SEO Considerations for a Website ReDesign
SEO, or search engine optimization, is an important consideraton while redesigning a website. Organic SEO is one of the best ways to increase website traffic long term. There are several key items to keep in mind before, during, and after a website redesign.
Before the redesign
First, it important to get a benchmark, or an idea of how the current website is working for you. Then, you can move on to areas for improvement.
Are you targeting the correct keywords? It is a good idea to check out websites similar to yours and see what keywords they are targeting.
Next, analyze the structure of your website. Are all of your pages available to users? Are all of your pages crawlable by search engines? Are all of your pages even necessary?
Then, audit your current website for things like broken or duplicate links, broken images, missing tags and titles. If found, these should be addressed during the redesign process.
Last, make a detailed checklist of the things you want to do before you start. Having a game plan for your redesign will help you keep track of changes you will make and give you direction during your redesign that you can follow.
During the redesign
Before you start to implement your redesign it is important to have a barrier between the development of your website and search engine crawlers. When a search engine crawler indexes a website’s information that is under development it can cause problems when the site under development goes live.
Add new or update existing SEO information based on the crawl and SEO research you did before the redesign. Changing this information will help grow traffic and keep your webpage relevant during web searches.
Don’t change image names to something irrelevant. When changing images it is important to make the image name the same as it was originally when it had good ranking on search engines. Also, having a name for an image that has nothing to do with that image hurts the chance of the image showing up during web searches.
It is important to take any pages that are deleted and link them to the most current and relevant web pages on your redesigned website. If a page has ranked well and is being deleted without a redirect it will decrease traffic to your website.
Make sure the measures you put in place to make your website unindexable during the first phase of redesign get reverted back when your website goes live. A redesign can ruin a great search engine ranking if the search engine can’t index your new and improved website.
Finally, once your website goes live it is a good idea to function-check everything manually to make sure your website transitioned well from the development phase to the live phase. Check all tags, titles, pictures, and links. It is also a good idea to crawl your website after it is redesigned to make sure your changes were implemented according to your plan.
After the redesign
SEO is often overlooked during website redesign, and even when it is considered it can be damaged by a new website design. Careful consideration and attention to detail are key factors when changing anything to your website and following these steps can help you mitigate the damage that redesign can cause.
Don’t stop your organic SEO efforts once the new site is live. Periodically evaluate your content to make sure it is fresh and relevent. Edit existing information and add pertinent information to your site from to time. Ensure that links remain active. Consider multi-media elements to give relevant pages a boost.
Not sure where to start? Start with a free SEO evalution. The CourseVector staff can give you that baseline you’re looking for, and a solid plan to move forward.
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