Updated: September 01, 2009

Whether you run your own business and are looking at redesigning your website or you are a part of the team in an search engine optimisation agency, when you redesign a website, do you ensure that your SEO team and the web team are having intimate project discussions right at the start of the project?

What is important here is that the SEO team and the design team are communicating, effectively, right before the design process, before anyone has even sat down in front of a computer to start designing.

However the truth is that the opposite is generally true, the search engine optimisation team gets wind of the design project just before it is ready for launch, and once the SEO team starts to review the site, a lot of work needs to be redone to meet SEO best practices.

Integrating design with the Search Engine Optimisation process

A website design company might look at a medical site and say, you don't need hundreds of pages on this site, let's cut it down in half so that it looks more aesthetically pleasing.

The SEO team on the other hand is more in tune with usability and the user experience, because so often, the success of SEO projects is tied in with analytics and conversion funnels. So the SEO team will straight away know, that a medical site without comprehensive information will have a high abandonment rate if searchers are not finding the right information. Not to mention the huge amounts of SEO value that is lost by cutting away so much valuable and relevant content!

If SEO and design teams learned to communicate more effectively, they would also learn more about one another's work and this would then help them to respectively understand why certain decisions are made in one another's work. For an SEO, site architecture is vital because an SEO knows that in the long term the site needs to have expandable content so that it can be viewed as an authority in its field through the addition of fresh content.

On the other hand, website designers are not accustomed to thinking this way. Similarly, does the design team know how to implement 301 redirects for pages that are going to be moved so that any inherent SEO value is not lost during the website transition?

If the design team had the search engine optimisation keyword list on hand during the redesign process, the keywords could then be integrated into the website content in the redesign process, rather than having to rework the content at a later stage.

Really, the point is that if the search engine optimisation and website design teams learnt to work together more effectively, projects would be more profitable, because less time would be lost on back and forth jumping and straightening out of things that were not done correctly at the start. It would also forge a deeper respect for the expertise required in each field, rather than treating one another like enemies on different sides of the fort. With this type of attitude, everyone loses.

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