A website redesign can be a great way to improve your site’s appearance, conversion rate, and visitor experience. But it can also put your search engine rankings and traffic at risk.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to reap the benefits of a redesign while avoiding the potential pitfalls. We’ll also share an SEO checklist for a website redesign. Let’s dive in.
Before you start the process of redesigning your website, it’s important to take a step back and analyze your current site. This will give you a better understanding of what’s working well and what needs to be improved.
There are a few key metrics you should look at when assessing your current site:
You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track these metrics. Once you have a good understanding of where your current site stands, you can start planning how to improve upon it with your redesign.
When you’re planning a website redesign, it’s important to take stock of your existing content. Not all of your content will be worth keeping or migrating to the new site. That’s why it’s crucial to inventory your high-performing content before you begin the redesign process.
To do this, start by pulling a list of your most popular pages from Google Analytics. You can find this data under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Once you have your list, take a close look at each page and ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer to all three questions is “yes,” then you know that this is a piece of content worth keeping. From there, you can start planning how to migrate it to your new site.
If you find that some of your content is no longer relevant or aligned with your goals, don’t be afraid to let it go. It’s better to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to your website content.
Once you’ve inventoried your high-performing content, you can move on to the next step in the website redesign SEO checklist: mapping out your new site structure.
When you’re redesigning your website, it’s important to take your SEO goals into account. These goals will help inform your design choices and ensure that your new site is optimized for search engines. Not sure what your SEO goals should be? Here are a few examples:
Once you’ve determined your SEO goals, you can start planning your redesign. Keep these goals in mind as you map out your new site structure and design.
When optimizing your existing content, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, consider your audience and what they are looking for. Make sure that your content is relevant and aligns with their needs. Second, focus on your keywords. Make sure that your content includes the keywords that you want to rank for in search engines. Third, make sure that your content is engaging and well-written. This will help to improve your conversion rates and keep visitors on your site longer. Finally, don’t forget about technical SEO. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and that all of your pages are properly indexed by search engines.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your existing content is optimized for both search engines and your audience. This will help you to improve your website’s ranking in search results and increase organic traffic.
When you redesign your website, any pages that you delete or move need to have a 301 redirect in place. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It tells search engines that a page has been moved or deleted and that they should update their records accordingly.
If you don’t set up 301 redirects when you redesign your website, you run the risk of losing traffic and search engine rankings. When a user tries to access a page that no longer exists, they will see a 404 error message. This can be frustrating for users and may cause them to leave your site. Additionally, when search engines crawl your site and encounter 404 errors, they will remove the offending pages from their index. This can hurt your website’s ranking and visibility in search results.
To avoid these problems, be sure to set up 301 redirects for any pages that you delete or move during your website redesign. You can do this by adding code to your .htaccess file or by using a plugin like Redirection if you’re using WordPress.
Once you’ve set up 301 redirects for all of the necessary pages, take some time to test them to make sure they’re working properly. You can do this by trying to access the old URLs directly or by using a tool like Screaming Frog’s SEOSpider. If everything is working as it should, you’ll be redirected to the new URLs without any problems.
By taking the time to set up 301 redirects during your website redesign, you can avoid losing traffic and search engine rankings. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a successful redesign.
When redesigning your website, it’s important to update your site architecture. This includes updating your URL structure, navigation, and internal linking. By doing this, you can improve your website’s appearance in search results, increase organic traffic, and improve the user experience.
When updating your site architecture, start with your URL structure. Make sure your URLs are short, descriptive, and easy to read. If possible, use keywords in your URLs. For example, if you have a page about SEO tips for small businesses, you might use the URL www.example.com/seo-tips-for-small-businesses. You can also use 301 redirects to redirect old URLs to new ones.
Next, update your navigation. Organize your pages in a way that makes sense for users and helps them find what they’re looking for. Use clear and concise labels for your navigation items. For example, instead of using the label “Products,” you might use “Product Categories.” Finally, update your internal linking. Make sure all of your pages are linked together so users can easily navigate from one page to another.
By following these tips, you can improve your website’s ranking in search results and increase organic traffic.
A website redesign is a great opportunity to improve your site’s page speed. Page speed is a major ranking factor for search engines, so it’s important to make sure your site loads quickly.
There are a few ways to optimize your page speed:
1. Minimize HTTP requests: Every time a visitor loads a page, their browser has to send an HTTP request to the server. The more requests, the longer it takes for the page to load. You can minimize HTTP requests by using file compression, combining files, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
2. Optimize images: Images are often the biggest culprits when it comes to slow page speeds. You can optimize images by reducing their file size and using the correct file format.
3. Enable caching: Caching stores frequently accessed files on the user’s computer so they don’t have to be downloaded from the server every time they visit your site. This can dramatically improve page speed.
4. Use a content management system (CMS): A CMS can help you build a fast, responsive website without having to code everything from scratch. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are all popular CMS options.
5. Minimize redirects: Redirects add an extra step in the loading process, which can slow down your site. You should only use redirects when absolutely necessary.
By following these tips, you can optimize your page speed and improve your search engine rankings.
A website redesign can be a great opportunity to improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). However, it can also be a minefield, with the potential to do serious harm to your rankings and traffic if not done carefully.
One of the most important things to get right during a website redesign is your XML sitemap. Your sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website, and is used by search engines to crawl and index your site.
If you don’t update your sitemap during a redesign, you risk losing your existing SEO ranking and traffic. Even if you do update it, there’s still a chance that your rankings could take a hit if you don’t do it correctly.
Here’s what you need to do to make sure your XML sitemap is updated correctly during a website redesign:
1. Create a new sitemap before starting the redesign process.
2. Add all of the pages from your old sitemap to the new one.
3. If you’re changing the URL structure of any pages, make sure to redirect them using 301 redirects.
4. Once the redesign is complete, submit the new sitemap to Google and other major search engines.
5. Monitor your traffic and rankings closely after launching the redesigned site, and make changes if necessary.
SEO is an important part of any website redesign. By taking the time to optimize your website for search engines, you can ensure that your traffic and rankings don’t suffer. Here are a few tips for maximizing your SEO efforts:
1. Plan ahead. Before you start the redesign process, take some time to plan your SEO strategy. This will help you avoid making any mistakes that could have a negative impact on your traffic and rankings.
2. Keep your URL structure intact. If possible, try to keep your URL structure the same after the redesign. This will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site, and it will minimize the risk of losing any existing rankings.
3. Use redirects. If you do need to change your URL structure, be sure to use 301 redirects to point search engines and visitors to the new location of your pages. This will help you preserve any existing rankings and traffic.
4. Use responsive design. With more and more people using mobile devices to access the internet, it’s important to make sure your website is designed responsively. This means that it should scale properly on all devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. Not only is this good for user experience, but it can also help you rank higher in mobile search results.
5. Optimize your content. In addition to optimizing your website’s design and architecture, be sure to optimize your content as well. This means using targeted keywords throughout your site, as well as creating compelling titles and descriptions that will encourage people to click through from the search results page