In recent years, site design and usability have become extremely important. Now, it is experimentally proven that the more pleasant and convenient the web interface is, the higher the likelihood that users will linger on your website.
When a website is created and used for meeting various business needs, you feel the need for changing its appearance and adding new features and functionalities after two or three years. There is where website redesign come into existence. Basically, it’s a practice to change the overall look and feel of the website so that it can revitalize your brand and help you get more business opportunities.
Most SEO specialists, web designers and Website owners rarely think about the consequences of a website redesign. In several cases, the redesign follows a change in the structure of the website, which entails major changes in its ranking. So, how to recover SEO traffic after performing website redesign? Let’s study and find out.
Why You Should Think about SEO after Website Redesign?
All webmasters make titanic efforts to correct errors to get rid of website errors and increase its ranking on the web. Let’s take an example that your site ranked very well in Google’s SERP with certain keywords, giving your ample traffic and sales. You can lose it after the website redesign. Due to technical errors, website structure may be disrupted, content will become inaccessible to robots and users and its SEO ranking will decrease sharply. The efficiency of your website, improved usability and expanded functionality must be kept in mind to maintain the site’s SEO positions after website design.
1. Scan Your Website Before Redesign
Before going for a website redesign, think of its structure, metadata and URL in advance. You can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider Scanner (or similar tools) to find and fix the problem. You can use this tool for free up to 500 URLs. Get the list of URLs, site structure, values of title, description, keywords, H1 and H2 heading values in the context of pages and save them using the Export function. You will have to compare the data after a website redesign.
2. Carefully Audit the Old Website to Track Errors
You need to check the old version of your website for errors that reduce its effectiveness and performance. It is always better to eliminate them completely and not transfer to the new version of the site. Small websites can be audited manually. To audit a large website, use online services or programs. Make sure you don’t repeat the following mistakes on the new website:
- The lack of page titles (title),
- Duplicate headers,
- Too long Headers (more than 70 characters),
- No H1 headers,
- Duplicate H1 headers,
- Several H1 headers on the page,
- Lack of descriptions (description),
- Duplicate descriptions,
- Too long descriptions (more than 160 characters),
- No canonical URLs and duplicate content,
- Bad links,
- No alt attribute in the image description,
- No valid sitemap,
- Invalid robots.txt file filling,
- The absence of important sections or pages in the index of search engines,
- Slow loading speed and
- Lack of adaptation for mobile devices.
3. Temporarily Disable Indexing
After auditing the old version of your website, start redesigning your website. For safety and convenience, transfer the test version of the website to a subdomain to stop search engines from indexing the new website until the verification is completed and all errors are corrected. If you fail here, the indexing of incomplete website or web pages can dilute your image in the eyes of visitors and search engines also.
4. Use Unique Content for Website Redesign
You must always keep in mind that SEO-optimized text is an important component of website optimization. Search engines view content quality before ranking websites in its SERPs. During website redesign, old text is deleted. Sometimes, web designers forget to add new content or sometimes there is simply no room for texts in the new design. Make sure that you have fresh content with a proper placement of keywords as it will help you to get excellent ranking in Google’s SERP once again.
5. Take Care of Website Structure
Changing the website structure can negatively affect its ranking on the web. It is possible that some of your visitors have saved certain pages to their bookmarks. If the address of this document is changed, they will receive only a 404 error instead of the expected information or product.
So, you must remove all 404 pages on your website and use a 301 redirect. It will help you to maintain a good position in the SERPs of different search engines. Also, add an XML and HTML sitemap to your website. It helps both search engines and visitors to find your website on the web.
6. Keep Site Navigation Simple and Straightforward
The desire to make a site special using Flash negatively affects its position in the SEPRs of different search engines. It is because fancy website design decreases usability and accessibility for search robots. To avoid this, keep the website navigation as simple as you can. Add secondary navigation to your website to help visitors feely roam on your website, find the desired content and make transactions easily.
7. Proper Use of Meta/Title/Alt Tags
Just transfer old pages into new ones and Meta/Title/Alt Tags. Meta tag description must be transferred necessarily so that users who find your site through search engines can see the preliminary description about the content they are going to view. Search engines also consider it while displaying websites in search engines.
For all images, Alt-tags corresponding to each image should be added. You can check the availability of Alt tags for images by turning off graphics in the browser. Alt-tags of images helps search engines to understand the image content and rank them against the search terms accordingly.
8. Website Responsiveness to Mobile Devices
Due to the increasing use of mobile derives for Internet browsing, all websites necessarily need to be responsive to different mobile devices. It is because Google considers it as an important parameter to determine its ranking in its SERP. Non-responsive websites displease users when they are accessed by mobile devices. Google hate such websites and can punish it with a low ranking in search results. So, redesign your website and ensure its responsiveness to all mobile devices. If it happens, it will help you to easily regain the lost results within a few days.
9. Website Loading Speed
After a redesign, the website must load quickly on all devices. It is an important parameter for higher ranking as slow loading websites displease visitors repel them away. So, take all possible measures to make your site super-fast. Use only necessary design elements, plugins, extensions, coding, etc, on your website to reduce its overall weight and make it load faster on all devices.
10. Website Security
All people like to visit safe websites. Nobody likes to visit websites are prone to online security attacks and hacking attempts. It is because they fear losing their sensitive details and suffering financial loss eventually. Even Google avoids unsafe websites and its browser mark Non-HTTPS websites as unsafe for browsing. So, attach a security certificate to your website and take all possible measures to make it safe for browsing.
After eliminating all errors as a part of website optimization, allow search engines to index your website. Carefully follow website ranking and other key parameters that affect website ranking. Pay attention to error messages shown in Analytics and fix them as soon as possible to boost the SEO ranking of the website. Website redesign affects its SEO ranking. Keep these factors in mind to boost the ranking of websites after a redesign.
Lauren McLaren was born and raised in Australia. She is working for Digital Muscle limited – which provides best SEO packages in Australia. She has a team of SEO experts who help her in every project. She’s hardworking, competent and trustworthy. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook and watch movies.