynamic navigation.  In order to get the best SEO results in the shortest time possible, these elements should be added to a site.


So how can you tell if your site needs a re-design?


First, take a look at your code.  The code of your website is how Google knows what your site is about.  By placing keywords throughout your site, you can tell Google what your site is about.  The key here is to not overdo it.  If not done correctly you can actually hurt your site.  Some of the places to check your code are the following:

  1. Title Tag
  2. Meta Description Tag
  3. SEO Friendly URLs
  4. Images named with keywords
  5. Alt Text with Keywords

You can also run your site through a code validator tool to check other elements.  Also be sure to check page load speed as well as if there are any errors on Google Webmaster Tools.

Next, take a look at how user friendly your site is.  There are three basic metrics you can check to determine if Google thinks your site is user friendly or not.

Bounce Rate.  Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors on your site that immediately leave your site without clicking through to another page.  So if Google sends you a visitor from the search results and that visitor immediately leaves your site, then they “bounced” off your site.  Google interprets this to mean that the visitor did not find what they are looking for.  Since Google wants to give their user the best results possible, they see this as a sign that your site is not relevant to the search results and your ranking is penalized.  If your bounce rate is high, your site may need some re-design elements so that visitors don’t immediately leave your site.

Click Through Rate.  Just like bounce rate, Google is looking at the click through rate of your site.  The click through rate is the number of pages deep that your visitors travel through your site.  If your site has too low of a click through rate, then Google interprets that to mean that your site was not very interesting.

The third way Google can tell if your site is user friendly is by how long your visitors are spending on your site.  If they are on your site for less than thirty seconds or so, then it is clear to Google that they did not find what they were looking for.

Next, evaluate if you have a method to add high quality content that your market can share.  This normally means… do you have a blog on your site?  If not, then you need to add one.  When adding a blog, the design of the blog normally matches the design of your site.  If your site design is not something you absolutely love, then consider re-designing your site at the same time you add a blog to your site.

Finally, evaluate the lead capture pages of your site.  Your website may sell physical products, but many forget that the best opportunity you have is to capture leads from your site so that you can market to them later.  Even many sites that sell direct to consumer, could easily add a corporate or bulk buying area to their site.  This can usually be accomplished by adding a separate area to the site that is structured with sales copy with the goal of capturing leads.  Again, it is important that if you are going to add a new area to your website, that the site design be consistent.


So in review:

Check your code, usability, and ability to publish high quality content and create special landing pages on your site for specific target markets.  If you can’t do these things or are limited, then maybe a website re-design is the right choice.


Are you ready for a site re-design?  Schedule a free 20 minute site evaluation with me today.

Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Most Small Business Owners Make and How To Avoid Them

Does your website make you want to feel like pulling your hair out?  Have you spent hundreds of hours and/or thousands of dollars on trying to create a website to market your business and you still aren’t getting the results you need?

Did they tell you.. If you build it, they will come… and you built your site… but NOTHING?

Did you pay a fancy web designer to create a pretty site… and now after talking to a marketing company you realize your site is not SEO friendly but you are not sure where to start to fix it?

Does it feel like you built a fancy hotel in the middle of the desert?

Then welcome to the club!  You are experiencing what most small business owners experience at one time or another.

I can’t think of anything more frustrating than spending a lot of time, money, and effort on something and not getting the results I was hoping for.

Did you know that there are over 600,000 daily searches for local services? That is great news if you are a local service based entrepreneur.

All the time people are searching for dentists, plumbers, landscape architects, roofers, and massage therapists online.  And a lot of times they are searching from their phones… but we will leave that for another day!

So how can you get your site to show up in the search results?  Well the first thing is you have to make sure that your site is not making one of these top 5 web design mistakes.  Let’s get started!


Mistake #1 Failing to Guide the User Through Usability and Clear Calls To Action

One of the primary mistakes most business owners make is that they fail to ask themselves… what action do I want my prospect to take?

When a visitor comes to your site, what action do you want them to take?

To figure this out, first determine what are your top three to four main products or market segments.  For example we have done a few projects for Djs.  When someone calls a dj to hire for a project, they are usually looking to book a dj for a wedding, corporate event, or party.  The questions that they ask and the information that they require for each type of event is different.

After determining the three to four main categories your prospects fall in to, the next step is to make it extremely easy for them to self-select which category best fits them from the home page so that they can navigate easily to the page specific to their needs.

The next step is to ask yourself how exactly you want your prospect to contact you.  Do you want them to call you?  Do you want them to email? Fill out a web form?  Then place that exact call to action throughout the site so that your users are guided through the site to the correct landing pages.


Mistake #2 Failing to Optimize the Site for the Search Engines

It does not matter how pretty your site is if Google can’t find it!  Make sure you are optimizing your site correctly for the search engines.

  1. Make sure you have unique keyword rich title tags for each page.
  2. Use unique benefits plus call to action in the each meta description.
  3. Use keywords but be sure to not overoptimize.
  4. Add your local address in the footer of each page of the site.
  5. Verify your site with Google+.
  6. Update your site often.


Mistake #3 Failing to Integrate with Social Media

Social media is the absolute best way for you to promote your blog posts and build a community of raving fans!  The days of hiding behind personas is over.  You need to at a minimum have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and allow your visitors to share their favorite pages and blog posts easily.  If you have a visual site or if you can think of ways to make your site visual, then having a presence on Pinterest is essential also.


Mistake #4 Failing to Make an Instant Connection to Communicate Credibility and Trustworthiness

You have less than 15 seconds to capture your prospects attention from the moment they visit your website.  Less than 15 seconds to convince them that you are worth investigating further. To show them that you are trustworthy. To show them that you are credible.

Be sure to use credibility symbols such as the BBB logo and Chamber of Commerce logos to increase trustworthiness of your site.  Testimonials, video, and photos of you and your clients are great ways to create an instant connection and make them want to investigate just a little further.


Mistake #5 Failing to Have a Strong Lead Generation Strategy (aka Email List)

It is one of the easiest things to overlook and a lot of business owners still think they don’t need a list.  They only want customers to click the buy now button and that is it.  Unless you are selling a service that people only search for when they have an immediate need like when they search for a roofer because of a leaky roof or a plumber because of a pipe bursting, then you need to consider that not all of the people that visit your site are ready to make a purchase immediately.

It comes down to this.

  1. Create an amazing offer.
  2. Collect leads on your site.
  3. Follow up with the leads by sending them emails.

It really is not that complicated.  But who will actually TAKE ACTION and DO is the question.

If you found this information useful I want to challenge you to do TWO things.  One… leave a comment below as to what action you are going to take in the next 24 hours.  And then two… go to my facebook page at and tell me what action you took!

Good things happen to action takers! 🙂