LET’S GET STARTED
- 1 What Is A Website Redesign?
- 2 How Does Changing The Design Of A Website Affect SEO?
- 3 When Should You Consider Website Redesigning?
- 4 Steps To Work On Website Redesign
- 4.1 Define Your Redesign Goals And Develop A Plan
- 4.2 Make A List Of Your Current Condition And Your Desired Results
- 4.3 Select A Dependable Host, Theme, & A Page Builder
- 4.4 Protect Your Staging Site From Crawlers During The Redesign
- 4.5 Review The Staging Site Before Moving Forward
- 4.6 Test And Resolve Any Issues With Performance
- 4.7 Conduct A Final Assessment Of The New Site
- 4.8 Make Any URLs That Have Changed Redirects
- 4.9 Install Google Analytics And Google Search Console
- 4.10 Send Google Your New XML Sitemap
- 4.11 Ensure Your Website Is No Longer Hidden From Search Engines
- 5 Conclusion
You know how vital a professional-looking website is a today if you run any kind of modern business. Running a website necessitates a great deal of attention to detail.
To expand your organic reach, you must fine-tune your content, create a sleek brand, improve conversions, and understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Regular updates and even complete overhauls of your web presence go a long way toward keeping your business competitive and current.
However, SEO and website redesigns can have a significant influence on your WordPress strategy, putting your company’s financial line at risk. When you debut a redesign, it’s usual for site traffic to drop, sometimes considerably.
Your SEO must evolve in tandem with your website, as it is a critical factor for every business website. While it takes time for consumers to acclimatize to a new layout, there are actions you can do to make the shift go more smoothly.
Before getting into detail let us see the basics of web design.
What Is A Website Redesign?
Website redesign is a process of improving a website’s user experience practices to increase engagement with target customers by lowering friction. A typical redesign project can alter the most obvious aspects of a building.
A typical redesign project might alter the most obvious aspects of the user interface, such as visual elements and color schemes, as well as more practical aspects, such as usability and accessibility.
Depending on the project, the design phase for a complete overhaul can take anywhere from 30-90 days.
How Does Changing The Design Of A Website Affect SEO?
Search engines rank each page on your site based on a variety of variables, all changes you make to your website have the potential to affect SEO. In addition to reviewing the information that we see in our browser, they rank each website based on the underlying structure and how it impacts the user experience.
As a result, the sooner you consider website redesign SEO, the better. Even if you’ve never done SEO before but want to do so in the future.
You must understand how a redesign will affect your capacity to reach your objectives and look for ways to not only maintain your SEO but boost your ability to rank in the search engines.
Shouldn’t your developer be able to assist you with SEO now?
Website designers are incredible. They can create stunning websites with tremendous functionality. While they may have some SEO experience, it is not usually their main focus. It’s also not what you’d anticipate.
The developer’s job is to create the site and maintain it up and running. Driving traffic needs a separate set of skills and is typically handled by your content marketer, SEO specialist, or other members of your marketing team.
When Should You Consider Website Redesigning?
The following are the main reasons for a website redesign, according to a 2021 survey:
- conversion rates are low (80.8 percent)
- Bounce rates are high (65 percent)
- need a better user experience (61 percent)
- not all gadgets are responsive (53.8 percent)
- a webpage that is no longer active (38.5 percent)
- not search engine friendly (23.1 percent)
It might be difficult to determine when a website makeover is required. You’re probably spending a lot of money on your makeover, so you want to make sure the timing is perfect.
It’s important to remember that with digital marketing, user experience is crucial. It’ll come up in practically every metric, and it’ll influence your bottom line in the end.
Most website owners are concerned with the conversion rate. This could be an indication that it’s time to rebuild your website.
Conversion rates fluctuate, but if yours is on the decline, it’s time to think about a website makeover. They also differ based on the industry you work in.
If your website is in the Real Estate or home improvement industry, for example, your conversion rates will be approximately 7%.
If you work in the media and entertainment industry, though, it may be closer to 19 percent.
Examining your website from the perspective of your visitors is one of the finest ways to determine whether it’s time to make adjustments.
Assume you’re a first-time visitor to your site, and ask yourself these easy questions:
- Do you think the branding is on point?
- Are the pages loading quickly?
- Is your website organized in a logical, user-friendly manner?
- Are your pages mobile-friendly?
- Is it difficult to locate the information you require?
- Is your client journey sufficiently streamlined?
By comparing your website to theirs, you can see how you stack up against your competitors. If your site is good in some areas but lacks a few features in others, a website refresh may be the solution.
On the other hand, if a lot of problems are holding you back, it’s probably time for a complete website makeover.
You can spend more time planning your website overhaul than actually doing the redesign.
Start with the steps below if you’re unsure of what should go into your best website redesign plan.
