SEO Issues with Website Redesigns
Redesigning a website is a great opportunity to take advantage of advances in SEO (search engine optimization) best-practices.
The benefit of already having a website is that when you launch a redesign you can retain and capitalize upon the “search engine equity” you’ve acquired to date.
In deploying the newly designed website, we can execute strategies that retain that search equity with Google. If we didn’t implement these best practices, there could potentially be a huge drop in search engine traffic.
Here are four Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices that will help you maintain the accumulated search engine equity and rankings of your old website while bolstering the marketability of your new one.
Install Google Analytics for visitor tracking.
Copy the metatags, metadata, and keywords from the old website pages, update them as needed, and add them into the new website pages.
During your redesign, you’ve probably shuffled content around and changed the URLs of some of your pages. In WordPress, the tail end of the URL is called the “slug.” In your old website, the slug may have been /team/jillsmith, but maybe in your new website, it’s called /our-team/jill-smith. The search engines don’t automatically understand this, and this is where 301 redirects come in. For example, a 301 redirect will tell the search engine that your old “Services” page is now called “What We Do”, this will help you maintain your existing search engine rankings so you don’t lose traffic.
Use Google Search Console to submit an updated sitemap.xml, and request that it re-crawl and re-index the website after launch.
After the redesigned website is live, check out the bounce rates and compare them to the old website. Hopefully, the bounce rates will have declined in the new website. If not, try a user behavior tracking tool like Hotjar (free or premium) to pinpoint where people are leaving your pages. Proactively, this is a great time for you to announce your redesigned website in an email blast out to your full email list. You can also write a blog post and publish it on your social media channels.
We’ve helped hundreds of clients implement successfully redesigned websites, so give us a call at 424-245-5472 if you have any questions. And check out the rest of our articles on website redesign strategy.