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7 Website Redesign Mistakes That Are Destroying SEO
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When it comes to website redesigns, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a fresh new look and enhanced user experience. However, failing to consider the impact of your website redesign on SEO can be a costly mistake. In this article, we’ll explore the seven website redesign mistakes that jeopardize your SEO efforts, and what you can do to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Not Conducting an SEO Audit Before Redesign
Before embarking on your website redesign, it’s crucial to conduct an SEO audit to identify any current strengths or weaknesses in your website’s SEO. This audit should include analyzing your website’s traffic, rankings, and keywords to ensure you’re not inadvertently removing or changing content that’s driving traffic to your site.
Identifying Current SEO Strengths and Weaknesses
You need to determine which keywords are currently driving traffic to your site. Tools like Google Analytics or SEMRush can help you identify your most frequently visited pages and the keywords that are bringing visitors to those pages.
It’s also important to analyze your website’s content to ensure it’s relevant and up-to-date. Outdated content can hurt your SEO efforts, so take the time to update any old blog posts or pages that may be dragging down your rankings.
An SEO audit can also help you identify any technical issues on your site that could be holding your SEO back. For example, slow load times or broken links can hamper your efforts to improve your search engine rankings. By fixing these issues, you’ll be able to provide a better user experience for your visitors and boost your SEO at the same time.
Setting Goals for the Redesign
Based on your analysis, set a clear goal for your redesign. You want to maintain or improve your SEO while making powerful design and functionality upgrades to your site. By setting clear goals, you’ll be able to keep your SEO plans on track throughout your redesign process.
It’s also important to consider your target audience when setting goals for your redesign. What do they want to see on your website? What kind of user experience are they looking for? By understanding your audience’s needs and preferences, you’ll be able to create a website that not only looks great but also meets their expectations.
Finally, don’t forget to track your progress throughout the redesign process. Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor your traffic and rankings, and make adjustments as needed to ensure your SEO stays on track. With careful planning and execution, you can create a website that not only looks great but also performs well in search engine rankings.
Mistake 2: Changing URL Structures Without Proper Redirects
Changing your website’s URL structure can be a daunting task, but sometimes it’s necessary for improving user experience and making your website more organized. However, it’s important to ensure that you don’t make the common mistake of changing your URL structure without implementing proper redirects.
When you change your URLs without 301 redirects, search engines will have a hard time understanding your website’s structure, which can lead to a significant drop in your search engine rankings. This means that your website will be less visible to potential visitors, which can negatively impact your business or organization.
The Importance of 301 Redirects
301 redirects are essential when it comes to changing your website’s URL structure. They are permanent URL redirects that tell search engines that your old page has been permanently moved to a new location. This helps search engines understand your website’s structure and ensures that your visitors can still access your content without any issues.
Without 301 redirects, search engines will treat your old pages and new pages as two separate entities, which can lead to a significant drop in your search engine rankings. This can be disastrous for your website’s visibility and can cause you to lose potential visitors.
Creating a Redirect Map
Creating a redirect map is an essential step when it comes to implementing proper redirects for your website. A redirect map is a document that lists all of your old URLs and their corresponding new URLs. This ensures that all of your old pages are mapped to the correct new pages on your redesigned site.
By using a redirect map, you’ll be able to maintain your search engine rankings while keeping users happy by not sending them to dead links. This will help to improve your website’s user experience and ensure that your visitors can easily find the content they’re looking for.
In conclusion, changing your website’s URL structure can be a great way to improve user experience and make your website more organized. However, it’s important to ensure that you implement proper redirects to avoid any negative impacts on your search engine rankings and user experience. By creating a redirect map and using 301 redirects, you’ll be able to ensure that your website remains visible to potential visitors and that they can easily find the content they’re looking for.
Mistake 3: Ignoring Mobile Responsiveness
With mobile-first indexing becoming increasingly common, ignoring mobile responsiveness in your website redesign can have a severe impact on your SEO performance. Mobile devices make up a significant portion of web traffic, and creating responsive design should be a priority.
The Role of Mobile-First Indexing
Mobile-first indexing is a significant shift in how Google indexes websites. The search engine is now indexing mobile versions of websites over desktop versions. This change has come about due to mobile devices making up 52.2% of website traffic worldwide. Your website needs to be designed responsively for mobile devices to make sure it is ranked high on Google’s search engine result pages.
Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, and many people are using them to access the internet. This means that if your website is not mobile responsive, you could be losing out on a significant amount of traffic. Mobile devices have smaller screens than desktops, and if your website is not optimized for mobile, it can be challenging for users to navigate and find the information they need.
Designing for Mobile Users
When planning your website redesign, make sure to design with mobile users in mind. The design should be responsive, easy to navigate, and images should be optimized for mobile. The mobile version of your site should not compromise on content structure and should have the same amount of relevance as a desktop version.
Mobile users have different needs than desktop users. They are often on the go and need quick access to information. This means that your website should be designed to load quickly on mobile devices. You should also consider the types of content that mobile users are looking for and make sure that your website provides that content in a mobile-friendly way. For example, if you have a blog, you should make sure that your blog posts are easy to read on a mobile device.
Another important consideration when designing for mobile users is the use of white space. Mobile devices have smaller screens, and using too many images or too much text can make your website look cluttered and difficult to read. By using white space effectively, you can make your website look clean and easy to navigate.
In conclusion, ignoring mobile responsiveness in your website redesign can have a severe impact on your SEO performance. With mobile devices making up a significant portion of web traffic, it is essential to design your website responsively for mobile devices. By designing with mobile users in mind and considering their needs, you can create a website that is easy to navigate and provides the information that users are looking for.
Mistake 4: Removing or Changing High-Performing Content
One of the most common website redesign mistakes is removing or changing high-performing content. High-performing content contributes significantly to your website’s traffic and search engine rankings, so make sure you identify and preserve all of it during your website redesign.
Analyzing Your Top-Performing Pages
Identify all content that ranks well for relevant keywords and generates a high volume of traffic. You can identify your top-performing pages using tools like Google Analytics or SEMRush. Make sure to keep these pages and their URLs intact.
Updating Content Without Sacrificing SEO Value
While you should preserve high-performing content, that doesn’t mean you can’t update it. Update the content to ensure that it aligns with your current business goals and website plan. However, make sure to keep optimizing high-performing content for vital keywords and link authority.
Mistake 5: Neglecting On-Page SEO Elements
Many website owners focus on website design alone during a redesign, forgetting that on-page SEO elements are critical to their website’s performance. Not paying attention to on-page SEO elements can be damaging to your website’s search engine rankings.
Optimizing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions hold significant importance for both your website visitors and the search engines that crawl your site. Make sure that every page of your website features unique, optimized title tags and meta descriptions that accurately represent the page’s content.
Proper Use of Header Tags
Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) play an essential role in both the user experience and the search engine optimization of your website. Make sure that they are used correctly and reflect the hierarchy of the content on your website. Proper use of header tags can help to improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Website redesigns can be exciting and necessary for staying up to date. However, SEO should be a significant consideration in any redesign. By avoiding these website redesign mistakes, you’ll be able to improve your website’s SEO performance and maintain your search engine rankings while creating an enhanced user experience for your visitors.
Walter Voronovic shares accurate, honest & pragmatic information on how to use the internet to build profitable digital business assets.
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