We understand that a website redesign can be one of the most significant decisions that your business makes. As a design agency, our advice would be to never take such a momentous decision lightly.
There are certain factors to take into account. A change of domain, content management system and the migration of your website will all have a negative effect on the ranking of your site. Losing your ranking means having a negative impact on your SEO, which in turn means reduced visibility and potentially reduced sales.
In this blog, we will highlight the key considerations to make before your website redesign. So here it goes!
Site architecture 🗂️
Site architecture is the way your website is laid out. This includes the categorisation of your pages into sections and subsections. Take your site architecture into account as any changes in your layout will affect your SEO rankings.
The decision is either, maintain your site architecture which would avoid losing ranking. You would do this by keeping the same page categorisations and URLs, and potentially aim any weaker performing URLs to a stronger one to reroute the traffic. Or, update your site architecture in the hope of improving your SEO ranking. This is done by making sure your categorisations are accurate. The user should be able to access your website from a number of different routes and this is essential if each page is to rank naturally of its own accord.
Crawl through your current site 🧐
Using a crawler to run through your current XML sitemap can be incredibly advantageous when looking at making major changes to your site. A crawler will pull up any existing issues, including pages being linked that don’t have relevant and related content.
When it comes to crawler and audit tools there are plenty on the market. One of the most well-known is Ahrefs, this is a high capability tool as it has the functionality to be able to crawl through 2,500,000 different pages within its agency package. It can identify over 100 SEO issues, which is incredibly handy. One of the most popular with smaller companies is Moz Pro. This is due to their entry-level package having more than enough technical data to get you started. It also presents the info in easily readable graphs, meaning you can find your way around your websites SEO health fairly easily.
Not to forget Google Search Console. Google’s free SEO tool is pretty much the tool for anyone with a website. It allows users to view their site as Google would as the info comes from the Google web index. Users can also inform Google once SEO issues have been rectified.
Find the broken stuff ⛔
Broken links within your site can be a sign that something is seriously wrong. Finding a broken link won’t highlight what it is that’s wrong but it will give you an idea that something needs changing.
You should also be crawling for 404 codes, find the 404 responses and address them.
Identify pages and duplicate pages 📄📄
Using an SEO audit tool will help you find thin pages within your site. Thin pages are pages that don’t have a lot of content within them, meaning they lack relevance, will suffer in terms of SEO and potentially affect your website’s performance.
Duplicate content is pretty much what it says on the tin. If your content is going to duplicate across your website, it’s important to highlight which page is the key page for this content, this is the page you will want to rank highest.
Once you’ve run your tests and diagnostics 🧪
OK. So here we are again, we’ve finished weeding out the problems with your old site, and we would now allow the site to run again to see how the changes have affected its performance. If you still aren’t happy, then making major changes is of course your choice.
As an agency, we want what is best for our customers and we know the importance of SEO when it comes to the success of a website. You should also consider the performance of your ads and the tracking of that performance. After major changes, it will often take a little time for your adverts to learn the new algorithms and start performing at the same level that they used to.
Our web design team work hard on every single website we create and launch. Check out our work to see some of our absolute favourites! We work alongside our clients whilst producing the perfect website for them and their business.
Take a look at some more of our blogs for helpful tips, tricks and advice: