Let’s start by responding to your most urgent query straight away.
Does SEO suffer from a website redesign? Indeed, a website makeover will nearly always affect how well it performs in search engine results. No matter how well you’ve planned, you should anticipate some volatility in your website’s organic search performance following a website redesign.
Along with giving your website a fresh look or feel, your redesign should also aim to increase website performance (speed, user experience, and conversions), resulting in better SEO.
Regrettably, failing to plan for or consider your SEO during your redesign is one of the most frequent problems we encounter. For your benefit, I have written this article.
SEO Website Makeover May Have a Huge Impact:
It’s great to go through a website revamp! As you update your website, your business will benefit from better results reflecting your brand. Your business is ready to debut after months of planning and collaboration with your web developer and designers. But then this occurs…
After your website is redesigned, your SEO performance suffers, and you get less qualified leads. How did this happen, and how can you go forward again?
In this situation, prevention is preferable to treatment. While there are steps to boost your SEO performance once your site has undergone a makeover, the greatest thing you can do to lessen the likelihood that your SEO performance will suffer is to consider SEO before the redesign is complete.
I’ll discuss what to check during your website design and development process in this guide, along with some things to consider to reduce any bad effects a website redesign may have on SEO. The technological details, design concerns, and on-page content will all be covered.
A website revamp Is what?
Let’s start by discussing what a website makeover entails so everyone is on the same page. When we say “redesign,” we mean giving your website a complete makeover (not just minor design tweaks). This could imply the same on-page material in a fresh layout.
That can indicate that all of your on-page material is altering. As part of a website redesign, new blog setups or sections in the main navigation may also be included. Your page URLs may change as part of website redesigns.
Redesigning your website could result in moving it to a new content management system, like switching from Squarespace to WordPress or vice versa. However, there are other SEO considerations to make during a site migration that doesn’t apply to redesigns.
Overall, a website redesign will result in significant modifications to your website. When I refer to a redesign, we are not referring to changes to a single page or page type; rather, I am referring to a complete revamp of your website.
How Does The SEO Of a Website Change?
Redesigning your website alters the information which search engines are using to decide how to index & place it in search results because you’re making substantial changes to it. Search engines will alter how they index and rank your website as soon as your signals change.
In terms of SEO, your redesign should contribute to strengthening the signals you send to search engines so that it is obvious which queries your website should rank for on the search engine results pages.
Yet, occasionally unintended modifications introduced to a site after an update render these signals less obvious. This has a negative effect on your search performance since it makes it more challenging for a search engine to determine which searches your pages should match with.
How to Reduce the Effect of Site Redesign on SEO
Examine current search results and website usage.
The influence of your present content on search performance will be assessed, making this the most important step in any website redesign. It’s critical to look at data like the following in this step:
.General top landing pages
.Websites’ most popular pages
.The most popular pages for organic traffic
.The top organic ranking pages
.Most effective pages for conversion
.The pages have the most backlinks
You can discover this information using the two free tools, Google Analytics and Google Search Console if you already have them on your present website.
Suppose you still need to get these two configured on your current site. In that case, we advise doing so right immediately to begin gathering this data and gain an understanding of how your current site functions before you begin a redesign.
Understanding this information is important because, during your redesign, you don’t want to remove the pages and content, producing the best outcomes for your company. There are several exceptions to this rule, including pages that contain details about goods or services you no longer provide.
Draw out Your Redesigned Pages By Reviewing The On-Page Content & Page Mapping:
You should pull an exhaustive list of every one of the website’s pages once you’ve evaluated the performance of your present site and know which sites you must keep due to performance. Review this entire list and mark each page you intend to preserve.
You should include a remark about which pages you do not intend to preserve. Look for pages with irrelevant material, duplicate pages, and any pages that can be consolidated since they address related topics. Notice what you intend to do with the pages that won’t transfer onto your new site.
Examine The Architecture Of Your Website:
It’s time to analyze your site structure now that you have reviewed your page content, has a complete inventory of your present site pages, and know what you’ll do with each. A site’s structure can significantly impact user experience and search engine optimization.
When using your website’s structure to tell search engines which content on your site would be most important, you want to make it as simple as possible for users to discover the information they require, and that is most appropriate to them.
For instance, if your company initially just sold bike helmets, you might now sell them for additional sports like skiing, rock climbing, skating, and horse riding. You’ve also added gear for rock climbing and biking to your collection of gear for those activities.
For simpler navigation on your revamped website, you might set up your store pages by sport instead of equipment type or include both possibilities.
Review your page URLs together with your site structure. Make careful to note the new page URL in your page list if the URLs will change due to modifying your website’s structure.
This phase of the website redesign SEO procedure will occur far sooner than the scheduled debut of the new design. You will now have updated your website’s layout, content, and style. You can also add new web pages and information before configuring your redirects if you’re doing so.
Search engines can be informed when a page has moved or has a new URL via redirects. If the old URL still remains, a redirect also enhances the user experience on your website.
Users who attempt to access the old URL will automatically be redirected to the present URL, preventing them from encountering a 404 “Page Not Found” error page.
Change Your Alt Text, Schema Markup, And Metadata:
When you’ve set up redirects, you should check that each page on your newly created website has a distinct meta description & title tag.
These page components frequently go unnoticed during redesign but can significantly affect search performance.
You might even be interested in employing identical title tags and meta descriptions before the redesign if your page’s content is substantially unchanged and performing well in search. Also, confirm that the alt text for each image on your website exists.
The Redesigned Site Should Include Google Analytics And Other Measurement Tools:
Depending on how the rebuilt site is developed, you might still have the original Google Analytics and Google Search Console installations on your site without making any modifications.
Make sure your site measurements are configured properly for your redesigned site either before you publish or as soon as you post the redesign, but if you’ve changed your content management system or designed it in a staging environment.
By doing this, you can ensure that your data is complete and that you can better gauge and track the effects of your redesign.
Examining User Experience:
Spend a few minutes evaluating the user experience on your newly designed website after you’ve finished the technical and content aspects of the redesign. This includes examining the site’s functionality, speed, and mobile friendliness and ensuring nothing in the redesign compromises the user experience.
Before posting the newly designed version of your site, you’ll normally carry out this task on a staging site. I advise reviewing your site once published to ensure that all the changes made in the staging environment have been reflected in the live version.
You’ll be far more likely to mitigate any detrimental SEO impact of a site redesign by following these procedures and keeping an eye on your website’s SEO performance both during and after the overhaul.
Your website should also have a strong SEO foundation to increase organic traffic and get better results from your newly created website. Hiring custom website designers to achieve this task is something that I would highly recommend, as many designers are experienced in this.