How to keep SEO when redesigning website

A website redesign is like giving your digital storefront a facelift. It can breathe new life into your online presence, enhance user experience, and align your brand with the latest trends. However, amidst all the excitement of a website overhaul, one critical aspect often gets overlooked: preserving your hard-earned search engine optimisation (SEO).

What if I lose my SEO ranking in my website redesign?

Without careful planning, a website redesign can inadvertently lead to a drop in SEO rankings and visibility. In this extensive guide, we’ll explore in detail how to redesign your website while retaining and even improving your SEO. There are lots of SEO considerations that you must include in your website refresh to ensure your site’s SEO success.

By thoroughly assessing your current SEO performance, planning your redesign strategy, preserving on-page SEO elements, optimising page load times, ensuring mobile-friendliness, testing for technical SEO issues, monitoring post-redesign performance, and conducting ongoing SEO optimisation, you can successfully maintain and enhance your website’s SEO.

Remember that SEO is an ever-evolving field, so stay vigilant, adapt to changes, and ensure that your redesigned website continues to thrive in search engine rankings and organic traffic.

What is SEO? A refresher

In today’s digital age, where information is abundant and competition is fierce, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. Search Engine Optimisation, commonly known as SEO, plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your content, products, or services are discoverable by those seeking relevant information on the internet. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into what SEO is, how it works, and why it’s essential for anyone looking to succeed in the online world. If you want more information on SEO, we have a guide here to help you.

SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimisation. At its core, SEO is a set of practices and strategies aimed at improving a website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). The primary goal of SEO is to organically increase the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO involves a multifaceted approach to enhance a website’s relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines, primarily Google. The intricate workings of SEO can be broadly categorized into the following components:

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO strategy. It involves identifying the words and phrases (keywords) that people use when searching for content related to your website. Understanding these keywords helps you tailor your content to meet user intent effectively.

On-Page Optimisation

On-page optimisation involves optimising individual web pages to make them more search-engine-friendly. This includes optimising title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt text. It also entails creating high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that aligns with targeted keywords.

Off-Page Optimisation

Off-page optimisation focuses on building your website’s authority and reputation across the internet. This is primarily achieved through link-building efforts, where other reputable websites link to your content. High-quality backlinks from authoritative sources can significantly boost your website’s credibility in the eyes of search engines.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO deals with the technical aspects of website optimisation. This includes optimising site speed, ensuring mobile-friendliness, creating a logical site structure, and improving the website’s overall user experience. A well-optimised website not only ranks better but also provides a better experience for visitors.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a crucial element of SEO. It involves creating and sharing valuable, informative, and relevant content to attract and engage your target audience. High-quality content not only helps with SEO but also establishes your authority in your niche.

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Local SEO (for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses)

Local SEO is essential for businesses with physical locations. It includes optimizing your online presence to appear prominently in local search results. This includes managing your Google My Business profile, getting customer reviews, and ensuring accurate business information across online directories.

Why is SEO Important?

Understanding what SEO is just scratches the surface. To truly appreciate its significance, consider these compelling reasons why SEO matters:

Increased Visibility: A well-executed SEO strategy helps your website rank higher in search engine results, making it more visible to users actively searching for information, products, or services related to your industry.

Targeted Traffic: SEO allows you to attract highly relevant and targeted traffic. By optimizing for specific keywords, you can reach an audience actively interested in what you have to offer, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Credibility and Trust: Websites that appear at the top of search results are often perceived as more credible and trustworthy by users. SEO can help establish your website as an authority in your niche.

Cost-Effective Marketing: Compared to many other marketing strategies, SEO is cost-effective and offers a high return on investment (ROI). It’s an efficient way to reach your audience without breaking the bank.

Analytics and Data Insights: SEO tools and analytics platforms provide valuable data about your website’s performance. You can track keyword rankings, user behavior, and conversion rates, enabling data-driven decision-making.

Competitive Advantage: In today’s competitive online landscape, businesses that invest in SEO gain a competitive edge. If your competitors are optimising their websites and you’re not, you risk falling behind.

Adaptation to Changing Consumer Behaviour: As consumers increasingly turn to the internet to research products and services, having a strong online presence is essential. SEO helps you adapt to evolving consumer behaviour and preferences.

Global Reach: SEO allows you to reach a global audience, breaking down geographical barriers and expanding your market reach.

SEO is a fundamental aspect of online success, whether you’re running a business, managing a website, or seeking to establish your online presence. It’s the process of optimising your website to make it more visible, credible, and appealing to both search engines and users. By understanding what SEO is, how it works, and why it’s important, you can harness its power to improve your online presence, attract targeted traffic, and achieve your digital goals. Whether you’re a seasoned digital marketer or just starting your online journey, SEO is a skill worth mastering in today’s interconnected world. And if you’re not sure, this is what an agency is here to help with!

