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8 Tips for Effective Website Redesign from an SEO Agency

8 Tips for Effective Website Redesign

A lot can go wrong during a Website Redesign. From traffic losses to negative audience feedback, any issue can adversely affect important metrics. To prevent the biggest problems, you can follow these tips on redesigning your website with SEO in mind.

Use Descriptive Links

Marketers and designers everywhere understand the importance of CTAs or calls to action. A good CTA tells the search engines which site content is most important. Try to provide a context in CTAs. For instance, a link that says “Find out more about our web design services” is more descriptive than one that simply says “Learn More.”

Reduce Overall Link Numbers

Descriptive links are important, but the overall number of links matters as well. Every link on a web page reduces the link equity that can be used on important pages. However, the problem can be mitigated when designers avoid over-linking to pages with little SEO value.

Use PDFs Wisely

Google and the other search engines are reluctant to send visitors straight to PDF pages. This can be detrimental to PDF content, as it’s a common format for detailed information like specifications, research, and whitepapers (which the search engines love). While it’s okay to have content in PDF format for effortless offline consumption, integrating it into a page can greatly expand a site’s new content footprint.

Moreover, if others link to the page rather than bypass it and link straight to the PDF content, owners can improve the site’s link ranking. If a Website Redesign involves using a PDF file as a lead generator, which is quite common on sites selling services and software, consider integrating content samples into the body of the page. This not only benefits the search engines, it helps potential customers determine whether they want to offer their contact info to download the remainder of the content.

Check Analytics Thoroughly

A redesign often entails a shift in information architecture and content strategy. Before revising a site’s navigation, review its analytics. A long-forgotten page may be working as a landing page and thereby generating valuable free, organic traffic. Such pages should retain a sitemap presence so the search engines can keep indexing them. During the analytics check, the site owner or designer should re-evaluate the site’s goals. Some pages do more than just generating traffic; they drive real results for the business. If this is the case, the page should be elevated rather than simply retained.

Be Careful With Subdomains

While IT departments often make domain decisions, there are SEO and marketing factors to consider as well. Google and the other search engines consider subdomains as independent domains and, as such, they have little initial SEO equity. If a site owner is considering adding a content-rich platform such as a forum or blog, they should add it in the form of a primary domain subfolder. This strategy can help the primary domain gather the SEO equity.

Be More Responsive

Every web designer or marketer knows the world is increasingly mobile, but many fail to realize a site’s level of mobile friendliness is an important SEO factor. Google’s approach is known as responsive web design. Responsive websites adapt to a user’s viewport size so they get the same experience on a smartphone as they do on a conventional computer monitor. If a site owner is considering this approach, responsive design can give customers a good experience while satisfying Google’s requirements.

Use Webmaster Tools

It may seem counterintuitive to resolve a site’s current SEO issues before undergoing a redesign, but the sooner the site gets on firm footing with the search engines, the better off it will be. Install Google’s Webmaster Tools (or Bing’s counterpart) to determine how well the site is indexed by the search engine. If major errors are found, they should be fixed immediately. The best time to act is now, especially with SEO. Search engine optimization can take a significant amount of time, and site owners should start the countdown as soon as possible.

Give Thought to Content Creation

While it may be tempting to give a copywriter full creative control, it may not always be the best idea. It’s important to carefully choose phrasing and words, especially when trying to encourage people to find a business. If the site’s promo copy doesn’t match customers’ views of the company’s products and services, it may not attract the search engines’ attention, and the site’s reach could be limited.

Final Thoughts

Website renovations can be difficult, but they’re also worthwhile. It would be disingenuous to suggest the considerations listed here are the only SEO things to consider when redesigning your website, as there are many others to think of as well. Matters are further complicated by the ever-changing SEO landscape, but a digital marketing agency can provide advice, suggestions, and direction.

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Increasing B2B Sales with Inbound Marketing

According to information from various sources, inbound marketing is 76% more likely than outbound marketing to be the strategy of choice for B2B sellers. However, these same reports show that documenting marketing ROI is a marketer’s biggest challenge. That’s quite a disconnect, and it suggests it may be time for B2B Lead Generation teams to step back and return to the fundamentals of inbound marketing. With this information, marketers can set themselves and their bosses up for success. Below is an explanation of how to generate B2B Sales with Inbound Marketing.

