Creating an SEO Redesign Launch Plan

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: Launching a Redesigned Site.”

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series on identifying, assessing, and mitigating the risk of site redesigns on organic search traffic. Part one, “SEO: Identifying the Impact of a Site Redesign,” we published last week.

Launching a redesigned site is filled with potentially high risks and rewards for organic search traffic. Regardless of whether the risks outweigh the rewards in the end, the weeks following a redesign typically produce unstable organic search traffic patterns and may include some nail-biting days. In “SEO: Identifying the Impact of a Site Redesign,” part one of this two-part series, I discussed how to predict which areas of the site were most likely to be impacted in the redesign.

In this second installment, I will focus on how to identify the scale of the risk to organic search traffic as well as how to create a plan to mitigate that risk. The full article includes the following sections:

  • Organic Search Risk and Reward
  • Calculating the Risk
  • Mitigating Organic Search Risk
  • 301 Redirect Plans
  • Closely Measure Afterwards

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce, “SEO: Launching a Redesigned Site.”

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Shortening SEO’s Time to ROI

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “Why Does SEO Take So Long?


Search marketing’s two halves are so similar and yet so different. A new pay-per-click advertising campaign can be set up and pushed live, and data starts to roll in that same day. Within a week there may be enough data to analyze performance, tweak and iterate the optimization of the campaign. Why does search engine optimization take so long to mature and impact performance if paid search is so quick? And what does this mean for the back to school or fall and holiday seasons that seem so far away?

In my agency life I’m asked this question frequently — followed by a query as to what to do to speed up the process. Let’s start with why search engine optimization takes longer to mature. The reasons have partly to do with education, business process, creative and development time, and the time it takes for the search engines to do their thing. All told, the process from kicking off a major SEO project with a thorough site analysis and detailed recommendations to actual implementation and SEO performance can take 6 to 12 months. If a business starts the process today, it will be lucky to see results by December.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Priorities on Ice? Open the SEO Icebox.

I’m a gal of action. If something needs to be done, now’s a great time to do it. So I’m finding one of the hardest parts of in-house SEO for me is the icebox. While I try to chill out, I’ve got to remind myself what I would have told my clients in this situation: Stop focusing on what you can’t do and start doing what you can.

Our development team has different priority levels for projects: active, backlog and icebox. We might all agree that a project is a critical priority for SEO, but when pitted against resource conflicts like server uptime and affiliate widget development not even I can argue that my SEO project is more critical to the bottom line. So while I’m cooling my heels in the icebox waiting for the resources to get my technical SEO roadblocks removed, I’m turning to my own SEO icebox.

Most tasks in my icebox have kept perfectly well. Some of them are even interesting! A competitive analysis on a key rival. An analysis of the URLs driving keyword traffic, and whether they’re the URLs most likely to convert. Research into relevant directories & wikis to submit to. Stockpiling content to flow into the pages that will exist when dev thaws out my SEO project. And many others.

Yes, some things expired too quickly or grew a thick layer of freezer fur. For instance, it’s a bit late to whip up a Father’s Day landing page. But if it had been a higher priority, it wouldn’t have been in my icebox in the first place. So no harm done.

So that’s my mantra this week: Stop focusing on what you can’t do and start doing what you can. It may not be the huge leap forward I want, but I’ll be better positioned to leap farther faster.

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Web Analytics: Measuring Success By the Click

As appeared in the Presence Pointers column of the December 2008 issue of “Business Watch” magazine.

Is your Web site successful? Was this year more successful than last year; this month more or less successful than last month? These are important questions to try to answer. If you sell online, success might be based on selling more. This may be a start, but it may not be the entire picture. If you don’t sell online, this may seem even more daunting.

The beauty of the Web is that you can gather and measure more information to answer these and many other questions much easier than you can in the offline world. For those who feature both a brick-and-mortar location and an online presence, there are even powerful ways to connect the dots between the two. Continue reading “Web Analytics: Measuring Success By the Click”

Being Blog Worthy

As appeared in the Presence Pointers column of the August 2008 issue of “Business Watch” magazine.

Are you plugged into the blogosphere? Do you follow bloggers you enjoy reading, and maybe even participate on their blogs by sharing your comments? Has your company built up a following with its own blog? If not, then you may have some catching up to do.I’m sure some of you have just come to the realization that you need a website, so hearing that you need a blog may not leave you dancing for joy. The good news is, depending on your business, Web site needs, target audience and goals, you might decide that your Web site should in fact, just be a blog. Continue reading “Being Blog Worthy”