Undertaking website redesign with SEO considerations in mind.
Why consider SEO in a redesign?
There are many reasons to redesign your website, from improving its usability to undergoing a major rebrand.
But website redesigns carry a significant level of risk to existing organic rankings and revenue.
Let’s say your site’s doing great. Rankings are strong, organic traffic is flowing, and revenue is growing. Redesigning a website or migrating to a new CMS takes a lot of planning and hard work.
When done wrong, a redesign can be disastrous.
The biggest website re-design SEO issues usually come from a switch in the content management system being used — especially on larger-scale sites. Often there is a completely different URL structure, with hundreds or thousands of pages.
There could also be issues when there are several changes made at once: new domain name, new CMS, different URL structures, plenty of content changes, switching from HTTP to HTTPS, etc. Each change introduces a new variable and something else to be managed (and potentially messed up).
Do you want to undo all that hard work on your website’s SEO?
If you lose most of your rankings and traffic, you’ll see fewer leads and fewer sales.
But there are ways to update your website without destroying your SEO results.
By thinking strategically, WorkMatix can take the opportunity to improve a site’s performance after a redesign.
There are some common problems SEOs, businesses and developers all come up against:
- Missing metadata;
- Missing content;
- Failure to implement redirects.
Updating Your Website Without Destroying Your SEO
Here at WorkMatix, we take some specific steps before migration, during launch, and post-launch to mitigate risk and avoid SEO disaster when redesigning your website.
The Website Redesign SEO Checklist @WorkMatix looks like:
- Establish an SEO baseline
Conduct a thorough SEO audit of the original site before you start working on a new design.
Identify structure problems that could be stopping you from going even higher in the results.
- Define goals & create a project plan
- Strategize the information architecture
Make sure your information architecture will accommodate your long-term business goals.
If you think that you’re going to add new categories in the future, we will ensure that you have a configuration that will organize everything properly.
- Preserve the inbound link inventory
- Maintain identified optimized content
- Create a 301-redirect strategy
- Optimize all new content for search
- Check implementation
- Check test site metadata on live URLs
- Run a preliminary launch audit
- Go-live check
- Run launch architecture audit
- Dev-to-Live Audit
- Code & Performance Validation
- Conduct post-launch quality control check
- Post-launch monitoring
We follow these best practices to make the process of re-design painless for our clients.
If you involve our SEO team from the very start of the redesign planning process and stick to the checklist above, you will stand a great chance of minimizing the initial effects of the redesign and improving your website’s SEO rankings in the longer term.
Protect yourself by retaining an outside SEO professional with enough knowledge to be your advocate. Make no mistake – you need an SEO advocate if your web design firm doesn’t have an SEO specialist in house.
I am now my client’s SEO advocate.
If you need an SEO advocate, reach out to me. I’ll be happy to schedule a one hour consultation with you to review your website development project.
If needed, I’ll help you navigate through the necessary SEO features of your new WordPress website. I’ll also be happy to work along side your web development firm to make sure your new website is optimized.
Search Engine Optimization is not a one-time thing. When the monitoring phase is in motion, you can go back to your original plan and goals and measure the performance of the new site.
Check your domain status with this great tool for free to explore the strengths and weaknesses of your website: