Jun 28, 2023
6 minute read

Maintaining SEO Momentum During Major Website Redesigns

A website redesign is an exhilarating venture. It's an opportunity to refresh your online presence, improve user experience and realign your brand with your evolving business goals. But during a website redesign in Michigan, or anywhere else, it's essential not to let your SEO efforts go down the drain. You've worked hard to get that high search engine ranking, and the last thing you want is to tumble down the search results list.

Now, don't sweat it. The exciting news is that you can maintain - even improve - your SEO momentum during a major website redesign. It just takes a little savvy, a strategic approach and the insider knowledge that we're about to share. So, let's talk about how you can keep your SEO mojo alive and kicking, even as you breathe new life into your website.

A Stitch in Time Saves Your Online Prime

To keep the ball rolling, you need to start planning for SEO even before you embark on your website redesign journey. This is like packing for a road trip. If you prepare in advance, you can continue cruising without worrying about running out of gas (or, in this case, losing your search engine ranking).

The first step is understanding your current SEO standing. Get a good grasp of your top performing pages, keyword rankings and inbound links. Use SEO analytics tools to get this information and save it - you'll need it to compare with your post-redesign stats.

Next, identify the elements on your website that are already working well for SEO. Do you have highly-ranked content? Maybe it's your website's loading speed that's pushing you up the rankings, or perhaps your use of meta descriptions is on point. Whatever it is, take note, so you can carry these winning strategies into your redesign.

Finally, review your website's architecture. How is your current site structured? Can users and search engines easily navigate it? If it's too complicated, search engines may struggle to index your pages, which can hurt your ranking. As part of your redesign, aim to create a streamlined, logical structure.

Turn the Page, but Keep the Book

Now, let's talk about content. Your website's content, from blog posts to product descriptions, plays a crucial role in SEO. It's the material that search engines index to understand what your site is about and where it should rank.

When redesigning your website, you may be tempted to start from scratch with your content. Resist this temptation! Instead, audit your current content and identify what's driving the most traffic. The last thing you want is to discard content that's bringing in visitors and boosting your SEO.

If you find that some of your content isn't performing well, don't be quick to throw it away. Consider whether it could be updated, expanded or repurposed instead. Sometimes, a simple refresh can make a big difference to your search engine rankings.

Also, be cautious with changing URLs during a redesign. If a page is ranking well, altering its URL could result in a loss of SEO value. If you have to change URLs, make sure you set up proper 301 redirects to new pages to avoid any "page not found" errors for visitors, and to tell search engines where to find your new content.

After the Makeover, Don't Forget the Glitter

Phew! Your website redesign is complete. But hold on, the work doesn't stop there. Post-launch is a critical period to ensure your SEO is still on track.

Immediately after launching, crawl your site to check for broken links or crawl errors. Both can harm your SEO if not fixed promptly. Then, compare your new site's performance with your old site using the data you saved earlier. Are you noticing changes in traffic or bounce rates? If anything looks off, it's time to investigate and make tweaks.

Next, resubmit your XML sitemap to search engines. This is like handing them a guide to your new site, ensuring they can find and index all your pages correctly. This simple step can help maintain your SEO momentum after a redesign.

And finally, continue monitoring your site's performance over time. SEO isn't a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. It requires ongoing effort, especially after major changes like a website redesign.

SEO and User Experience: Two Peas in a Pod

When planning a website redesign, don't fall into the trap of thinking that SEO and user experience (UX) are separate entities. In fact, they go hand in hand. A key factor in how search engines rank websites is how users interact with them. If visitors love your site, it’s likely that search engines will too.

Consider loading speed, for instance. If your site is slow to load, visitors will bounce back faster than a spring-loaded rabbit, and search engines will notice. The same goes for mobile optimization. More than half of global web traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your site doesn't play well with smartphones and tablets, both your user experience and SEO could suffer.

So, how does this tie into your redesign? Simple. As you plan your new look, make sure you're considering both the human and the algorithmic visitors to your site. Fast loading times, mobile optimization, easy navigation - all these factors contribute to a great user experience, and they’re also major SEO wins.

All Eyes on the Prize: Keeping Focus During Your Redesign

Redesigning a website can sometimes feel like being in a whirlwind of fonts, colors, and wireframes. It's easy to get so caught up in the creative process that you lose sight of your SEO goals. To keep your eye on the prize, always circle back to your initial SEO audit and your website’s purpose.

Think about your key audience and what they're looking for. Tailor your content and design to meet these needs. Remember, if users are happy with your site, search engines will be too.

Use your initial SEO audit as a roadmap throughout the redesign process. Always consider how changes will impact your SEO and make choices that align with your SEO goals. This approach will ensure that you not only end up with a beautiful website but also one that continues to drive traffic and rank well in search results.

Unleash the Power of Social Signals

While the main focus of SEO is often about pleasing search engines, don’t forget about your audience's role. Social signals like shares, likes, and comments on your content can boost your SEO. Search engines view these signals as indicators of quality content, which can enhance your search rankings.

In your website redesign, ensure social sharing is easy and intuitive. Include share buttons for various social media platforms on your blog posts and other shareable content. This not only gives your users the tools to spread your content but also sends positive signals to search engines about the value of your content.

SEO Success with Hierographx: Your Redesign Journey

Embarking on a website redesign is exciting. It's a chance to reimagine your online presence, boost your brand image, and enhance user experience. But remember, without a strong SEO strategy, even the most beautiful and user-friendly site can get lost in the vast ocean of online content.

That's where Hierographx comes in. As your dedicated digital agency in Michigan, we're experts in navigating the complexities of website redesigns, ensuring your new site is not just visually appealing, but also SEO optimized. Ready to maintain your SEO momentum during your website redesign? Contact us today, and let's hit the ground running, together.

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