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Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO: Armchair Method

Published on August 22nd, 2022

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The digital world has become a competitive sphere with the upsurge of technological innovations and the intervention of AI In business. To match up with the fierce competitors in this l spectrum, your business needs to have a digital presence. The foremost step towards staying ahead of the game is revamping your website to fit in with the rest of the competition.

Google crawls websites and checks for several elements before deciding whether or not to show them in search results. Your site’s design can significantly impact how users perceive you and whether or not they click through to take you into their cyberworld. Research has shown that redesigning a site offers the opportunity to refresh old content that can increase organic traffic by 106 percent [Source].

An intuitive design that is easy for the target audience to understand is essential for keeping visitors returning for more. But redesigning your site can be scary if you don’t know where to start or how to proceed. And frequently, redesigning the site business often ponders whether the new design will lose search engine optimization (SEO). Or would the new layout improve it?

In this blog, we have covered vital tips on how to redesign your website without losing SEO. 

top-reasons-to-redesign-website

Image Source: Goodfirms

Why is redesigning a site important?

A website redesign can result in improved search engine rankings. A website’s design and content play an important role in how well a site is ranked in search results. A site that has a well-ranked page is likely to have a better chance of being found by potential visitors than a site that isn’t well-ranked. There are many reasons why a website may require redesign for SEO purposes. 

impact of website changes

Does redesigning a website affect SEO?

A website redesign can have a critical impact on SEO. Redesigning your website can result in a loss of valuable search engine ranking spots. The primary reason for this is that changes to a website can confuse Googlebot and result in lower rankings. 

While designing a site, you should always keep in mind that it’s an integral part of the SEO, and if not done perfectly, it can lead to a downfall. One way to avoid this is to ensure that your changes are done correctly and by Google’s guidelines.

  • A website redesign is a complex process involving several different business areas, such as the development and design teams, marketing and advertising teams, and web and application development teams.
  • A redesign can involve changes to every website element, including the look and feel, content structure and organization, navigation, user experience, and on-page SEO.
  • Changes to any of these elements can significantly impact SEO quality metrics such as site keyword rankings and traffic. In some cases, these changes can result in an immediate drop in search engine visibility. In other cases, it can take several months for SEO to recover.

If you cannot retain your existing ranking, your best bet is to implement a comprehensive SEO campaign that follows Google’s guidelines for site best practices.

web-design-mistakes-made-by-SMBs

Image Source: Goodfirms

How to redesign a site without losing SEO?

Creating a successful website requires careful strategic planning and effective strategy execution. It also requires realistic expectations about what your business can achieve with such limited resources as bandwidth, hosting space, and design skills. Remember that any changes—even those seemingly minor—can have enormous implications on search engine optimization (SEO).

Remove every unnecessary detail from your design so that it is easy for Google to crawl, index, and rank. Remove hidden text elements (alt tags), images not accessible through the site’s URL structure or internal linking structure, Flash content, or other non-essential features to ensure the best possible performance by search engines over time. With these insights, let’s check out the crucial aspect of site redesign without having a significant effect on your SEO:

#1 Audit your site before redesigning

Pre-redesigning your site can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Before starting any redesign project, you must ensure your content needs an update. Here it would help if you opted for a site suit to get more data-backed insights. 

Take time to think about your content and how it can be improved. If you are redesigning your site to make it look better, you should also ensure that the content is better.

When pre-redesigning your site, you are also checking to make sure that the content is still relevant and valuable for the people who are going to be browsing your site. Also, along with connecting with performing the site audit leveraging tools such as screaming frog, you should keep a note of the crucial aspect such as:

  • Missing or duplicate page titles
  • Missing or duplicate, or multiple H1 tags
  • Missing or duplicate meta descriptions
  • Duplicate meta descriptions
  • Meta descriptions over 923 pixels
  • Canonical tags
  • Canonicalisation
  • Broken internal/external links
  • Image alt text
  • Robots.txt
  • URL Structure, etc
#2 Update your site’s HTML

Your website’s HTML could be outdated, significantly if you are redesigning your site. It could confuse your visitors, as well as cause a lot of frustration. That is why you should update your HTML as soon as possible. 

When you are updating your HTML, you need to make sure that you are also keeping your site’s code clean. If you are redesigning your site, you would also want to ensure that your site’s codes are kept clean and are not cluttered with any old code you do not need.

#3 Semantic HTML markup for interlinking

Internal linking points from one page to another within your website’s pages or between websites. It’s vital to note that all links are technically internal links.

  • All links from one page to another in a website’s pages should be placed within the content of the linked page or on a link within the same page. Avoid including links to resources that cannot be reached via the URL, such as a separate blog page or a third-party shopping cart.
  • Links that are not easily accessible are more likely to be ignored by search engines. Semantic HTML markup is essential for the best possible SEO performance over time. After all, search engines rely on the structure and content of your HTML and CSS files to properly determine the pages that they can crawl, index, and rank.
  • It’s essential to use the correct tags, attributes, and elements when you create your website to help Google or Bing, and other search engines better understand and index your content. You can also use microformats in your articles to help readers find the information they’re looking for more easily.
#4 A/B test for responsive design

The Internet is a global platform, and as such, it follows a set of standards for how content is supposed to look and function across different platforms. A responsive design, on the other hand, is a design that can adjust its layout to be suitable for the device being used to view it.

