Website redesign and SEO
From time to time a website redesign is needed, to freshen up your look or to undergo a rebrand. But if you don’t go into this with SEO in mind, you could end up losing site traffic after relaunch, effectively setting back all your hard efforts. If his happens, here’s how you can recover.
Technically when you do a website redesign, your website designers should be SEO minded, but the truth is, not all designers are. So, it’s important to choose the right web design agency from the offset. But even choosing a savvy agency may not fully protect you from experiencing a ripple in your rankings. Often your SEO performance might be just marred temporarily.
A pragmatic approach to protecting your SEO traffic
This is the desired route. If you put in the groundwork beforehand, you will have less of a recovery process to endure. So, it’s important to bear the following things in mind before you go forth with a website redesign with any web development.
Establish how well your site is performing. What are your top landing pages in terms of SEO traffic?How well do they rank? How well do they convert? Ensure you benchmark this before you migrate your site.
You want to make sure you don’t lose top performing pages when you redesign your site. If you can, keep them in the design. If you are adding lots of new pages, ensure they are clearly optimised with terms that don’t compete with existing pages.
Any pages you no longer want to keep must be redirected to a page on the new site with similar content. This is because they may still rank or be cached on Google. If they no longer exist, the user will get a 404 error, which is bad for SEO.
Recovering your SEO traffic
If your SEO traffic has suffered as a result of a redesign, then there are some steps you can undertake to help you to recover. This applies to sites that have been redesigned with no consideration to SEO and those who may just be experiencing a dip.
Measure your performance against the snapshot before relaunch. How does it differ? How you’re your rankings now? What pages have been affected? Insights are key, to knowing how to recover.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a very useful, and free tool that will tell you if you have any page errors, such as 404 or 500 errors, as well as any issues with indexing and crawling. The console allows you to fix these issues in real time.
Fix any page errors
Address any 404 errors by putting a 301 redirect(permanent) or a 302 redirect(temporary) in place. This ensures the user still visits your site. Just make sure you redirect them to relevant content to the old page content.
Run a technical audit
It’s always worth running a technical audit on your site, to make sure there are no technical errors that could be hindering your online performance. You can use a FREE SEO audit tool to do this and it will pick up things like page load speed, meta data issues, compression problems and header tag hierarchy discrepancies to name a few. These can then be fixed by your developer or an SEO agency.
Need any advice on your website’s performance? Whitefish Marketing is an established Kent based digital marketing agency, with extensive experience in SEO and web design. Give our friendly team a call on 01303 720 288.