Redesigning Your Website? Ignore SEO at Your PerilAuthor: Jamie | Filed under: Search Engine Optimisation, Web Design
If your website has been around in its current format for a while, you may decide it’s time to redesign it.
One of the things that can often be forgotten about during the process is SEO. Whether it’s the web design agency not having the knowledge required or the business owner not doing their research first, a redesign can be a disaster in terms of SEO. Find out what you have to focus on.
One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen when small businesses are having their websites redesigned is the problem caused by changing URLs.
For example, let’s say you have a page on domestic cleaning which is ranked on page 1 of Google for your town or city. The URL for the existing page may be www.yoursite.com/domestic-cleaning-liverpool
If you then change the URL for the page on your new site to something such as www.yoursite.com/house-cleaning-liverpool none of the authority from the original page will be automatically transferred to the new page, meaning you’d lose your page 1 ranking.
It also means all your incoming links to the original page would result in users seeing a 404 page not found error message.
The recommended way to get round this problem is through what’s known as a permanent 301 redirect.
Meta titles can also be forgotten about when redesigning a website. For example, your current home page may have a title “Commercial Cleaning Liverpool| Offices | Company Name. If you redesign all your pages or move to a new domain name you need to make sure all your meta titles are coped over so Google still knows what each page is about.
I’ve seen sites fall in the rankings due to their meta titles going from good descriptive ones to completely blank ones.
Although on-page SEO doesn’t have as much overall impact as it once did, it’s still worth considering when you redesign your website.
For example, the keyword you choose to target may have changed and this will be reflected in your H1 and H2 tags (headings and sub-headings) as well as the main body copy and any internal links.
If you are changing the main keyword focus for a specific page, make sure you carry it right through from your meta data into the main body copy.
Your business may have changed since your website was first designed. For example, you may not be offering a service you used to provide and want to delete it from your site, or add an extra services page that wasn’t there previously.
You’ll need to make sure that all the correct pages are included in your new sitemap.
When the coding of your website is being changed during the redesign process, it’s important to make sure your Google Analytics code doesn’t get deleted.
If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up on your current site, it’s essential you have it on your new site to assess how people are interacting with your site and identify areas for improvement.
If you liked this article, please share it on Twitter using the button below.