Redesigning a website can both be a blessing and a curse! We have you covered with our Website Redesign SEO Checklist!
A website redesign can improve the appearance, conversion rate, visitor experience, and other aspects of your site. A redesign, on the other hand, can really affect your search engine rankings and traffic.
In this guide we are going through the steps of a redesign while avoiding the pitfalls. In addition, we’ll provide an SEO checklist for a website redesign.
Let’s get started…
9-Step Website Redesign SEO Checklist
Step 1: Consult your SEO team
Your SEO team will be able to assist you in determining which changes will harm your site’s search performance. Small changes can sometimes have a big impact. By consulting an SEO expert before the web developer starts all the work, you’re already putting your redesign on the right track.
Step 2: Analyse your current site
Before redesigning your site, we really advise you to examine your rankings for important key metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) such as bounce rate, time on site, domain authority, number of form submissions, unique visitors, etc.
In this way you will be able to see what’s already working with this current information.
Step 3: Inventory your high-performing content
When analyzing your site, keep track of which pages have the most shares, views, and inbound links, as well as the keywords for which these pages rank, and keep during the redesign stage.
Why should you do this?
Assume you delete a page with a lot of inbound links. Inbound links help search engines in determining the quality of your content and driving referral traffic to your website. Removing this page may have a negative impact on your keyword rankings and traffic.
Step 4: Determine your SEO goals
- How much would you like to boost your keyword rankings this year?
- Do you want to increase your unique visitors?
- Do you want organic traffic to increase or even outperform your paid traffic?
Make these goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound to ensure your redesign project is both realistic and aligned with your overall marketing strategy.
Step 5: Optimize your existing content
In order to meet your SEO objectives, each page on your site should focus on one to two important keywords based on your business objectives. This ensures that your content strategy is based on what your users are looking for.
It is recommended that you include keywords in the title of your page, introductory paragraph, heading, URL, body, meta description, image alt tags, as well as hyperlinks to related content in order to help bots and readers in navigating your site and understand the relationship between your posts.
This method may seem time consuming but in the end it will pay off. And remember, these updates must be done on a regular basis in order to improve.
Step 6: Set up 301 redirects
When you audit your site’s content, you’ll come across some low-value pages that aren’t worth updating. These pages may be redundant, not related to your business, and they receive almost no traffic.
Pages that do not have any backlinks or meet any other performance criteria can be archived. However, any pages with at least one backlink or a ranking lower than another page for the same set of keywords should be redirected.
Visitors or search engine crawlers who land on deleted pages are redirected to existing content on your site. As a result, one of the most important steps in retaining traffic and rankings is to set up 301 redirects. In fact, this may be the most important!
Step 7: Update your site architecture
After you’ve adjusted your content, it is time to focus on your rest pages. Existing content should be easy to find for both readers and search engines. Visitors should also be able to quickly understand the relationship between pages.
Your homepage could direct visitors to your About Us, Products, Services, News, and Contact Us pages. Each of these pages will contain links to various sections of your website.
This will help search bots to understand the relationship between pages as well as the importance of individual pages, making navigation easier.
When planning the structure of your site, make sure to consult your SEO and your web design teams. You’ll gain a better understanding of what can be changed and how long it will take to be changed.
Step 8: Optimise your page speed
We all know that today’s online customers expect websites to load quickly.
However, site speed is not only important for user experience; it is also a ranking factor in search.
Consider compressing your files, adding a content distribution network (CDN), minifying your code, and using a caching plugin on your site to improve your average page load time. These steps will improve your site’s technical SEO and reduce page load time.
Step 9: Update your XML sitemap
Once your site is all set up and running, you must update your XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing. A sitemap is similar to a floor plan for your website. It lists all relevant URLs so that search engine crawlers can better understand your site’s structure, evaluate and then rank it.
Having said all these, remember that SEO should be considered as a “one-off” task at the start of the redesign process. It is an ongoing process that needs work!
Following the above checklist can assist you in retaining and improving your search engine rankings and traffic. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by these tasks, don’t worry!
Here at DomainStar we have all the tools, the right people and the relevant experience to help you redesign and relaunch your website according to your needs and without losing your current ranking!
Should you require help, do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website to see all the services we offer in regard to web design and SEO.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
In short the answer is Yes! If SEO isn’t incorporated into the website’s redesign process, it can result in losing your rankings!
As long as you don’t make major changes to your content, you shouldn’t really lose your ranking. Best practice is to just make sure you keep up with the links and always link to your old pages when you update the site.
Redesigning a website can be beneficial in many ways. Here are a few reasons why someone might want to redesign their website:
- Improve User Experience (UX): A website that is difficult to navigate or has a poor design can lead to a negative user experience. A redesign can help to improve the website’s layout, functionality, and overall user experience, making it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for and increasing the chances of them returning.
- Keep up with Trends: Web design trends are constantly evolving, and a website that looks outdated can make a business or individual appear out of touch. Redesigning a website can help to keep it looking fresh and modern, and ensure that it’s up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.
- Mobile Optimization: With more and more people accessing the internet on their mobile devices, it’s important for websites to be optimized for mobile. Redesigning a website can help to ensure that it’s mobile-friendly, with a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A redesign can also be an opportunity to improve a website’s SEO. By optimizing the site structure, content, and other elements, a website can improve its search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic.
Overall, a website redesign can help to improve user experience, keep up with design trends, optimize for mobile, and improve SEO.
Here are some tips for redesigning a website without losing SEO:
- Conduct an SEO audit: Before redesigning your website, conduct a comprehensive SEO audit to identify the current performance of your website. This will help you identify the areas that need improvement and areas that are performing well.
- Analyze your website’s traffic data: Analyzing your website’s traffic data using tools like Google Analytics will help you understand which pages are generating the most traffic and which keywords are driving that traffic. This information can help you prioritize which pages to focus on during the redesign process.
- Maintain the same URL structure: Changing the URL structure of your website can harm your SEO. It’s important to maintain the same URL structure during the redesign process. If you must change the URL structure, make sure to use 301 redirects to redirect the old URLs to the new ones.
- Optimize your website’s on-page elements: During the redesign process, make sure to optimize your website’s on-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content for targeted keywords. This will help search engines understand the relevance and value of your website’s content to specific search queries.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly: With the increasing number of users accessing websites on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. This will not only improve the user experience but also help your website’s SEO.
- Submit a new sitemap to search engines: After the redesign process is complete, submit a new sitemap to search engines. This will help search engines discover the new pages on your website and update their index accordingly.
By following these tips, you can redesign your website without losing SEO.