Can I keep my SEO optimisation with a website redesign?

How can I build my new website without losing SEO? Is a question we get asked a lot at Fresh Pies. Without moving your current SEO ranking over to your new website can be an SEO disaster, but we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen and advise you every step of the way.

Assess Your Current SEO Performance

Before diving headlong into the redesign process, take the time to evaluate your current SEO performance. This assessment will serve as your benchmark and guide for your redesign strategy.

  • Analyse Traffic Trends: Utilise tools like Google Analytics to understand your website’s traffic patterns, sources, and conversions. Identify pages that perform well and those that need improvement.
  • Examine Keyword Rankings: Use Google Search Console to assess your current keyword rankings and identify opportunities for growth.
  • Check for Technical Issues: Conduct a thorough technical site audit using specialized tools to uncover issues such as broken links, duplicate meta descriptions, and slow page speeds.
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 Plan Your Redesign Strategy

A successful website redesign begins with a well-thought-out plan. Here are key elements to consider:

  • Content Audit: Identify high-performing content that should be retained, updated, or expanded. Eliminate low-quality or outdated content.
  • Keyword Research: Revisit keyword research to understand current trends and identify new opportunities. Integrate these keywords into your content strategy.
  • URL Structure: Maintain your current URL structure as much as possible to preserve existing backlinks and ranking positions.
  • 301 Redirects: Create 301 redirects from old URLs to their corresponding new URLs. This ensures that users and search engines are seamlessly directed to the new pages.
  • Responsive Design: Ensure that your new website design is mobile-friendly and responsive, as mobile-friendliness is a critical SEO factor.

Preserve On-Page SEO Elements

During the redesign, it’s essential to retain key on-page SEO elements:

  • Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: Keep your title tags and meta descriptions intact, or make improvements based on your keyword research.
  • Header Tags: Maintain a clear and hierarchical structure using header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) for content organization.
  • Image Alt Text: Ensure that image alt text is retained or updated to remain descriptive and SEO-friendly.
  • Schema Markup: Preserve or enhance schema markup to provide search engines with structured data about your content.

Optimise Page Load Times

Website speed is a crucial SEO factor. As part of your redesign strategy, implement these strategies to optimize page load times:

  • Compress Images: Use image compression tools to reduce file sizes without compromising quality.
  • Minimize HTTP Requests: Limit the number of external scripts and stylesheets to minimize HTTP requests.
  • Leverage Browser Caching: Configure your server to leverage browser caching for frequently accessed resources.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): Consider using a CDN to distribute content and reduce server load times.

Ensure Mobile-Friendly Design

Given Google’s mobile-first indexing, your redesigned website should not only be responsive but also provide an excellent mobile experience.

Test for Issues

Before launching the redesigned website, conduct a thorough technical SEO audit. Check for:

  • Crawl Errors: Use tools like Google Search Console to identify and fix crawl errors.
  • XML Sitemap: Create and submit an updated XML sitemap to Google to ensure all pages are indexed.
  • Robots.txt: Review and update your robots.txt file to control search engine crawling.
  • Canonical Tags: Ensure that canonical tags are correctly implemented to avoid duplicate content issues.

Monitor Performance Post-Redesign

After your redesigned website goes live, closely monitor its performance. Use analytics tools to track:

  • Traffic Trends: Observe changes in organic traffic and identify any significant drops or improvements.
  • Keyword Rankings: Monitor how your targeted keywords are performing after the redesign.
  • Indexing Status: Keep an eye on your website’s indexing status in Google Search Console.
  • User Behavior: Analyse user behaviour and engagement metrics, such as bounce rate and time on site.

Regularly Add Fresh Content

Continue to publish high-quality, relevant content on your website. Fresh content can attract new visitors and keep existing ones engaged. Blogs, articles, and resources are excellent for this purpose.

Stay Informed and Adapt:SEO is an ever-evolving field. Stay up-to-date with search engine algorithm updates and industry trends. Be prepared to adapt your SEO strategy to meet changing requirements and user expectations.

Test Your Website Thoroughly: Before going live, conduct thorough testing of your redesigned website. Check for any issues with functionality, broken links, and mobile responsiveness.

Submit an Updated XML Sitemap: Once your redesigned website is live, resubmit your updated XML sitemap to Google Search Console to ensure search engines index your new content.

Educate Your Team:Ensure that your team understands the importance of SEO and follows best practices when adding content or making changes to the website.

By following these steps and paying attention to SEO details during the redesign process, you can minimise the risk of losing SEO rankings and traffic while improving your website’s overall performance and user experience. SEO value is adding a SEO checklist in order to rank well on google and have good page optimisation.

If you are unsure of how to keep SEO when redesigning your website, give us a call to have a chat about how we can help you 🙂