A significant amount of time, money, and talent goes into developing your website, attracting organic traffic, and working your way up the search engine results page (SERP) rankings. When it’s time to redesign your website, the last thing you want to do is risk losing the equity you put into your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and risk losing crucial traffic or hard-earned page ranking.
In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step approach to a successful website redesign that includes planning, analysis, implementation, and monitoring to preserve your online visibility.
1. Set Clear Objectives
While it is essential to maintain a relevant and modern experience through your website, you want to have a thoughtful reason for making a change in your website redesign. The first step is to set clear objectives. These should include identifying the reasons for the redesign to act as a baseline to guide decision-making.
What objectives does your website need to accomplish?
- Explain your services
- Share your physical location or contact information
- Generate leads
- Sell products or services
- Solicit donations
2. Analyze Existing Assets
Next, you will want to analyze your existing website, including its content, structure, and performance. This can help to identify what is working well and what needs to be improved. You need to be careful not to hurt SEO. For example, changing your naming conventions for established keywords can impact how search engine algorithms rank your content. You don’t want to disrupt this for high-ranking pages.
3. Create a Sitemap
Build a sitemap for navigation to reflect the structure and layout of the new website. 94% of first impressions of your business are related to website design. If a site isn’t intuitive with straightforward navigation making it easy to find what people are searching for, you risk creating a negative impression—or the dreaded “bounce.”
It is important to maintain the existing URL structure where possible and use 301 redirects to ensure that traffic is redirected to the correct pages. You can create custom 404 pages to help visitors find what they are looking for if they encounter broken links or pages.
4. Apply Best Practices to Content
Optimize website content to leverage best practices for SEO. This includes:
- Using high-performing keywords
- Incorporating semantic keywords and long-tail keywords
- Adding meta titles, meta descriptions
- Writing engaging titles and helpful content
- Incorporate an internal linking strategy
- Optimize any images or graphics
5. Build a Working Model
You will want to build a working model of your new website redesign and test it thoroughly before launching it publicly. You will want to review functionality, navigation, site speed, loading times, and overall accessibility.
Nearly 60% of all traffic to websites is mobile, so you should make sure your website redesign renders correctly on various mobile devices. Adopting a mobile-first design mentality can be extremely helpful in making sure your website renders in a desirable state on your audience’s devices.
6. Launch and Continue to Review
Once your website has launched, you will want to continue reviewing performance, including monitoring search engine rankings to ensure that traffic is preserved.
You should also revisit and update your website redesign regularly to ensure it continues to meet the needs of your target audience and the requirements of search engines.
Redesign Your Website and Improve Your SEO
Speedsquare is a full-service digital marketing company that can help you redesign your website and improve your SEO. We work with SMBs to ensure that website redesigns continue to attract and retain traffic while improving your search engine rankings. Contact us today for a free consultation.