SEO Checklist for Site Redesigns
Does your site need a redesign? If so, it’s important not to ignore the SEO aspect of your new site. In fact, redesigning your site presents you with an excellent opportunity to refine your SEO strategy and optimize even more effectively than you were before. You certainly would want to hurt your site in any way while performing the redesign! In fact, this is a great opportunity to actually make your SEO campaign more effective. These same tips can be applied to a completely new site, as well. Here’s an overview of how you should approach SEO while changing the appearance of your site.
Don’t Forget Your Content Strategy
A major part of your site redesign will encompass your content strategy. Now that the appearance of your site is different, you may want to make changes to your content marketing plan. Even though SEO is a separate component from your content, both SEO and your content will work together to not only give your site structure, but to also please both your site visitors and the search engines. In many ways, you should establish your new content strategy before even determining the design since it’s the content that will please your visitors.
Establish Your SEO From the Beginning
Too often, webmasters wait until after the site is completely redesigned before considering the SEO strategy. Actually, you should develop the components of your SEO before you even start redesigning it. This will include a thorough analysis of your existing site, observing market trends, and also determining how this information will work with the new site. The data you come up with may even influence your new design! Your keyword research is just as important as the site redesign itself.
Be Careful With Your Existing Links
Are you redesigning your sitemap or changing the structure of your URL’s? If so, then you really need to think about the implications this will have on the search engines. By not handling this properly, you could cause the site to drop in rankings because it may generate a 404 error, which indicates that the page can’t be found. If a site has a lot of these, it can negatively impact rankings. For every page where the URL has changed, you will need to set up a 301 redirect to avoid this.
Usability is a Factor in the Search Engines
How usable is your site? If the old site doesn’t have a responsive design, it’s definitely time for an update. However, the new site needs to be optimized to enhance the user experience of the site. With Google’s recent algorithm update concerning mobile sites, this is even more important. Google has said that sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices will experience a drop in rankings for mobile searches. This, in turn, could affect regular search results. So, even though usability is a design element, it could have implications for SEO. To avoid this from happening, creating a site with a responsive design is crucial.