Thinking about a new look for your blog? Or maybe you are just starting out and are looking for some tips on how to get started. Well, here are some steps to keep in mind, from a marketing perspective, as you undergo your blog redesign.
First, I hope you are using your blog because you want to reach a broader audience and want to make a greater impact, establishing or reinforcing your online presence (depending on whether this is your first go at it or you’ve been around the block a couple of times). Your blog, like your website, is about marketing yourself or your business, ultimately, a means by which to grow your business (aka. lead generation). It should be easy to navigate, consistent with your line of business or area of expertise, and informative. With that in mind, you should not be redesigning your blog because you feel that your design just isn’t quite as fun or fancy as some others out there. Second, you want to make sure that while your design looks clean and professional, your content and layout are what will get you the most bang for your buck.
However, before you even get started you want to organize the following; (1) establish clear, definitive goals and determine what desired actions convert visitors into leads (Do you plan on using your blog to capture leads? etc.), (2) make sure to keep the HTML coding clean (if you are not familiar with these practices I advise that you consult a professional, (3) don’t forget your users and site usability, (4) remember that a blog redesign is a project and should be managed as such, (5) set up a realistic schedule and manage expectations (Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your WordPress blog won’t be either).
Once you get into the nitty-gritty of things you will want to make sure that you don’t lose what you have during your design process. There are pieces of your website that exist now and are good for SEO, and those should be protected. I can’t stress enough – don’t lose what you have. With SEO less is not more – the content you have the better off you are. With a proper plan and layout you can keep track of what you have and what you can do without.
…which brings me to my next point…
Any site redesign is a great time to assess what you have. What is worth keeping? It’s everyone’s favorite “A” word (no, not that) – Audit. Assess what may need to be updated, was it 5 or maybe 8 years ago that some of that content was created?…right…follow what I’m saying.
Most likely you already have great content – whole-lot-a posts. On and off page SEO are crucial as part of your blog’s SEO. As a refresher, on page SEO includes your post URLs which you can easily manipulate with plug-ins like the WordPress “all in one SEO pack” or any “permalink” plug-in for that matter. Next are the page title (or Meta Title), page headers (your H1s, 2s and 3s) and of course your content, all of which should incorporate the use of your keywords. Now, depending on the kind of plug-in that you are using you may be able to update post and page descriptions as well, which we know is equally important. Off page SEO, which is huge, includes inbound links and to some extent internal linking. Make sure this is all working properly, and none of these steps get sacrificed. Typically when working with platforms like WordPress these transitions run more smoothly.
And, finally…don’t forget to test. Testing is an important part of any redesign and a crucial step that is often overlooked. Try testing in different environments to make sure that styling and functionality is consistent.
As always if you have any questions please let us know.
PS: How do you like our new look?