How to build in SEO
when redesigning a website


We’ve been asked to help a number of businesses redesign their websites recently.

We’re happy to provide this service – and as we’re a specialist seo agency naturally we can’t help but include SEO into the proposal.

Mobile websites

As the majority of web traffic is now mobile – it makes complete sense to design for mobile from the primary user perspective. We like a platform neutral approach; by which we mean that the functionality is the same whether it’s accessed from a desktop, mobile or tablet device.

Designers don’t really like working to a mobile first perspective, but it’s important that this is included, in much the same way that it’s essential to include SEO from the concept stage.

Web-design companies tend to include a token SEO effort – adding some page descriptions or title tags. It’s often not brilliantly considered from a structural perspective, or doesn’t form part of a long term strategy.

We’ve even been privy to situations where SEO has been included at the web build phase 😱.

So how do you build good SEO into the beginning of a web design and development project?

Think about your users once the website has been built – what are they going to be looking for, how are you most relevant to this search query, and once they find the site, does your user experience make sense?

If you’re starting from scratch – use a good domain name.

We’re not talking about describing everything you do in your domain, or stuffing it full of keywords. We mean something memorable, short, catchy and with a good history. By which we mean a domain that doesn’t have toxic backlinks or has a poor history.

Fast and reliable website hosting.

Start with a good domain name if you’re starting from scratch.

It should be on a fast and reliable website host. The site should be optimised for speed too – so remove any bloated code from the site.

If your serious about optimising for SEO it’s good practice to move away from the page builder sites like Wix, SquareSpace and WebFlow. These are great for creating website that look pretty, but they’re full of generated code that can take a long time to load into a browser. Your main measures here are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layer Shift (CLS).

Map out the structure of your site

Map out the structure of your site.

Now map out the structure of your site for your users.

Users probably don’t really care if your business is split into different divisions – they care about the products and services you provide – these should be grouped together into categories and named something that works in terms of being found on search engines.

If for example you sell wine online – arrange the products by wine types, e.g.. Red Wine / White Wine, then by grape varieties, e.g. Malbec, Syrah, Blends, etc.

If you arrange your wines by something esoteric like “Summer evenings” and Winter Evenings your head of brand might think it’s amazing – but your customers won’t have a clue where to find a bottle of Pinot Gris for dads birthday.

Use data to inform the process

SEO should have major input into the structure. A new site or a redesign should draw heavily on any data from its predecessor (or research) as to what people are searching for. The big searches deserve high-level, prominent pages or sections.

As in the previous example – if there are 10 times more searches for Chardonnay as there are for Pinot Gris then maybe there should be two pages, one for the story of the 2019 Chardonnays, one for the story of the 2020 vintage both pointing to a common Chardonnay page listing the various options.

Also, we should think ahead to the content which is going to be written. Those unwritten pages answering questions or describing applications can be built into the site framework even if they don’t yet exist. A general section where all new content is thrown is simply not good enough.

Test and test and test again.

The site should be thoroughly tested against Google’s Core Web Vitals for performance. The site should be tested against Core Web Vitals of performance, responsiveness, and visual stability, as well as accessibility.

When thinking about how the search engines view your site – think of them as a slightly geriatric uncle with a slow internet connection. Your site should be light weight, easy to read, simple to navigate with products and services clearly labelled.

Contact Us For SEO Services

Say hello…

Let’s talk, chat, email, however you like to make things happen.
Call +64(0)2777 666 95 or email Hello@FizzyPop.nz