Every website needs a redesign once in a while, but if the redesign is approached in a haphazard way, it can actually do more harm than good. Your redesign may make your website a lot more user-friendly, but users won’t find it if you don’t consider how your redesign will impact your search engine rankings. There are a few pitfalls that are easy to fall into, so make sure you take care to cover all your bases before you launch your redesign.
Creating Keyword Salad
It’s perfectly reasonable for you to want to redesign your website to effectively incorporate your core keywords. Lacking these keywords can make you virtually invisible, and that’s not a good way to generate traffic. While you should use your keywords as often as possible, make sure you’re using them reasonably. Jumbling a bunch of keywords together or repetitive overuse can cause your website to be flagged by Google, as keyword stuffing is considered to be a negative SEO strategy.
Increasing Page Load Time
Newer complex interactive features are a lot of fun. Users like playing around with them, and they may make your website more helpful. The only thing you have to be mindful of is the effect these features can have on page load times. If modules, graphics, or interactive content aren’t optimized, they create a perfect environment for lag. Sites that don’t respond within a reasonable timeframe are often cast aside by search engine indexes.
Forgetting to Optimize Images
Every search engine has its own crawlers, and these crawlers also catalog your images. The integration of images makes a website appear favorable to crawlers, as long as they’re properly tagged. Don’t forget to use alt tags that describe the images you’ve used in your redesign. This is especially important since most search engines allow users to search specifically for images, and your images won’t make it into the search results without these vital alt tags. Don’t alienate users by failing to treat your images with the same optimization you use for your text.
Lacking Original Content
If the content you’re using in your redesign was already used on previous domains, or submitted as guest content to other websites, search engines will view this as duplicate content. Websites with duplicate content are entirely ignored – Google in particular is only eager to boost websites that are original. During your redesign, use a website like Gumtree to hire a content writer to create new text and blog posts for your relaunch. This is crucial in preventing your redesign from appearing to be a clone.
Forgetting to Tell Google About URL Changes
URL restructuring can take you off the map if you don’t inform major search engines that your structure has changed. You can technically copy your whole site and move it to a new location, but you’ll need to update Google about the changes. For the best results, you should generate a sitemap that reflects your redesign and submit the new map to major search engines for indexing purpose. If you don’t let them know, the entire reputation of your site can disappear. Being proactive means you won’t have any lapse in visibility, or even worse, have your entire site go missing in the eyes of an engine.
The majority of people still find what they’re looking for through organic search. Prioritizing organic search optimization in your redesign will give you better results than any ad campaign will ever be able to match. As you design, always keep search engines in mind.
Savannah Wardle is an active blogger and marketing professional passionate about all aspects of entrepreneurship and self-improvement. Currently working at Bankopening.co.uk, she aims to help people improve their businesses with healthy work-life balance.