Steps To Work On Website Redesign
Define Your Redesign Goals And Develop A Plan
Setting goals is an important element of every website redesign effort, but you should avoid making too many changes at once. You might want to relocate to a new host, change themes, shift pages around, add functionality, and rewrite essential sections of unique content, for example, in addition to refreshing your look.
However, from an SEO standpoint, doing all of these things at once is a bad idea because each modification can introduce additional issues.
Another thing to consider is that there may be issues with your current website that are preventing you from ranking. You have the option to detect and fix problems with your website while redesigning it.
I propose making a list of everything you want to accomplish with your website overhaul.
Then divide that list among tasks that must be completed during the redesign and those that can be completed independently.
Then prioritize and implement the adjustments gradually while keeping an eye on the results.
Consider rewriting crucial pages now if you want to remodel your website in six months so you can diagnose and cure any issues that develop before going on.
Make A List Of Your Current Condition And Your Desired Results
The creation of a current and future sitemap is another standard aspect of an SEO website redesign. This aligns everyone on what will stay, what will leave, and what the new structure will be. Wireframes can also be created by your developers.
From an SEO standpoint, and really from anyone’s standpoint, you need to maintain what’s now working and position yourself for future success. As a result, consider any proposed modifications through this lens to avoid favorable outcomes.
This implies that you will:
Make a list of every page on your current website and its performance data so you can spot critical material, compare it to your plans, and decide which modifications to accept and which to reject.
Select A Dependable Host, Theme, & A Page Builder
The performance of your website is influenced by the core parts of your website, such as its hosting environment, theme, and plugins. A bad website degrades the consumer experience, lowers conversion rates, and limits your potential to grow.
Your developer will most likely have some recommendations in this area. However, while certain alternatives may make it easier (and less expensive) to revamp your website, they aren’t always the best for performance.
If you’re thinking about investing in SEO in the future, you should consider this. Make sure you grasp each component, as well as the potential benefits and drawbacks.
i. Speed: Your new site must load rapidly on both desktop and mobile devices. Choose a trustworthy hosting service and a performance-oriented theme. Furthermore, any new feature you add to the website has the potential to slow it down.
Make sure you understand and can adapt to the tradeoffs if your developer wants to utilize a page builder or a lot of plugins.
ii. Responsiveness: Search engines rank websites based on how well they run on mobile devices. Choose a theme with a responsive design, which is the norm these days for modern themes, unless You want to develop a separate website for mobile. This implies it will automatically alter key design elements to accommodate each device type.
iii. A Solid Track Record And Premium Support: Investing in a good infrastructure now will save you a lot of time and money afterward.
For example, if you choose a flexible, well-supported theme with bright prospects, you may be able to refresh your design without switching themes regularly.
This will cut your continuing development expenditures by reducing the need for large, consequential changes in the future.
iv. A Theme With Schema Markup Built-In: Schema markup is a type of markup that provides search engines with information about the content of web pages. There are some forms of Schema markup that you must manually place into a page.
Other sorts of markup, such as markup to identify navigational components or specific types of pages, might be included by default in a pre-built theme. Schema markup is frequently used in SEO-friendly themes.
Protect Your Staging Site From Crawlers During The Redesign
To demonstrate the importance of enabling privacy settings on the staging site, a lock and key are used.
Your developers will back up your existing site and copy it into a staging environment once everyone is ready. This enables them to make the requested adjustments without causing any disruption to your current website.
Because the staging site will have duplicate material, you can use privacy settings to avoid misleading search engines (not to mention presenting your site in this unfinished condition).
Search engines will be unable to crawl the site, and potential visitors will be unable to find it.
Now, there may be instances when you need to temporarily disable the privacy settings while working on the new site.
That’s all right.
Remember to turn them back on once you’re finished.
Review The Staging Site Before Moving Forward
In an ideal world, the staging site would be a carbon copy of the live site. However, objects can get lost in transition, so take a thorough look around the staging area before proceeding.
Much of what you see will be addressed as part of the makeover, but keep an eye out for things that aren’t there, like:
i. Pages In Their Entirety: Make certain that every page and post has been converted. If your site is modest, you may be able to do this visually, but if not, crawl the test site with Screaming Frog and compare the findings to the list you generated above.
Pay careful attention to the pages you chose as being the most significant, but any missing page is worth noting. Even a category or tag archive, because if you move through without it, you’ll have to build a redirect.
ii. Metadata: Check to see if the metadata for your images and pages hasn’t been lost. This would contain titles, alt attributes, captions, and so on for your photographs. You’re seeking data like page titles and metadata for pages.
Metadata gives crucial information about different portions of your website to search engines. If it isn’t there, you’ll have to figure out why and how to get it back.
Test And Resolve Any Issues With Performance
You should test your new site’s performance throughout the redesign process, as page speed is important for both SEO and conversion rates. This will assist you in swiftly identifying and resolving any difficulties.
