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How to Avoid SEO Disaster When Redesigning Your Website

Written By Aaron

Is it time to redesign your website? You’re not alone. The average company redesigns their website every 6 months to 2 years, and the most successful ones do it sooner rather than later!

Redesigning your website comes with a host of benefits but also many risks when it comes to SEO, as the process could lead to disaster if done poorly. Let’s talk about some mistakes to avoid when redesigning your website.

Tips For Redesigning Your Website: Know What To Change

The most important tip is to only redesign what you need to redesign. For example, if your page speed is hurting your SEO, that’s what you need to work on.

The fewer unnecessary steps you take, the better. It will save you money, and it won’t harm the parts of your website that were already performing properly.

What Impacts SEO

Knowing what will affect your SEO is the first step to knowing what you need to change without harming your SEO. Basically, if you’re trying to optimise your website, don’t do it while wearing a blindfold.

You want to focus on your blog, your page speed, your mobile friendliness, your navigation, and your keywords. Remember, your backlinks are off-page, so you can’t do anything about that through a website redesign. SEO standards also change and adapt over time, so if you haven’t done much research in the last year or two, it’s time to get up to date!

Get Your Website Audited

Have your website audited or use an online tool to audit your site for its SEO value. This is a great way to know where you’re lagging if it isn’t staring you in the face. There is no such thing as general advice on what you should improve on your website, so having insight specifically into yours is invaluable.

If you choose to use a tool instead of a professional, make sure you scrutinise your website as if you’re a first-time viewer. That is what Google’s “crawlers” are attempting to do. Analyse your site through the lens of a first impression and see where you could improve. Keep track of everything as you go.

Make A List

Once you have an idea of what needs to be changed, write a list. You will want to optimise everything in order to get ahead of your competition. Once you have a list, keep it for reference throughout the process.

Have a detailed outline of what needs to be added, removed, or changed. You can even separate things into those categories to make it easier. First and foremost, if you don’t have a blog, that goes into the “add” section. You need a blog if you want to succeed in SEO.

Why? People search for information more than products. Putting out useful information in the form of a blog gives you endless opportunities to rank highly on a much wider variety of different searches. If you have 10 pages on your site, that’s 10 opportunities for Google to pick you up on very specific searches.

However, if you have 10 pages and 1,000 blog posts, you now have 1,010 chances to rank highly on a Google search for a wide range of topics. All it takes is one quality post to start building a solid SEO foundation.

Avoid Redirects

You never want to give a user a 404 error on your website. Search engines won’t mind them too much if you’re removing pages, but it will really turn people off if it’s the first thing they see. Not only that, any equity you’ve built from backlinks will be lost if they direct to a 404 error page. Avoid these as much as possible.

Install Google Analytics so that you’re able to fix 301 redirects and others in a timely manner before they cost you your SEO foundation. Be sure to implement all new redirects within 12 to 24 hours after launching your newly-designed site to avoid disaster.

Modernise

If you’re rebuilding your website, it may be to modernise it. That’s fantastic; keep it up. Users spend most of their time on sites like Facebook or Amazon, so they’re used to modernised websites, making older ones stick out like a sore thumb.

Modernisation is mainly design-focused, but it may also include your mobile-friendliness. Remember, 56% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet, so don’t neglect this importance.

Google also knows how many people are searching on these devices and ranks sites accordingly based on that. Having a modern website that is easy to use on a mobile device is invaluable for SEO, so if it isn’t already included in your plan, add it.

Follow The Newest Mandates And Updates 

Google has the power of the internet at its disposal. It basically decides what people do and don’t see with a simple algorithm, and that algorithm changes all the time.

New mandates and updates come all the time, so make sure you’re up to date and that your website will be doing the same. To avoid any issues, if you’re looking to redesign your website in 2021, don’t read SEO mandates from 2018.

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

No, we aren’t saying to wait longer to launch your new site, but when you’re adding SEO value by changing the content of your site, a slow immersion is better than a barrage. Why is this? It creates some measure of hesitancy with Google’s crawlers when they see a lot of change to your entire content all at once.

Because of this, it’s important that you add new SEO value to your website over a period of time rather than making all the changes in one launch.

Focus On User Experience

We mentioned the importance of page speed and mobile-friendliness, but you need to take every part of the user experience into account because Google will. Avoid too many unnecessary popups, calls to action, extra clicks, or anything that could increase the rate at which users will leave your site.

Be sure to implement these features slowly as you build up your SEO credit and don’t overwhelm the user with them. Google won’t mind a few popups or clicks, but keep it within a reasonable limit. 

Make sure that your navigation tools are easy to use and that they aren’t too inconsistent with the previous tools your site offered. This could lead to confusion for regular users on your site.

Check Everything After Launch

Now that you know what to look for in the design process have a checklist to go right before launch for a review. If you’re confident in your redesign, it’s time to launch the website.

Once it’s up, review everything. Check Google Analytics and fix any redirects as early as possible, and try to tear your website apart page by page to make sure everything was launched properly. Try to navigate through your site and look at it from the perspective of a first-time user.

Once everything is up to your standards, be sure to continue monitoring Google’s feedback and track your website’s performance over the coming weeks and months to see how it’s improved. If you don’t notice any changes in performance, or your performance starts to decline, you may need to try something else.

Get Professional Help

If you are running a business, there’s no reason you have to do this all alone. You can always get the trusted help of professional web designers who know the importance of SEO value, how to improve on yours, and who are up-to-date on the latest Google regulations.

The truth is that if you’re not a professional web designer, your users will know.

As we said, they spend most of their online time scrolling through the masters of the internet like YouTube, Google, or Instagram. They know what a professional website looks like, and so does Google. There’s nothing more valuable to your SEO value than professional service.

Not only will this save you a lot of time, but it could increase your SEO value, increase your conversion rate, and make you more money. Give it a shot.

Don’t Settle

When redesigning your website, you have a unique opportunity to blow your competition out of the top spots on Google, so don’t waste it. Especially if you’re only competing locally, the sky is the limit when it comes to SEO.

Getting into the top 3 spots, where all the traffic is, is within your reach if you have the right tools and the right help! Stay up to date with our latest news, and reach out for any help you need!

If you’re looking for a reputable Web Design Studio in Hobart backed by 20+ years of SEO know how, then contact the team at Web Design Hobart today!

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