When it comes to re-designing your businesses website, it’s ultimately something which many businesses do on an almost annual basis. With design and development trends changing so quickly, it’s important that you keep at the very forefront of what’s available and stay ahead of that which your competitors are doing. Most recently, we’ve seen the rollout of the responsive website trend which in itself has seen many business websites redesigned, above all else to improve user experience and conversions from mobile and tablet site traffic.
Of course, with any website re-design launch, however, there has to come a number of SEO considerations if you want to be sure to maintain search engine positions and in order to bring you the top three, we’ve teamed up with Liam from Identify Web Design in Wakefield.
1. Content, Content, Content
Many web designers underestimate the importance of content, however when moving to a new design, always be sure to maintain content wherever possible. If you’re re-launching an ecommerce store, be sure always carry over category content and try to make sure that core products contain the same descriptions. It’s a common scene that a new designer will cull 80% of content from a site for the client to be then left scratching their heads to why positions have dropped after launch.
2. Maintain The Site Structure
Where at all possible, try and ensure that the site’s URL structure is as close as possible on the new design to the old. Search engines aren’t too fussed on the design of your website and, as such, so long as you maintain content, on-page SEO and the same URL structure, you shouldn’t see much in the way of fluctuations at all. It’s only when you start playing with the site structure (or adding in query strings and the like) that things start to get messy.
3. 301 Redirects
If you’re changing any of the site’s URL structure, it’s absolutely vital that you implement 301 redirects from the old URL’s to the new. It’s absolutely essential that these are 301’s not 302’s in order to maintain search engine positions. So long as you carry out this across all URL’s, you shouldn’t run into any issues as this is, in effect, informing Google that the old URL has permanently moved to the new.
Above all, ensure you work with an SEO consultant when re-launching ANY site of any size or scale, if only to ensure everything has been done right and that there’s absolutely no risk of seeing position drops.