You can, for example, test your speed before installing a plugin. After it’s in place and configured properly, double-check it. This will allow you to see if there is any effect and, if required, seek alternatives.
Many factors can influence page load time, and if you make your developers aware that performance is a priority, they will be able to control a lot of it. However, it’s critical to understand that website performance isn’t solely a development issue.
Long after you’ve launched, you’ll need to keep an eye on speed because anything you add to the site could potentially slow it down.
Conduct A Final Assessment Of The New Site
Throughout the creation process, you’ll have lots of opportunities to evaluate the new site and a checklist to go over before it goes live. Here are a few SEO tasks to add to your checklist as you near the end.
i. Functionality Or Unique Elements: Certain components or functionality will change when you switch to a new environment.
Any difficulties will be addressed by your development team. However, before you agree to go live, have someone familiar with the content take a look around because they may see things that others would miss.
Certain forms or tables, for example, may be missing.
Alternatively, navigational features (such as jump links in blog posts) may not function properly.
Content providers will be more likely to detect if something is wrong if they add such features on a case-by-case basis to improve the user experience.
ii. Internal Hypertext Links: Internal linking is an important aspect of SEO since it helps search engines navigate your site, understand what it’s about, and determine which pages are relevant. As a result, you must double-check that all of your internal links are working properly and that any broken links that lead to content improvement that no longer exists are removed.
iii. Structure Of A Url: A URL can change by accident on occasion. Return to your sitemap and double-check that your URLs are correct.
Make Any URLs That Have Changed Redirects
You’ll need to redirect users and search engines to a new place if you removed material or changed the structure of your URLs in any manner. This appears to be a simple task until you consider how easily URL architectures might change.
It’s common, for example, to ignore archive pages created automatically by your systems, such as category or tag archives. You’ll need a redirect if you delete a category or tag.
A spreadsheet with a list of redirects is being worked on by a person.
Ideally, you should set up redirects before starting your website. However, if it wasn’t possible or you believe you missed a few, this should be your priority. Before moving on, double-check that each redirect is operating properly.
Simply make a checklist of your new site’s URLs and compare them to the old one.
Read More: A Definitive Guide To 302 Redirect SEO
Install Google Analytics And Google Search Console
If you’ve done SEO before, you’ve most likely already set up these tools and used them along the process.
However, if you’re new to SEO, this is a crucial step.
Google Search Console is a free tool that shows you how your website appears to Google and in Google search results. Google Analytics is another free service that shows you how people come to your website and what they do while they’re there.
These tools can be combined to watch your search rankings, check your site’s health, and understand visitor behavior.
Send Google Your New XML Sitemap
Find your new XML sitemap and submit it to Google using Google Search Console after you’ve set up the tool. Although search engines will eventually locate your site, publishing a sitemap in advance will speed up the discovery process by allowing them to crawl and index the new site more quickly.
The steps for discovering or building your sitemap will vary based on your setup, but once you’ve done so, submit it to Google Search Console by clicking on “sitemaps” and putting it in the box provided.
Read More: Sitemap Structure: Why Sitemap Is Important For SEO
Ensure Your Website Is No Longer Hidden From Search Engines
Remember how we took great care to keep your staging site hidden while it was being built?
Now that your site is up and running, you must ensure that this is no longer the case.
Even if you believe the site is available, the entire site or specific sections may be hidden from search engines.
This could happen in one of the ways:
On some pages, you have a “no index” meta tag (or even all pages).
The “no index” meta tag is a piece of HTML code that you may place on any page of your website to tell search engines not to index it. Developers can manually upload the code or you can add it with certain settings.
If this code is mistakenly left on your site, search engines will remove you from their index.
Your robots.txt file prevents search engines from crawling the site.
Most websites have a robots.txt file that gives search engines instructions. These directives inform search engines which pages on your site should not be crawled. Type your domain name into the search box to discover if you have a robots.txt file.
Changes to this file can occur without your knowledge when you remodel a website or migrate to a new website host. Google has a free tool that will examine the file and tell you if Google has permission to access all regions of your site, but it won’t tell you about other search engines’ instructions.
Redesigning a website is a lengthy process that involves both external and internal changes.
A website may receive a new logo, updated menus, or a new page layout, all of which affect UX and, as a result, SEO. Content may be slightly updated or completely replaced with fresh copy, which will have a higher SEO impact.
Finally, certain pages may be deleted or redirected to new URLs, which might have serious SEO implications if not managed appropriately. Furthermore, if developers fail to correctly set up the A/B testing process or the test site, website SEO may suffer even before the redesign is completed.
Because so many things may go wrong during a redesign, an SEO expert should collaborate closely with a UX designer and a website developer to avoid any problems. After all, getting through the redesign unscathed is possible—all it takes is a little foresight and vigilance on the part of those concerned.