B2B Inbound Marketing: What Is It?

Generating B2B Leads with inbound marketing is a way to help prospective clients find the company before they even reach the purchase point in the buying cycle. By offering content that keeps those visitors coming back to the company’s site, marketers can build brand preference and awareness. When a marketing team leverages content that’s relevant to the site’s audience, they can include calls to action that pull the traffic through the sales funnel.

The Effects of Inbound Marketing

One commonly overlooked effect of building B2B Sales with inbound marketing is that the company has more opportunities to reach and engage with customers. When the company’s buyer personas like its content, the existing customer base is engaged and educated. Many inbound marketing teams forget about existing customers when forming strategies, but using inbound marketing to engage current customers can help companies expand operations and increase revenue.

Goal Setting

Unlike PPC and other direct tactics, B2B Lead Nurturing with inbound marketing is sometimes hard to measure. Therefore, it’s extremely important for companies to define their goals at the beginning of an inbound marketing campaign. For a B2B seller, especially one with an in-house marketing team, it’s best to work backward from revenue goals to determine what the marketing campaign should accomplish. The number of new opportunities is the primary metric by which B2B marketing is measured, but even if that’s the goal, marketers should realize that SEO and content marketing take some time to implement.

Bridging the Gap

For marketers who are willing to wait, content can offer lasting and growing ROI in ways that no other marketing strategy or channel can. If a marketing team invests in inbound, members should allow enough time for results to be apparent. It may help to consider these statistics:

  • Companies with more than 30 landing pages create seven times more leads than companies with fewer than ten landing pages

  • Companies that create more than 15 blog posts per month get five times the traffic attained by non-blogging companies

  • Companies with over 50 blog posts can increase inbound leads by over 75%

Developing Buyer Personas

Persona analysis and market segmentation are different sides of the same coin. Whether a business is in the startup phase, looking for a way to cross the divide, or is expanding into a new market, having a detailed understanding of the target audience can help the marketing effort succeed. This is particularly true when that success depends on the constant production of content that solves leads’ problems and makes them want to revisit the site. Once the marketer sets goals, they should take some time to learn about and understand the target market. Know the ideal buyer by learning:

  • Where they come into the purchase cycle

  • Their specific challenges

  • Their definition of success

  • How they spend their time online

Content Creation

Based on the results of buyer persona research, the inbound marketing team should have an idea of the kind of content the ideal customer is looking for. Some customers prefer blog posts or videos while others want eBooks, whitepapers and webinars. However, for the average B2B marketer, blogging is the best way to attract customers to the company’s website, and it forms a launchpad to other content.

The Right Way to Blog

Keyword research is the cornerstone of a successful corporate blogging campaign. This means targeting longer keyword queries as opposed to competitive keywords. Long-tail keywords are ideal for blog post targeting, and they allow marketers to target niche-specific keywords to drive highly qualified leads to the site. While many marketers wonder how often they should publish new posts, they should focus on quality rather than quantity. Where post frequency is concerned, B2B sellers publishing more than 11 blog posts per month generate almost twice the leads of those who blog fewer than ten times per month.

Convert Through Capture Forms and Lead Magnets

If the product is a complex or costly one, it’s highly unlikely that the prospect will make a purchase on the first visit. Instead of engaging in a hard sell, marketers should consider offering an incentive or lead magnet that encourages an email signup or similar action. Special reports, white papers, and eBooks all work well. They’re an upgrade from the company’s free content, and they typically address subjects in greater detail. These lead magnets allow companies to show their expertise and experience, and they help to build the target market’s trust.

Grow and Close Leads With Email Marketing and Autoresponders

Once a prospect provides his or her contact information, the marketer can use a CRM system to follow up. Autoresponders are the perfect solution, as they allow marketers to slowly feed valuable content and sales pitches. Email marketing can help companies focus on qualified leads who are more likely to make a purchase.

A Marketer’s Next Steps

With these strategies in place, a marketing team can increase B2B Sales with Inbound Marketing. By creating and continually offering premium content, sellers can convert prospects into buyers as they move through the sales funnel.

boy reading a story and having an experience via UX Design

Storytelling & UX Design Part I: Why They Go Hand-In-Hand

Welcome to our two-part series on storytelling through the eyes – and talents – of UX design. In Part 1, I’ll share with you WHY UX design needs to consider effective storytelling as synonymous with effective UX design. In Part 2, we’ll explore steps a UX designer can take to get better at storytelling to create amazing journeys for their users. To start, indulge me in a quick thought exercise:

Which of the following two paragraphs do you find more intriguing ?


