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Website Redesign SEO Checklist: Improve SEO & Avoid Drops in Rankings

Posted By Gaurav | 10-Oct-2023 | Design & Development
If you aim to retain and improve SEO through a website redesign, you should have a proper strategy for how you can integrate SEO into your newly designed website from day one itself. The SEO professionals and website design & development team at MadHawks came together to prepare a list of everything one should keep in mind while redesigning a website.
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Do you wonder why your website is not reaching its potential or why it is not performing well? It might need a redesign. A case study found that a website redesign and SEO campaign can increase leads by up to 314 percent. Website redesign is not just about improving the visual appearance of your site, but it improves the overall SEO performance, conversion rate, and other digital marketing strategies as well. 

If you aim to retain and improve SEO through a website redesign, you should have a proper strategy for how you can integrate SEO into your newly designed website from day one itself. The SEO professionals and website design & development team at MadHawks came together to prepare a list of everything one should keep in mind while redesigning a website. Let us first help you understand what website redesign is all about:

What Do You Understand By Website Redesign?

Website redesign refers to the process of making major changes to your website. From the structure, content, and elements of code to the visuals of your website, everything may change during redesign. Website redesign is generally aimed at giving a fresh look to your website. It is an important part of website development and needs to be done from time to time. 

Even a website that had a great design and structure back in the early 2000s, will look outdated now if they have not been redesigned yet. If you see what Amazon’s website looked like in 2001, you will understand why we are saying this. 

When Do You Need To Redesign Your Website?

Website redesign becomes especially important in the following conditions:

  • When bounce rates are too high

  • When conversion rates are too low

  • When your website pages are not responsive on all devices

  • When your website looks outdated

  • When your website’s UX needs improvement

  • When your website is not SEO-friendly

Things To Keep in Mind While Redesigning Your Website

The SEO team at MadHawks suggests considering the following things while redesigning your website in order to improve SEO and increase organic traffic to your pages:

1. Check Your Existing Content

Content marketing is a powerful strategy that brands use to scale their business online. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to your website content while redesigning it. Website Redesign SEO can take your content marketing to another level, however, you should have a proper strategy for that and a good understanding of where your content stands as of now.

Your first step should be to pull data from all the URLs present on your website. It can be done using any relevant tool. After this, you will need to use your analytics and perform a 360-degree content audit. Try to understand which content is the most relevant to your customers’ interests, what pages are not required anymore, and which pages need to be merged with others. 

2. Update the IA of Your Website

The IA (Information Architecture) of your website is another important factor to look for while redesigning it. As per a study, over 60 percent of visitors leave a website just because of its bad navigation. Though website navigation is not the same as information architecture, the two are closely related. While navigation is about the organization of your website, IA is all about how you organize information on your sitemap.

Data shows that around 40 percent of first-time visitors look for the structure and navigational links of a website. You need to focus on navigation so that visitors can easily find what they are looking for. The information architecture of your site depends on what your website is all about, what type of information you provide, etc. 

To update the IA and navigation of your website, you should first create a map of what your website structure looks like now. Then, start by looking at your competitors’ websites and see how they are organizing their sites. This will give you a brief idea of what you can do to improve your website structure. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  • Try to find out where users click on your website and how they interact with it using relevant tools like Hotjar.

  • Make a note of the main categories for your website.

  • After deciding on the categories, write the subcategories or subheadings relevant to your site.

  • Now, write the URLs of all the pages that you want to keep and organize these pages under relevant subcategories.

  • Create a new sitemap accordingly.

3. Map URL Redirects Carefully

As per a study conducted on over 1.5 lakh websites, it was found that more than 42 percent of sites had broken internal links. Website redesigning comes with a lot of potential risks and changing the entire structure of your website is one of these risky tasks. You may end up losing lots of pages that you have put hard work into. However, it is important as these small changes can bring remarkable results.

SEO and content marketing are considered the most important sources of lead generation. Many times, the problem is not with the content, but the problem is that you have posted a page under the wrong category. By simplifying the categories and giving the page the right URL structure, you can improve the website navigation.

However, it gives rise to an additional problem. There are various links out there already redirecting to your old URL. Now, whenever someone clicks on that old URL, they will end up visiting a blank page. 

