Could a Redesign Be Your Next SEO Nightmare?
There’s nothing wrong in wanting to revamp your web design. Things change, trends evolve, and your entire image would have to adjust according to the changing needs of your audiences as well.But there’s one thing that a lot of website owners often forget the moment they become immersed in the redesign – the time, effort and resources that they’ve poured into the old website’s SEO.
Yes, the simplest tweaks on your webpage can have huge effects on your SEO. And when you mess things up, the redesign might end up doing more harm than good.
Where Potential SEO Horrors from a Simple Website Redesign Come From
We’ve heard every possible horror story, but the gist is usually the same. Website owners spent months building the kind of traffic they want, only to lose all of it the moment their redesigned site goes live.
So is the redesign a bad idea? Not at all!
The key here is to look for potential problems and avoid them at all costs.Here are some of the most common reasons why a simple redesign sets SEO progress back to zero:
1. Too much focus on a minimalist design that SEO-friendly content was sacrificed.
2. A shift in focus to more visual content resulting to keyword-optimized content being removed
3. Modifications in the URL without fixing 301 redirects
4. Failing to remove noindex flags
5. H1 headers, meta titles and meta descriptions were altered
6. Existing internal links were forgotten when the content was migrated
7. Emphasis on key SEO pages is removed
8. Mobile-first indexing best practices were not followed
So how do you avoid these problems?
The Ultimate SEO Checklist in Case of a Redesign
Review your entire sitemap and pinpoint key SEO pages and elements in your content that should never be compromised. These should be right on top of your checklist.
A crawling tool would be a huge help if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any pages.
Once you have a clear picture of your overall architecture, on-page optimization comes next. Check your URLs, meta titles, meta descriptions, alt text, body copies, and other similar elements.Optimize your code-base as early as now. Don’t wait until the page is launched.
Say this with me – WE DO NOT WANT 404 ERROR PAGES.Look at pages that will be getting new URLs and map out their 301 redirects. Check out all links to make sure everything leads to the right place.
Remember – it’s easier to delay your launch than to fix any damage that a hurried launch date would do.
After making sure everything on your checklist has a green light, carefully proceed to the launch stage. Use your pre-launch checklist to do thorough quality control.
Your pages are launched. Now, it’s time to focus on these things:
1. Check your redirects.
2. Check on-page optimization.
3. Run pages through mobile-friendly testing tools.
4. Run page speed tools.
5. Check schema markups.
6. Submit XML sitemaps (only after the rest of the points above are okay).
7. Monitor continuously.
8. Continue improving SEO.