Every website will need an update at some stage. It might be a new look, a new theme or a complete rebrand. Whilst visuals, layout and design are important, often they are the only things that are considered.

One of the biggest mistakes in a website refresh is to forget about SEO until it’s too late. If you don’t have SEO in mind from the initial strategy session, you’ll be wasting your time. How to SEO a website before you begin the redesign is so critical.

So, here are 8 important things to think about from and SEO perspective that will help your website get found by the right people.

  1. Do your keyword research. Try Google’s Keyword Planner (it’s free), and look for words that relate to your business, that get plenty of monthly searches and that don’t have high competition.
  2. Use your keyword in your URLs.g. www.domainname.com/your-keyword. This is something that needs to be done as you’re setting up new pages, or, you can redirect old pages to the new URL.
  3. Use your keyword in your page title. Google loves seeing your keyword in your SEO page title, so make sure it’s there!
  4. Use your keyword in your meta-description. Ideally, have your keyword phrase in the first few words of the meta-description. The closer to the start the better.
  5. Check your keyword density. Aim for a keyword density of 2-3% so your text is easy to read and not considered ‘spammy’. If your keyword appears twice in the first 100 words, your keyword density is 2%.
  6. Structure your internal links so they contain your keyword phrase as the link text, rather than simply “click here”
  7. Check your visitor behaviour by using Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools (both free). Learn how to analyse your visitor behaviour by checking out things like your click through rates, bounce rates, number of visitors and time spent on a page.
  8. Take advantage of link building. When other quality sites link to yours, Google considers your site to be popular and rewards you for it. Never buy links or use dodgy link practices, as these can harm your SEO efforts. 

Most of these SEO tactics need to be planned out before you do any updates of your website, so make sure they are incorporated into your refresh strategies.

If you’re unsure how to go about doing an SEO update of your website, please feel free to reach out. You can download our Free eBook 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid or you can register for an Online Audit to show you the SEO considerations relevant to your next website upgrade.