Key SEO Considerations for Website Redesign
How to Preserve Your Google Mojo!
So you are thinking about redesigning your business website, are you? That is not a bad idea, considering how fast the digital world is changing in 2019. Even a two-year old website may no longer meet the expectations of ever more demanding and sophisticated mobile consumers. But simply redesigning your website may actually do more harm than good. If you really want your website redesign to meet your business objectives don’t overlook these key SEO considerations as part of your project.
Website redesigns carry a significant level of risk to your existing organic search rankings. And for e-commerce sites this can cause a significant drop in revenue. If your business website redesign is not handled in an SEO appropriate way, the new website can experience a drop in rankings and site traffic.
You can reduce the risk associated with a website redesign by addressing these key SEO considerations before you start your website redesign.
10 Key SEO Considerations
Preserve Your Link Inventory
Find out where your most important or relevant links come from. Ask these sites to update their links to point to your new site pages. This allows you to preserve your inbound links.
Create Enough Content
Having too little text or too much text can negatively affect how search engines perceive a page’s relevance. We recommend a minimum of 250-300 words or more per page. Remember, the interest of your customers comes before yours. Make sure you provide consumers with the content they need.
A key SEO consideration is to ask yourself: ‘what is the purpose of this web page, why would people come to it, what do they want to do when they get here, what to do we want them to do, and how do we make it easy for them to do it?’ Then create content by answering these questions.
Optimize Your Content
When search engines crawl, index and rank websites, content is what they are looking for. Make it easy for all the nice bots and spiders. Optimize your content for your keywords and long-tail key phrases. That includes page titles, page URLs, Meta descriptions, and image tags.
Update Your Sitemaps
Be sure to include standard HTML sitemap to help customers navigate a large website, as well as an XML sitemap to help the search engine spiders crawl your site.
BONUS TIP: check if your website has more than one XML sitemap! Especially CMS sites often create separate XML sitemaps for different types of content. Be sure to submit all of them to search engines!
Don’t Forget Internal Linking
Another of our key SEO considerations is to use text navigation and keyword-rich text links to link your internal site pages. This ensures both search engines and human visitors are able to access all of your important website content. You can learn more about SEO-friendly links here.
Optimize Content for Search
Be sure to optimize all of your images, videos, press releases and blog posts for search. For images and videos this means checking they are of suitable size and quality. Be sure to compress them as small as possible. Press releases and blog posts should be optimized for keywords and contain at least one appropriate or relevant image.
This is something that should be ongoing on any business website. If you overlooked this so far this can be easily accomplished during a website redesign.
Map Out Content / URL Structure
Another of the key SEO considerations most folks overlook is your website structure. How your website’s content is organized and delivered can have a dramatic effect on your search engine rankings. When you create your new content make sure you organize it in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find.
Don’t forget that modern, mobile consumers don’t read; they scan. Give them content that is easy to consume on mobile devices, with options to see more.
Test Design Changes
Be sure set up a test or staging environment for your website redesign. Test everything from home page mockups to site navigation, and other on-page optimization or usability factors. This allows you to determine the optimal design and functionality, and address all of these key SEO considerations before you go live!
Use 301 Redirects
If you do need to redirect any of your old content to your new website be sure to use 301 (permanent) redirects. This prevents visitors to your old page URLs from seeing the dreaded 404 page.
Update Your 404 Page
The final of our key SEO considerations for website redesign is to update your 404 page. The 404 or Page Not Found page is not exactly well liked, and therefore often forgotten. But it does serve a very useful purpose. If your site visitors do end up on your 404 page it should be as friendly and informative as possible.
If you just completed a website redesign you should mention that. Apologize ahead of time for any inconvenience. Be sure to include helpful tips, a link to your new HTML sitemap, and an easy way to contact you if all else fails.
BONUS TIP: Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines
Doing so will allow Google to find, index, and rank your new website and mitigate the risk of losing your Google rankings: Google Webmaster Guidelines
Key SEO Considerations and Your Website Redesign
OK, now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Our key SEO considerations for website redesign are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. We kept them short and sweet on purpose. If you are already familiar with some of the basics of SEO, or if you write your own content, you know some of this. Other things may be unfamiliar, but don’t worry.
Most businesses don’t redesign their own websites in-house. So most likely you have already engaged a professional web designer to handle this for you. In that case they can help you address these key SEO considerations. If you are doing this on your own, and if you don’t have an existing SEO service provider, you really should consider getting some professional help.
The technical SEO of a website redesign can be a little beyond the skills of many business owners. If your web design agency can’t handle this someone else will have to. Otherwise you stand the risk of a significant drop in site rankings, visitors, and potentially lost revenue. And that can take a very long time to recover from. We are here to help.
Did You Take These Key SEO Considerations into Account for Your Redesign?
Are you considering a redesign for your business website? Or have your recently completed one? Did you take any of these key SEO considerations into account? And how did that work out for you? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
Espresso Digital Blog