Paragraph 1

Stacy arrived at the airport. She checked in, went through security and waited for her plane. After a half hour or so, they began to board her group. Her plane was last in line to take off and had to wait on the runway for 45 minutes. Because of this, Stacy was late to her meeting in Denver.

Paragraph 2

Stacy arrived at the airport a bit nervous. She hadn’t been on a plane for many years, and she was heading to Denver for a meeting with a large potential client. Despite arriving plenty early, Stacy waited in a ridiculously long line to check in for her flight. Once her turn was up, it was pretty clear from the expression of the attendant and people in line behind her, that Stacy had no idea what she was doing – which made her face get red and her palms get a bit sweaty. After checking in, Stacy raced to the security area, only to see that the line was even longer there.  Even though she knew in the back of her mind that she had time before her flight took off, Stacy began to feel as though this whole day was going to go terribly wrong. While she waited in line, she decided that she was going to review her pitch in her head. She had been practicing for weeks and really wanted to land her first big deal. But Stacy’s train of thought kept getting interrupted by the stop and start of the security line. Finally, it was her turn. Learning her lesson and following the cues of the people in front of her, Stacy’s trip through the checkpoint went relatively quick. As she found her terminal and sat down, Stacy was beginning to feel a little better about the day. Little did she know that what was about to happen next was going to make her late for her big meeting in Denver.     


Both paragraphs have essentially the same information. In fact, the first paragraph has slightly more. However, the second paragraph is much more interesting because it is a story.  Some may argue that the first paragraph has a beginning, middle, and an end – so is, therefore, a story. But REAL stories are meant to connect with us emotionally, and the first paragraph is simply a list of facts. In the second paragraph, we feel Stacy’s stress. We experience her physical response to embarrassment. We understand her excitement to land her first big deal. And we empathize with her obvious inexperience and remember a time when we were that worked up over something we wanted and worked hard for. We are intrigued and want to find out what happens next (even though paragraph 1 contains spoilers).

So what does this exercise have to do with UX Design? Everything. The point of UX is to connect with your users and create lasting impressions. This means the UX designer’s list of talents MUST include the craft of storytelling. If we consider UX through the periscope of telling a good story, we are much more likely to create with a human-centered approach, therefore moving people to action through more memorable experiences.

Why Storytelling and UX Design go Hand-in-Hand

story

Source: Designed by Freepik

Let’s think about the fundamental goal of UX design: to improve customer satisfaction and engagement through the utility, ease of use, and enjoyment provided by interacting with a platform, product, or service. When we think of the process of UX design like the craft of telling a story, a few things happen.

  • We remain focused on our users. This may seem obvious because users are always SUPPOSED to be at the center of the design process. Still, it can be very easy to let our ideas and preferences muddle what the users not only need – but what they want. Stories are rooted in characters and maintaining focus on the story we are telling makes it almost impossible to remove characters from the process.
  • We create a meaningful buyer’s journey. The most effect product experiences will take the user on a journey. Some journeys take the user where they already want to go. The best journeys take them where they don’t even know they need to go – yet convinces them it’s where they need to be. The worst ones, however, will involve a series of unrelated actions that take the user somewhere they may or may not have expected – and moreover – don’t understand. If we envision our user flow as a story involving step-by-step events in a cohesive narrative (and even a more traditional story arc), we all but eliminate the confusion and disjointed nature of a seemingly random set of tasks.
  • We make a lasting emotional impact. The truth is, most products and services do not elicit an emotional connection. They make no long-term impact on the user, nor do they create a sense of anticipation for the returning or (better yet) the loyal customer. But stories – good ones – have the capacity to do all of these things.  

As human beings, we have stories ingrained into our very being. This makes us literally hard-wired to respond to them. On the flip side, humans are NOT wired to connect with digital products. Effective UX design marries the two and creates more meaningful user experiences.  

In this part one, we explain why you should wrap UX design in an effective story. In part two, we’ll discuss how. Keep an eye out and take this journey with me!