Our tips for optimizing your SMB website’s search rankings when during a planned refresh
A website refresh or relaunch is a difficult and complex operation. Nevertheless, if performed correctly, it has the ability to provide your small business with a number of benefits: you’ll enjoy a website with improved graphics and more comprehensive content. However, a site refresh can also be a way to improve your search performance, and we explain how and why this is the case.
1. What does a refresh have to do with search rankings?
Before sharing our tips to help you make the most of your website refresh to improve its search engine performance, we would like to share a detailed explanation of the links that exist between these two distinct aspects of website development.
Let’s start by reminding ourselves of some of the events or scenarios that could create a need for your small business website to be refreshed:
All the reasons referred to above that could require a website refresh can also influence its search engine performance. The refresh, and improving its performance in the areas mentioned above, can only help optimize your website’s search engine ranking. In short, then, a website refresh is no more than a natural way to enhance your search engine performance. To learn more about when a website refresh is required, read this article.
2. Carrying out an SEO audit
Whatever the reason that drives you to refresh your small business website, it is vital to carry out an SEO audit in advance with the aim of identifying the elements that have a negative impact on your page ranking, as well as those that help it, in order to keep what already works well and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
As such, you will already appreciate the close relationship between site updates and search engine performance. The refresh is quite simply an opportunity to vet your website to eliminate any toxic backlinks and improve your H1 tags, meta descriptions and other aspects that are holding back your website’s performance in the search rankings.
Above all, make sure that nothing is overlooked and carry out an in-depth analysis of your website.
3. Novelty and its significant impact on search engine optimization
When you refresh your website, whether you recreate it from scratch or make targeted updates, it’s only reasonable to give it a fresh, new look. And it works: search engines place very little value on the fact that content has been around for a long time.
For example, you can take advantage of the refresh to vet all your existing content. Content that is clearly broken down into relevant areas, regularly updated, and that relates to current events will help you to optimize your search engine performance – provided, of course, that the content is of a good standard.
On the other hand, we advise strongly against changing your URLs. In the event that you have no other choice, ensure that 301 redirections are in place for all existing URLs on your website.
4. Creating a responsive design website
There are many good reasons that could explain your choice to refresh your small or micro enterprise’s website. Whatever those reasons are, take advantage of the change to adapt your site to work with all screen sizes: in other words, develop a responsive design website.
Indeed, Google has recently started taking this fact into account in its ranking algorithm. Responsive design websites are favoured over static designs, and as such, the mobile version, as well as generating more traffic and raising your small business’s profile, will also boost your search engine ranking.
5. Technical improvements
Finally, a refresh to a website often stimulates improvements to the technical approach taken.
For instance, think about the page loading time. Indeed, if a page takes too long to load, this can have a negative impact on the site’s search ranking, as well as having the direct effect of increasing bounce rates. A recently create site will also be easier for search engines to explore, with greater visibility and improved structure and content encouraging them to improve your ranking. In short, improving this aspect increases your search engine ranking, with follow-on benefits in terms of traffic and sales.
In short, by refreshing your small business website, you can make fundamental improvements to the underlying technology, its look and feel, and its search engine ranking. We therefore suggest that you take a look at Heek’s website publishing solution for SMBs and micro-enterprises, which incorporates search engine optimization tools directly.