A good website redesign strategy is required to take advantage of the latest technology and trends. Redesigning your website is not without risk. All too often, the website makeover results in a dramatic downturn in search engine rankings! That’s a compelling reason to engage a website redesign expert.
Don’t underestimate the value of the existing indexed pages… or the benefits of current organic SERPs. The web design strategy plan and checklists should take careful account of the current status of the existing website.
WordPress website redesign strategy & project planning
Rather than just rush headlong into the redesign / rebuild process, an assessment of the good and bad elements of the original site should be made. Include consideration of SEO aspects. To preempt major problems, running the rebuild idea past a freelance web designer with decades of experience makes sense… I provide free, no-obligation website SEO audits.
Design Changes & Threats to SERPs
It’s important to understand that current search rankings can plunge off the charts as a consequence of a website redesign! Why is that? Failing to plan is planning to fail – and you must have viable strategies to contain the threat to rankings.
Website Redesign & Permanent Page Redirection
Without an accurate page redirection chart that specifies where the old content went, Google et al will be left wallowing in a puddle of 404 Page Not Found errors.
- Top-Ranked Pages – must be identified and protected
- 301 Redirection – reroute current page file names to the corresponding new page’s name. Not doing that means all indexed content will suddenly generate 404 Page Not Found errors, and be deleted and purged from all Google’s indexes. Next comes the total loss of all internal Page Ranks. That’s followed by all clients’ Bookmarked page links being lost… Finally, all “deep links” to internal content will be lost…
- Preserve the Optimised On-Page Content – move previously optimised page content to their new page counterparts.
- Image ALT Tag Text – copy the old text to the replacement images
- Meta-Tags – copy Title tags, Description and Keyword meta-tags to the corresponding new pages
- Site Maps – provide and list both XML and HTML Sitemaps
- Security – all aspects of website security should be assessed and enhanced as required.
- Load speed – WordPress performance optimization is a mission-critical element of a good website
If the 301 redirection is not done, search spiders and bots will be forced to restart from scratch. If they are forced to re-index and reassess the website, and you have not protected the positive elements, a plummet in rankings is assured! Having your E-commerce website design project go down the drain can be distressing. Contact me if you need WordPress tech support to ensure these elements are addressed.
Is Google Still Needed?
Whilst there are those who wish that Google was irrelevant, that does not make it so. Ignoring the guidelines provided by the planet’s most influential search portal is not the way forward.
Perhaps when you’re a household brand name, you won’t need search engines to route new clients your way. But for now, to garner an increasing supply of new visitors from Google et al, you’ll have to play by the rules of engagement… None of us can alter global reality to fit our own perceptions – we either adapt… or become irrelevant! Any reputable NZ web design agency should know this stuff…
Redesigned website’s SEO needs
A website redesign expert knows the potential SEO benefits and will ensure that the best practices are followed…
- SEF-URLs – Search-engine-friendly URLs or Page File Names should be explicit, keyword-rich, independent of Titles or Headings
- Titles: independent and unique page Titles are essential.
- Description Meta-Tags: independent and unique page descriptions are essential.
- Keyword Meta-Tags: independent and unique page keywords
- Image URLs: image file names should incorporate targeted keyword phrases
- Image ALT Tag Text: dynamic based on file name with manual override is okay. Keyword-rich image file names are important supporting elements of page content.
- Menus – each item is controllable, independent of page Headings, with manual hyperlink titles
- Headings – formatted in H1, H2, H3 HTML tags, independent of menu name
Include Core Files in the Redesign Process
When redesigning your landing pages, website design should address the underlying elements that ensure good indexing and user experience.
– Robots.txt: with a link to the XML sitemap
– Sitemap: XML, plus HTML
– Custom 404 Error Page: standard page template, full menu etc
Make sure that the BASIC Hosting issues are sorted;
– www vs. non-www: use the full canonical domain name, prevent duplicate content indexing
– Hosting: correct country code top-level domain (CC-TLD) – or correct country hosting
A competent redesign agency will make sure that your search engine optimization and digital marketing campaigns are not adversely affected in the transition to a new design and web development. Done well, a small business website redesign will address user experience, speed and security, delivering a fast and robust website. Contact the website redesign specialists today…
Last Updated 4 weeks ago by Ben Kemp