Don’t Let Website Redesign Projects Ruin Your SEO

The Big Picture

The function of an SEO marketing campaign is to make an internet site’s strategic pages rank excessive on Google for related searches.

Google’s advanced algorithm considers a complete slew of things when rating a webpage, together with relevancy and high quality of content material, pictures, metadata, user-friendliness, and inbound hyperlinks, to call a couple of.

So, if the web site redesign adjustments or removes a URL that was rating and producing natural visitors – with out regard for SEO issues – your rankings for that web page might actually disappear from Google.

A Few Examples

Let’s say you:

  • Change the navigation and hierarchy of your web site and an vital web page will get buried deeper within the hierarchy. Google crawlers might regard that web page as being much less vital.
  • Change the URL of a strategic web page and overlook to implement a 301 redirect to the brand new URL. All the inbound hyperlinks that made that outdated web page an SEO celebrity will stay with that web page and won’t switch to the brand new URL. With the hyperlinks now gone, Google is left with a model new web page that may take effort and time to rank.
  • Change the content material of a strategic web page, eradicating goal key phrases, lowering the phrase rely, altering the title tag, and/or altering the general message and focus of the web page. These adjustments can considerably cut back rankings.

Connect the Dots

When do you establish the structure and hierarchy of your new web site? Very early on – and SEO must be thought of at the moment.

When do you finalize new URLs? Probably someplace towards the center of the challenge – and SEO must be thought of at the moment.

When do you write and finalize new content material? Probably within the center or late levels of the challenge – and SEO must be thought of at the moment.

Think Of It Like This

Suppose you’ve simply constructed your $1 million dream home. You transfer in and name a bunch of tradesmen and ask: “Would now be an excellent time to put in our electrical energy, plumbing, and HVAC?”

Sound ridiculous?

If you ask the SEO group to guage your new web site simply earlier than or after launch, you’re doing the identical factor.

The SEO Action Plan for Website Redesign

Here’s what must occur on your new web site to retain all its SEO energy.

Capture all of your present key phrase rankings in addition to natural search visitors and conversion information for every URL.

Go again a 12 months if doable, breaking your information out month-to-month. Use this information as a benchmark to guage how your new website performs after launch.

From Day 1 of the challenge, be sure that your new website has clearly recognized strategic SEO pages. Doing this can in all probability contain recent key phrase and aggressive analysis.

Early on, create a sitemap, with SEO enter, for the brand new website that features each web page, the whole hierarchy of all pages, the ultimate title for every web page, and the ultimate URL paths for every web page.

This not solely helps SEO however will even make the brand new website simpler to navigate and scale as new content material is added.

Give content material writers full SEO inputs earlier than they start writing.

They’ll want steering on title tags, meta description tags, heading tags, key phrases, phrase rely, and inner hyperlinks.

Provide designers with enter on SEO finest practices for responsive design, format, and web page velocity.

Slow web page loading, which is unhealthy for SEO and consumer expertise, is commonly the results of massive, unoptimized pictures.

Confirm builders are contemplating SEO affect on a really big selection of technical factors.

This consists of the significance of HTTPS, canonicals, render-blocking assets, and robots.txt configuration.

When new URLs are concerned, excessive care should be taken with the setup of 301 redirects, as they lead Google crawlers from the outdated web page to the brand new web page.

Google Page Experience: The SEO-Website Redesign Connection Is About to Get Bigger

A current growth at Google is its introduction of the Page Experience signal.

This is a big try by Google to extend the significance of consumer expertise (UX) in its rankings. Google is placing extra emphasis on these UX-related components:

  • Mobile-friendliness.
  • Safe looking (no malicious or misleading content material).
  • HTTPS.
  • No intrusive interstitials.
  • And one thing altogether new: Core Web Vitals (CWV).

CWV is a brand new rating sign that considers:

  • How shortly a webpage masses.
  • How shortly and simply a consumer can work together with a webpage.
  • How visually steady the web page is when customers are interacting with it (for instance, attempting to submit a kind and the shape unexpectedly shifts whereas the web page continues to be loading).

With the Page Experience sign, net redesign selections clearly may have a higher affect on SEO. These alerts ought to be thought of on the early levels when planning a redesign.

Without up-to-date and educated enter from SEO specialists, net design groups might simply underestimate the significance of:

  • How pictures are created and served to customers.
  • How CSS and different client-side code is created.
  • How PHP, ASP, and different server-side code is created.
  • Which content material administration system to pick.

On the opposite hand, if firms carry SEO into the redesign challenge from the start, the outcome can be not solely a website that maximizes rankings, however one which additionally maximizes consumer expertise.

Google is smart to place extra emphasis on consumer expertise.

Content, the standard driver of SEO rankings, stays basically vital and can proceed to be.

But a poor consumer expertise frustrates and angers many customers even when the underlying content material is superb. Google doesn’t need pissed off or offended customers – and neither do you when you have a enterprise web site.

Cultivating SEO: Web Redesign Teamwork

Don’t Let Website Redesign Projects Ruin Your SEO

In some organizations, net redesign challenge leaders and different group members are leery of working with SEO professionals.

This is considerably of a holdover angle from the times when SEO insisted on heavy key phrase utilization, densely packed content material above the fold, and different methods that made web sites exhausting to learn and typically exhausting to take a look at.

Those days are lengthy gone, nevertheless.

Google’s Page Experience initiative is proof optimistic that top rankings will rely extra on the appropriate content material delivered with the absolute best consumer expertise. This places the objectives of SEO and net design in good concord or at the very least near-perfect concord.

There can be occasions when issues should be resolved.

For occasion, SEO might wish to prioritize a specific services or products web page in navigation and hierarchy, whereas management regards that web page as not being fairly so central to the general model message.

The answer brings us again to the start of this text.

SEO must be concerned within the redesign challenge from the start. If there may be upfront settlement on which webpages are strategically vital for SEO, the place every of these pages belongs turns into a lot much less controversial.

With this in thoughts, it’s simple to see how vital it’s for SEO leaders to ensure group management, designers, builders, and content material creators know the enterprise worth of these goal web site pages.

Solid analytics baselines, purpose setting, and constant communication will hold SEO totally engaged all through the redesign course of and can assist reduce detrimental impacts to SEO efficiency.

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