The Website Redesign Process for SEO, Part 1: Goals

by Taylor Pratt December 13th, 2011 


When you hear the word "redesign" you mostly likely feel a wave of anxiety come crashing onto you as you think about the upcoming battles you'll have with coworkers, the enormous time investment, and of course the work itself to make it successful. Take a deep breath and let's take this one step at a time. We'll be walking through six steps in total for this redesign process, focusing today on step 1, Goals.

The SEO Website Redesign Process

  1. Goals
  2. Analysis
  3. Information Gathering
  4. Design & Testing
  5. Preparation
  6. Launch & Tracking

Part 1: Goals

The first thing you need to do should be obvious: everyone needs to lay out what the goals of the new website will be. It's important that you first just put everyone's goals up on a board or in a spreadsheet (however you best work) before you start debating them. I also recommend you organize the goals based on goal type. Here's an example:

Engagement Goals

  • Improve bounce rate
  • Increase time on site
  • More return visitors

Conversion Goals

  • Trial sign ups
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Improve profit per customer
  • Larger orders
  • More sales leads
  • Event sign ups

SEO Goals

  • Search friend design
  • Attract more links
  • Social interaction
  • Improve internal link structure

Once everyone has expressed their opinion it's time for the big task at hand: prioritization. You need to separate your goals into three tiers: primary, secondary and tertiary; and everyone will need to agree on the prioritization. You'll use this prioritization list when making decisions in the design process. The primary goals will be the main focus of the redesign, and you'll find ways to accomplish your secondary and (hopefully) tertiary goals after they have been addressed.

In our next step in the design process we'll focus on analysis. Meaning, we'll go through our analytics and other data points and determine where we're failing and winning when it comes to achieving the goals we just setup. Stay tuned!

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Taylor Pratt

Taylor Pratt is an online marketing consultant at Built to Search. Built to Search offers customized SEO, PPC and social media consulting services.

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7 Responses to “The Website Redesign Process for SEO, Part 1: Goals”

  1. Hey Taylor,

    I have been striving for what seems like ages to build an attractive blog.

    With no money (or at least very few) to spend on the project, it is a great to have help like your article, and I look forward to the next in the series.

    Until then, I head over to your "Your Site Redesign Checklist" article…


    • Taylor Pratt says:

      Thanks Michael! It definitely can be an expensive process, but hopefully this series will help cut down on the wasted man hours typically involved with it. Good luck in planning your new blog design, it is both exciting and frustrating to do that :)

  2. Hi Taylor, will you also touch on infrastructure architecture (IA) as well?

    • Taylor Pratt says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I absolutely will! That will actually be in part two of the series (Analysis). I'll talk about the most common IA issues, as well as what we can learn from our analytics about potential problems/opportunities.

  3. Nick Gowdy says:

    Going through this process currently, and the anxiety is definitely high. What you cite here is key, primarily about setting priorities in what you hope to accomplish.

    When we looked at the scope of absolutely everything we wanted to do with a redesign, it was pretty daunting. We don't *hate* our web presence now, but it is a bit behind where we should be. Trying to cram everything into one vision, however, we'd likely end up with a hideously malformed and unwieldy behemoth. Trying to do too much is not only bad for the efficiency of completing the project, it also tends to create a poor visitor experience, lower engagement, and lower conversions.

    You have to scale back to what is truly necessary, what adds value. Don't get in your own way. And that starts by having clearly-defined priorities and goals.

    Nick Gowdy
    Online Marketing Manager – FreedomVoice

    • Taylor Pratt says:

      Couldn't agree more Nick, that is very well said! I especially love the points you made in your last paragraph about not getting in your own way. It's amazing how difficult that can be and just how many problems it can create.

  4. Lisa Lambert says:

    We have over a hundred websites. Currently, we need to redesign 47 of them. When the request was first made, I immediately felt overwhelmed. I think both you and Nick said it right, you have to prioritize and you have to not get in your own way. My first job is to prioritize the list of redesigns and just start one site at a time.

    2012 is going to be mighty busy for me!

    Lisa Lambert
    SEO & Web Marketing for Real Estate