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Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/seo-key-words-web-search-word-1021505/
At the time of designing a website, the design team takes care of various things that impact search engine optimization, such as technology, design, and content.
However, at the time of site redesign, these aspects can easily get overlooked.
Issues with technology can play havoc with the volume of traffic, ease of use and the all-important search engine page rankings.
Not to mention, the reluctance of the audience to accept the design changes.
Here are some website redesign SEO tips on how you can ensure that your website retains its rankings, even after the redesign:
Use Links That Are Descriptive
Every web designer and online marketer knows exactly how valuable a good CTA (Call to Action) is.
As a matter of practice, CTAs have generally comprised a pair of verb-nouns to set the user’s expectations and entice him to take action.
However, looking at it from the perspective of SEO, it is the prevalence of this practice that has led to the CTAs not only being repetitive, but also extremely vague.
It needs to be appreciated that CTAs are among the most vital tools available to SEO practitioners for informing Google about content that is important.
Therefore, instead of describing your CTAs as ‘View Details”, “Learn More” or similar, it may be more pertinent and useful to label them as “Learn more about baking cakes”, so that readers know exactly what to expect by clicking on the CTA.
Decrease the Number of Links
It can be very easy to go overboard on the number of links on a webpage. However, it needs to be understood that, apart from creating clutter, every link that is inserted on a page reduces the amount of link equity that can potentially be distributed to other important webpages.
In the modern day context of large menus and even larger footers, it can be a very good practice to take a hard look at the SEO potential of every page. And drop links to pages that are not important from this perspective.
The content of certain pages may even be considered for consolidation by an SEO service so that the number of links can be reduced.
Ensure Every Page Does Not Have Multiple H1 Tags
Even though it may be superfluous to mention, far too many web designers make the mistake of including more than one H1 tag on a single webpage.
The intentions should also be to make the tag narrative in such a way that it mimics likely queries by users to the maximum extent.
Simple website redesign SEO techniques, like making the H1 tag specific to the content of the page, will get you more results than something that is generic.
Although, the human brain can associate the H1 tag with the contents that follow. For, example “How to bake cakes” is better than just ‘How to bake”.
Website Redesign SEO: Build Your Site Maps Manually
In the typical contemporary web design environment of automated sitemap generation and submission to search engines, it may sound odd to suggest building your sitemap the old-fashioned manual way.
The advantage with manually-edited sitemaps is that you get the opportunity to tweak the narrations and employ words and phrases that are different from what you may have been forced to use in the navigation.
Here are the steps to take for building site maps manually:
Note 1: this strategy is expected for littler destinations (<100 pages generally). However, it is certainly adaptable.
Note 2: pay no brain to the illustration page names. That is exactly what happens when you work for plastic specialists.
1) Log into your FTP customer of decision.
2) Start with a fresh start. Make certain to free the server of old records that either do not exist anymore or 301 divert. You don’t need Google to get diverted or sent to a 404 page from your XML sitemap. A huge no-no.
3) Select the greater part of the pages from the base of the site that you might want to incorporate into the sitemap. (Reject picture records, the 404 page, “thank you” pages, BingSiteAuth.xml documents, robots.txt, and so on.)
4) Right tap the chose documents and “Duplicate URL”
5) Create another HTML record under the root index of the site and paste the replicated URLs from step 4.
6) Find and supplant all the garbage that you needn’t bother with.
7) Finally, add the favor diagram bits to the start and end of your sitemap and spare it as “sitemap.xml” to the base of the site.
Think Before You Use PDFs
Since search engines do not particularly favor documents in PDF format in the search results, it means that valuable content contained within a PDF may never be discovered by the searcher.
The simple way of getting around this is by integrating the content into a web page, while still keeping the PDF document as a downloadable option that users may prefer to peruse while being offline.
Also, you may end up improving the overall rank of the link if others link directly to the content instead of the PDF that the search engine bypasses.
If you must include PDF documents due to the technical nature of the content, be sure to provide an adequate sample of it on the webpage so that Google is able to discover it and index it.
And get it included in the search results for users to download.
Even at the best of times, search engine optimization can be very dynamic and difficult to achieve.
However, by implementing the above 5 website redesign SEO techniques, you will go a long way in retaining your page rankings. Even after a major site overhaul!
Just remember to take care of simple things, like defining your links better, cutting down on the number of links, having only one H1 tag, and making PDF content discoverable.
Lastly, be sure to keep an eagle eye on your site analytics so that you are able to preserve the links that are driving traffic and sales revenue your way.
Walter Moore leads SME web design initiatives at GingerDomain.com, a prominent name in the digital marketing space. Walter is a keen blogger on SEO issues and focuses on the SEO techniques that can be adopted by small businesses without a large budget.