Website redesigning involves a lot more than tying up the loose ends of unpolished site aesthetics. The visual components of your freshly redesigned website will indeed harness significant attention from users. However, paying much attention to the website’s visage while forgetting to improve your website’s structure and content could kill your hard work in just seconds. An excellent website redesign is all about improving both the visual elements, the website’s structure, and its content quality.
A website redesign is usually a great project that will involve a lot of decisions. You need to set aside enough funds to run the project and find appropriate technicians (designers) and tools to complete the task. It might take months before you come up with a masterpiece of a perfectly redesigned website. One vital aspect that you should incorporate in your website to ensure that the website launches appropriately is to ensure that it speaks the search engines’ language. Search Engine Optimization is a critical aspect that determines the success of any website. While redesigning your website, you should ensure that you retain your old site’s SEO value and enhance your SEO strategies to your new website. To do so, you should avoid some common SEO mistakes that could threaten your website. In this article, I explain the mistakes that you should avoid enhancing your SEO strategies.
Mistake #1: Failing To Think About SEO From The Start
When contemplating redesigning your website, it is effortless to pay much attention to those elements that appeal to the eye. You might overlook the need to incorporate SEO into your redesign strategy, which is a great mistake. Think of it from this angle: you might spend a lot of energy, resources, and time to build a fabulous restaurant, equip it with modern furniture and splendid interior design, and cook delicious meals. However, if nobody knows about the restaurant’s existence, then it is as good as dead. Do not waste your time building a restaurant that no one can find. When coming up with a redesign strategy, ensure you incorporate website accessibility and discoverability.
Before finally embarking on redesigning your website, you should have SEO as one of the redesign’s primary goals. Your new content and user experience should fall in line with your conversion paths to nurture website visitors into sales leads. To increase your sales leads, you need to improve your inbound traffic by creating more blog posts, undertaking social media campaigns, and creating premium content. Always have SEO in mind whenever you are starting the journey of a website redesign.
Mistake #2: Not Conducting An SEO Audit To Your Old Website
SEO audits will help you discover what needs to be done to improve your website. Dismantling your website to redesign it will leave so many questions unanswered. Mistakes are bound to occur if you do not undertake an SEO audit. For instance, you fail to notice some errors in your old website that were a threat to SEO. Similarly, you might pull out a vital component from your website that was a significant boost to SEO. Always ensure that you undertake an SEO audit to determine what is working and what is not. The following are some of the vital metrics you will consider when performing an SEO audit.
- Average visits on your website
- Website bounce rates and time spent on site
- Click-through Rates
- Visitors-to-sales conversion rates
- Lead generation
- Best performing keywords
- Total number of inbound linking domains
- Amount of traffic per page (from organic searches and referrals)
Mistake #3: Not Including Metrics In Your New Website
You have carried out a successful website audit and discovered some metrics that could hinder SEO. Next, you need to consider these metrics on your new website. Including them is a big plus to your website and SEO’s success, and ignoring them is a big mistake.
Mistake #4: Choosing The Wrong Content Management System & Hosting Company
CMSs are a blessing to website owners who are not tech-savvy. You may be lacking advanced technical knowledge, but thanks to Content Management Systems, you will easily publish perfect content on your websites. Apart from just ease of use, Content Management Systems play a vital role in SEO. If you want your website to rank high in Search Engine Results Pages, you should pick a Content Management System with SEO in mind. Most website owners often make mistakes during website redesign by choosing the wrong CMS. It is believed that Google uses over 200 factors to rank websites. Most factors that have to do with on-page HTML and websites’ performance are related to Content Management Systems. When redesigning your website, ensure that you pick on a CMS that has the most SEO benefits.
Furthermore, website owners will mostly make the mistake of underestimating the role of hosting providers in SEO. Experts now warn that not paying enough attention to hosting providers might have negative impacts on SEO. While choosing a hosting provider, go for one that offers the most benefits to SEO.
Mistake #5: Failing To Include The Commonly Searched Keywords
It is a new era for Search Engine Optimization—an era where keyword stuffing can be the primary cause of SEO failure. If search engines discover that you are deliberately hiding or overusing keywords in your content, then your rankings in search engine pages can drop. Do not get me wrong. I do not mean to say that keywords are irrelevant. Keywords are essential in ranking only when they appear naturally. In their statement titled Steps to a Google-friendly site, Google said the following: “If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.”
Mistake #6: Not Using SSL Certificates To Secure Your Website
Google gives a lot of weight to website security. Those websites that might compromise users’ security or privacy will be flagged off from search engine results pages. When redesigning your website, ensure that you incorporate proper security tools and protocols. One essential protocol that will give you a significant boost in SEO is the SSL certificate. SSL certificates will initiate an encrypted session, ensuring that your servers’ communication and visitors’ browsers are appropriately encrypted. Apart from just giving your website security from intruders, SSL certificates have a significant impact on SEO. In 2015, Google announced that an SSL certificate would be used as a ranking factor. In yet another statement, Google announced that SSL would be used as a tiebreaker in a situation where multiple sites tied in all other ranking factors. Studies have shown a positive correlation between SSL certificates and higher ranking in SERPs. Google’s Transparency Report indicates that 93.2% of browsing time on google chrome is spent on sites with SSL certificates. When redesigning your website, ensure that you acquire the certificate from trusted SSL certificate providers and install it on your website to boost your SEO ranks.
Mistake #7: Not Implementing A Mobile-Friendly Design
Did you know that not having a mobile-friendly website could negatively impact your SEO? Google has reiterated the essence of mobile friendliness for years. In 2013, Google announced a penalty for sites that did not give a good mobile-experience. The penalty included a drop in search engine ranks. Furthermore, the number of mobile usages has increased. A Statista report shows that there were 3.5 billion mobile users in 2019. If you want to take advantage of the heavy traffic that is now coming from mobile devices, you better start thinking about making your website mobile-friendly during your next website redesign.
Redesigning a website can have a lot of advantages. However, if not done correctly, it could lead to several damages. Do not just focus on the appearance of the website but also concentrate on SEO. In this article, I have explained some of the SEO mistakes you should avoid when redesigning your website. Avoiding mistakes that I mentioned above will help you develop a great SEO strategy and drive your website to rank high in search engines.