  • You can use a responsive design to help make your website look great on all devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. A responsive design makes the most sense for any site whose content is likely to be viewed on multiple devices.
  • And since there are different devices out there, you could be sure your site will look great on many of them with a responsive design. Rather than directly making a design life, do A/B testing at or the staging site design, and once finalized the design is, make it live on the leading site.
#5 De-chunk your images

Creating valuable and exciting content is an effective way to get visitors to your site. You can’t do either of these if your images are too big. Images are an impactful way to grab people’s attention and bring them to your site, but they can also make it pretty challenging for you to rank on the search engine results page.

Before you redesign your site, you should look at your images and see if any of them could be the-chunked. A de-chunked image is lower on the page and not as large as the other images. 

This can help improve your SEO because it allows more of your content to be shown to the user, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for.

#6 Use 301 redirects

Deleting the pages of the site directly causes 404 “Page Not Found” errors, and it harms the site ranking and the traffic.

  • After conducting the audit, if you find any content relevant or old, show Google that there’s a newer version of that particular content and redirect Google to the new page.
  • It will help keep up the page ranking, and the backlinks and page value will remain intact as you try to keep your SEO rankings.
  • Remember that even if a page is not performing well yet, that page is a part of your internal site architecture, and it contributes to linking quality. Hence when you league 301 permanent redirects, you can smoothly lead visitors to the new URLs preserving the SEO ranks of the old URLs.
#7 Stay mobile-friendly

Mobile devices are the future of Internet access, so it would be wise for you to make your site responsive and mobile-friendly.

  • The biggest thing about redesigning your site is to make it mobile-friendly. It should be the priority when you are planning to redesign your site. With the mobile-first approach, you can make your site look better and provide a better user experience for mobile users.
  • Although it is important to redesign your site to make it mobile-friendly, it is also essential to ensure that you do not break any of your current SEO strategies through this process.
  • You should also ensure the same content quality and information in your new design.
#8 Create a broadened editorial strategy

The editorial strategy you create for your redesign project should apply to all your content, not just the new content. You should also include your old content in the editorial strategy of your new design. Doing this will help keep your website as a source for information and a place for your brand to be seen.

  • The editorial strategy is one of the most critical aspects of your redesign project. By creating a strategy for your website, you are bringing it from one stage to another. It will help you maintain your brand, increase traffic, and improve sales. It will also help you to keep your readers engaged.
  • Defining the primary personas you want your website to appeal to is essential. A user persona is a fictionalized representation of your customers. The best UX design companies typically create multiple personas that consider demographics such as age, gender, income level, location, etc.
  • Using these personas in your design process will help you to avoid designing a website for a select group of people when the website is for the entire audience. Your website’s content needs more than just a listing of facts and figures about your company. It’s about leading prospective customers to decisions based on your products, services, and brand.
#9 Track 404 errors

The surge of the 404 eros in the website redesigning process is problematic. It makes the site user experience poor and a significant reason for increasing bounce rate. The UX of your redesign project should be improved for your new site.

  • It is crucial to note that the changes you make to your site should be done for the visual appeal and to make your website better and more beneficial for your users. By making sure that your new site is user-friendly, you will ensure that your users can navigate through the website and find what they require quickly.
  • Reduce your site bounce rate by custom-creating the 404 page with a note to visitors to tactfully hook them longer on the site. Ensure to monitor the analytics to avoid eliminating the 404 errors.
  • If a 404 occurs on your site too frequently, search engines will downgrade the overall website rating, ascertaining that the old site URLs receive appropriate redirects.

top-reasons-for-visitor-to-leave-website

Image Source: Goodfirms

#10 Test the staging site

To assess how your test site is structured, utilize a site crawler and crawl the test site to compare it with your current site. Once the process is done, you will get the data to identify metadata, structure, and errors the test site currently has.

Rinse and repeat to match up all your Meta Descriptions, Canonical Tags, Word Counts, etc., to ensure that any new changes are good and derived from the data-backed insights.

Summary checklist to redesign the site without impacting SEO

Conclusion

With the help of these redesign tips, you can quickly get your online presence in shape. You can make the site more visually appealing, easier to navigate, informative, and engaging. These tips can help keep your website fresh and relevant to your users. 

As much as you want your website to be visually appealing to your users, you should also ensure they can still easily understand your content. To achieve this, you can consider adding video to your site. With video, you can add a visual voice to your writing, which can be a great way to convey information and make your site more informative.

You can also use video to provide a way for users to consume your blog or the site resources content while on the go. If you must use video, keep it to less than 30 seconds. When creating a video, ensure you know the timing issues affecting your SEO efforts.

Your website serves as a primary source of online visibility for your brand. Integrating user-friendly site features & functionalities to influence offering a glorified UX experience. To enhance your conversions, leverage the standardized high-end SEO efforts and the designs suggestion from the FP team of SEO experts. To accurately shape your digital map on the online spectrum with the comparative advantages, snag a call with us today!

Author Bio

Rajashree Goswami

I tweak my imaginations and thoughts to create creative & narrative content. At FirstPrinciples, as Content Writer Lead, I underpin solutions into words, and put the assessments into threaded paragraphs to solve the readers’ pain points. When not on my table, you can find me roaming around nature with the shutter on or having an insightful conversation over a cup of Latte!!

@RajashreeGoswami

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