Therefore, it becomes extremely important to use URL redirects. Otherwise, you will not just lose traffic, but also the page and domain authority that these links have already built up. Here is how you can map URL redirects:

  • Make a list of all the URLs that you will be keeping and also the ones that are no longer required.

  • Now, create a new list of all the content you wish to keep, which will be under a new URL.

  • Carefully match every old URL with its new one.

  • Don’t just get away with the URLs you want to remove. Match each URL to a new content page that covers a similar or closely related topic.

  • Explain these mapping scenarios to your website developers and ask them to implement the same.

4. Optimize The Content You Want to Keep

As you have already completed your existing content audit, you should have a list of content pages that you wish to keep. You will need to make improvements to your best-performing pages and a website redesign is the best way to do it. Refreshing the old content of your website alone can increase your organic traffic by up to 106 percent. 

With time, new information keeps coming up and competitors update their website pages accordingly. This leads to a push-down to your best-performing pages as your page still contains the old information. A drop in your website rankings can cut your organic traffic down to around 50 percent. Therefore, it becomes important to optimize the content of your existing pages.

5. Pay Attention to The Page Speed

It is very frustrating for users to wait too long for a page to load. Many users stop visiting a website just because its loading time is too long. Therefore, it is essential to focus on the page speed and optimize it for your target audience. A study shows that more than 25 percent of users leave a website if it takes over four seconds to load. Moreover, even a one-second delay in page loading can drop user satisfaction by around 16 percent.

This happens because your website becomes bloated over time. When redesigning your website, you can address this bloating issue and improve the speed of your pages. Make sure that the images you are using are of proper size and quality. If you are embedding any videos, they should be able to load properly and on time. All these things help in improving the experience of your website visitors and ultimately increase the overall traffic.

6. Update the XML Sitemap

XML sitemap is like the blueprint of your website that search engines use to understand the purpose of your content. Therefore, it is a crucial step to follow while redesigning your website. You can either do it manually or use SEO tools like Yoast SEO. It seems quite simple and updating the XML sitemap can help you improve your website’s visibility.

7. Test Your Website After Completing Redesign

When testing your website after a redesign, you need to consider a lot of things such as broken links. A case study shows that around 0.27 percent of internal links and 1.37 percent of outbound links are broken across the internet. You cannot expect everything to come out perfectly even after a redesign. You have to work on a lot of things and it is common to miss out on a few points.

This is why testing becomes important. If you don’t test your website before launching it, these few missed points can have big consequences. Make sure to test site navigation, CTAs, internal & external links, etc. Also, pay attention to the interactive content, purchasing pages, pop-ups, etc, before making your new site live. 

Doing SEO for a New Website

Redesigning your website becomes important over time to keep it up-to-date. However, you need to take every step carefully to retain the SEO and improve the performance of your pages. Apart from its visual graphics, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind. 

MadHawks, being a top digital marketing company, advises you to keep the above-mentioned points in consideration while redesigning your website. Contact us now and collaborate with our SEO and web development team to get the best website redesign.

FAQs

1. How much do website redesigns impact SEO?

Ans. A website redesign can have a negative impact on SEO. However, you can improve the SEO of a newly designed website by keeping a few things in mind. Make sure to remove the unnecessary content, optimize the content you want to keep, focus on page speed, and map the URL redirects carefully.

2. What are the most typical SEO mistakes on newly redesigned websites?

Ans. Some most common SEO mistakes made while redesigning a website include not backing up the old website, not optimizing the existing content, ignoring the page speed, using outdated design, etc.

3. What SEO tools do I need while redesigning a website?

Ans. Some widely used tools that you might need while redesigning a website are Google Web Designer, Shopify, WordPress, Canva Adobe, etc.

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Gaurav Yadav
SEO expert

Gaurav Yadav is a skilled SEO expert with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing. He specializes in technical SEO, content strategy, and link building, and has a proven track record of driving organic traffic growth for a diverse range of clients. With his expertise in various verticals, he can execute industry-specific SEO strategies for SAAS, BFSI, healthcare, lifestyle, and education.