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  1. #1
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    SEO or site redesign first?

    I just took on a client who has a site that needs to be redesigned. He said that he is leaning toward the site redesign, however, it was going to be his last step. Our next step is SEO. I realize, however, that it would probably be much better to do the site redesign first and then the SEO but I can't put the reason into words. I just know that it makes sense and I've read that before. Any feedback? Would you do redesign before SEO? The site is n-t-b-z-z-z dot com (take the dashes out and use a ".").

  2. #2
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    There is no point in doing optimisation work if you are then going to redesign the site. Your SEO work needs to start with onpage optimisation, which will be redundant if you are going to redesign.

    If you are going to focus only on offpage optimisation then provided you retain the same URLs, redesigning the site will make no difference.

  3. #3
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    By redundant do you mean if we optimize content, pictures, alt tags, etc. on current site we would have to do it again or start all over if things change on redesign? B/c essentially, we could copy over the new content, etc. right? Sorry if I sound clueless.

    By offpage optimization you mean link backs?

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    Yup. Backlinks.

  5. #5
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    HAWK, can you answer my question:

    By redundant do you mean if we optimize content, pictures, alt tags, etc. on current site we would have to do it again or start all over if things change on redesign? B/c essentially, we could copy over the new content, alt tags etc. right? Or am I way off track?

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    Yup, you could copy them, but as a general rule (not always, but usually), with any redesign you get a temporary change (usually drop) in SERPs, which can be hard to explain to a client that has just forked out cash for SEO work and has seen results.

    It would make more sense to do the redesign first.

  7. #7
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    I always recommend my clients to include the SEO team in the design and coding of the websites. This simply because method and technology is a important. If the designer/coder is not aware of the SEO factors and when designing the solution it could result in a bad experience and NOT optimal result.

    The designer might want to use tables instead of stylesheets, don't use H1 tags for Page titles, and so on and so on.. The list could be loooong :-)

    I guess you might see the importance of include the SEO planning even before the designers start working.

    In fact, I always make the "lists" that the designers must follow.
    My client uses my advices to improve their results and the CMS vendor has to put their signature on a contract telling that the SEO guys are making the decisions for almost everything.

    Anyone with the same experience or somebody that agree that this is the most appropriate way to do this? :-)

  8. #8
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    Thanks Hawk. Client wanted to do SEO first and I am trying to figure out how to explain that it's best to do redesign first. Don't think he'll understand any of what we talked about. Any suggestions?

  9. #9
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    You could go for the time efficiency angle. Explain that it's more efficient to do on-page optimisation WHILE coding the pages, rather than as a seperate activity. And in terms of off page optimisation, the new site is more likely to appeal to prospective banklinkers than the old one.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Jun Valasek's Avatar
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    Design has no impact on seo as long as you do not change the meta tags...

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    SitePoint Zealot grishamist's Avatar
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    No problem on the redesigning but if you are going to recode the meta tags and the content of that page, that may have a conflict on optimization process.

  12. #12
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    Actually the redesign is a problem. Redesign first then SEO later. In fact, make sure the redesign takes SEO into consideration:

    URL -> Title Tags -> Header tags in content -> Backlinks to the URLs

    Those things need to work together to get the most from your SEO. If you start playing with keywords and content now and get backlinks if you redesign the site and need to change the URL you will have wasted some effort.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Hawk!

    Thanks Marcosll. Won't 301 redirects solve that problem?

    And thanks Datatrond. Makes sense to me!

    Grishamist, what do you mean by "if you are going to recode the meta tags and the content of that page, that may have a conflict on optimization process"?

    Thanks!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Valasek View Post
    Design has no impact on seo as long as you do not change the meta tags...
    Quote Originally Posted by grishamist View Post
    No problem on the redesigning but if you are going to recode the meta tags and the content of that page, that may have a conflict on optimization process.
    A site redesign usually encorporates a bit more than just copying content into a new template though... in which case design most definitely CAN affect SEO.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot nepalsites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Valasek View Post
    Design has no impact on seo as long as you do not change the meta tags...
    of course it will have impact. design means overall site look. if a client wants to change all that we have on existing website to let's say flash, then you are in trouble immediately. Even if they say they want everything in image format, instead of the current text menu, you are losing on site optimization.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    If you're redesigning your site start doing on page optimization.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard Jun Valasek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nepalsites View Post
    of course it will have impact. design means overall site look. if a client wants to change all that we have on existing website to let's say flash, then you are in trouble immediately. Even if they say they want everything in image format, instead of the current text menu, you are losing on site optimization.
    What I am talking about is SERP since we are dealing with SEO here.design don't have any effect with SERP...

  18. #18
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    if you're redesigning your site start doing on page and off page search engine optimizaion

  19. #19
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    Both together

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Valasek View Post
    What I am talking about is SERP since we are dealing with SEO here.design don't have any effect with SERP...
    That's simply not true. In both the examples nepalsites gives, design could have a HUGE impact on SERPs.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard angilina's Avatar
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    I think you should first redesign your site or do any changes that have to be done as doing SEO first will not help much.

    If you do SEO first and then do changes in site, then you will most probably have to do all SEO work again.

    And redesigning or making changes in site will have affect on SERPs, so its better to do the changes first.

  22. #22
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    no difference

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by essaouira View Post
    no difference
    A lot of us disagree with you, as you will know from reading the thread. Can you tell us why you think it makes no difference?

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot eugie17's Avatar
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    you have to plan everything from the beginning for professional site, however if you are in learning phase you can do SEO later

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    A lot of us disagree with you, as you will know from reading the thread. Can you tell us why you think it makes no difference?
    We are talking about redesigning the website and not rebuilding it, because there is a difference, the content the keywords and the links still the same content and keywords and links, what will be changed is the shape and colors


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