Website redesign: What impact can it have on your SEO?
Your website is old and you are thinking about redesigning it: new content, new design, new structure, etc. But have you already thought about your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
A website redesign can have bad results on your SEO. Website redesign that is not well structured can decrease your website position, and decrease your visitors traffic as well. All the work done in SEO before can be lost.
So, it is crucial to think about SEO before redesigning, but also during it, to avoid a potential disaster. Esokia is here to make sure that you think about all essential SEO points.
Before website redesign: plan your SEO strategy
First, you need to have a precise idea of how your website will look like after redesign. When you have a clear vision, you can think about your SEO.
Some elements have to be thought out carefully:
- Keywords on which ones you want to be ranked: are they the same? Can you come up with better ideas?
- Content of these keywords: do you want to keep it? Would you like to update it?
- Structure of your website: is it optimized for SEO ? Can you improve it?
During this phase before redesigning your website, a SEO audit is necessary. It will help you define a strategy and not to forget a point that can help you keep your SEO intact.
During website redesign: some important SEO elements
During redesign of your website, you will need to think of several elements in order not to harm your SEO.
1/ Be careful when you delete pages and content
During a redesign of your website, do not delete pages with keywords which are helping your website rank well, otherwise, you will lose your position. Also, content can be optimized and updated, but not completely deleted.
2/ Think of redirections (the most important point)
When URLs are changed, the only thing that should cross your mind is redirections! Redirections are a fundamental point in SEO. Without it, you risk to lose a part of your organic traffic, but also the one coming from backlinks. With a redirection, users who click on a link leading to your old URL will be automatically redirected to the new one. No traffic lost!
We also recommend not to change basic URLs if it is possible.
And for those who want to delete pages, 301 redirects (permanently) are a better alternative if pages have the same subject. The redirections have to be different too and cannot be on the same page or you risk to be penalized!
3/ Be careful not to delete all elements
During redesigning, some elements have to stay intact not to impact the SEO.
In SEO, title and meta-descriptions are crucial. If it was well optimized before, please do not touch it. Obviously, you can change it if you want to modify the entire content and main keyword of your page. Then, you will have to optimize title tag and meta-description according to your modifications. It is one of the basic points of a good SEO.
Some other elements have to be kept, except if there is a lot of changes on the page or the website:
- ALT attribute of images
- Hn structure on your pages
- Internal links
4/ Adapt your back office to SEO
You risk to kick yourself if you forget this element. No matter if you change your CMS or not, back office is the first thing to adapt for SEO before making the whole redesign.
Some CMS have simply plug-ins to help you for basic SEO optimizations like <title> tag, meta-description, URLs, ALT attributes, etc. Don’t forget this step or you risk to lose a lot of time later.
Lastly, we recommend you to keep the same Analytics code to facilitate the analysis of the redesign. This analysis by your SEO agency will be essential. Esokia is here to help you. Please, contact us here or here : firstname.lastname@example.org.