Website Redesign SEO Checklist: How to Avoid Big Drops in Your Rankings

Thursday, August 31, 2023
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Blog by Sumit
Sumit Kumar
Website Redesign SEO Checklist: How to Avoid Big Drops in Your Rankings

You’re thinking about implementing a website redesign – but wait! – before you go any further – did you know it can seriously impact your rankings? If the answer’s ‘no’, then stop what you’re doing and read on so you can get to grips with the ins and outs of SEO and website design. You’ll discover:

  • What a website redesign involves
  • When a website redesign is a must
  • SEO and website redesign – the checklist
  • The main plus points of a website redesign
  • Website redesign – when it goes wrong

Website Redesign – What is it?

A website redesign is basically a total makeover for your website. In our lives, we occasionally decide we’ve had enough of the way we dress, the products we use to style our hair, or the make-up we apply. Sometimes we’ll go so far as to ditch our jobs and try something new. Big overhauls like these don’t just apply in our own personal lives, they apply in the world of websites too. So, think of a website redesign as a major overhaul that will give your website a whole new look. It will focus on -

  1. Code
  2. Website structure
  3. The content
  4. Visuals
  5. Accessibility

Website redesign is key if you’re going to keep up with your competitors and continue to be relevant to your customers. Websites need to evolve. If you’re of the opinion that once you’ve designed your website that’s it, you don’t need to worry about it – you need to think again.

That’s because, as with everything, things move on – technology advances, your customers’ needs change, and design best approaches change too. If you stand still, you’ll be left behind. To stay relevant, you – your business and website - must keep evolving.

Website Redesign or a Website Refresh?

Once you’ve taken a thorough objective look at your website, it’s time to consider whether you need a full-on website redesign or a more minor website refresh. A website refresh will implement critical updates and enhancements to your existing website. A website redesign, meanwhile, is a comprehensive process that produces a brand-new website which is built on a current codebase, and which gets rid of any previous technical issues, and improves your original website’s strategy.

Whether you decide you need a website redesign or a website refresh, you still need to make sure your SEO and website isn’t impacted negatively.

When a Website Redesign is a Must

If you’re umming and ahhing over a website redesign, answer these questions -

  1. Does your website look old and outdated?
  1. Is your business moving in a new direction?
  1. Do you need to promote a new product or service?
  1. Have you noticed a drop in traffic and sales?
  1. Are your website visitors struggling to navigate your website?
  1. Is your website glitchy on certain platforms?
  1. Are there any errors or bugs that need fixing?

If you answered yes to all of the above then it’s a surefire sign that yes, your website needs a redesign. And that’s exactly what we’re here for. At Creative Ideaz, we have years of experience helping clients transform their businesses. We use our expertise in website design, branding, business automation, UX (user experience design), product development and graphic design to create websites that speak powerfully.

SEO and website redesign are an ever-evolving process that the best brands and businesses always keep on top of – and thus reap the benefits. Let SEO and website redesign fall by the wayside, and you’ll soon see the impact.

SEO and Website Redesign – The Checklist

SEO is a vital factor of website redesign that you need to consider – and we’re not just talking about specific keywords. Technical SEO elements including your website speed, site structure, and whether it’s been optimised for mobile platforms all impact your SEO rankings. What’s more, you’ll also need to ensure your on-page SEO is addressed.

By this, we mean, title tags, header tags and meta descriptions as well as various other elements too. So, when it comes to SEO and website redesign, what are the must do’s if you want to keep your search rankings and traffic? Here’s your checklist:

  1. Keep your content the same or similar – and don’t delete any as it could lead to broken backlinks
  1. Make sure your 301 redirects are in place if you make changes to your URLs – this means search engines and users reach the content you’d like them to, and you keep the ranking signals that were built to your old URLs
  1. Ensure your meta tags and header tags are the same or similar – they need to match up with your website’s page title and meta descriptions if you want to keep a good place in SERPs
  1. Check your image alt tags – search engines can’t understand an image file unless it's got an image alt tag
  1. Update your site architecture – this is vital if you want search engines to be able to find and index your best pages
  1. Make sure your page speed is nice and snappy – quick loading speeds make for better conversion rates, a seamless UX, and help boost your rankings
  1. Check your XML sitemap is up to date – it's another way search engines can find your pages so it can rank them
  1. Focus on one or two keywords per page – About once or twice for every 100 words of content. And don’t engage in keyword stuffing as your rankings will drop
  1. Use a website crawler to carry out an SEO site audit – it can help you fix broken links, check for missing title tags, image alt descriptions etc, and check for blank pages
  1. Proofread – your website content needs to be informative, make sense, be relevant, and offer value to your users. The better the content, the more favourable the ranking

Plus Points of a Website Redesign

So, what are the main benefits you can enjoy from a website redesign? There are many, but the most notable ones are -

  • A slicker user experience
  • SEO improvements
  • Better site performance
  • A website that looks its best
  • Faster website loading speeds
  • Improved security

When you opt for a full-on website redesign it’s basically akin to refitting your IRL high street store. You smarten it all up, move things around, address any dodgy electrics, and look better than any of the other shops on the road. What’s not to love? Ah, well, we’ll tell you...

When Website Redesign Goes Wrong

So far, website redesign sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, in theory it is. However, if you’re trying to do it yourself, you’re getting a friend to help you, or you’re using the services of someone who isn’t as good as they say they are, then things can go drastically wrong.

When website redesign is rushed or done badly, you can lose your SEO rankings, lose your traffic, and ultimately lose your customers. The whole process is intricate and takes time. Rushing a website redesign can be a costly experience which could – at worst case scenario - see you needing to build your customer base from scratch. Ouch.

The Sum-Up

If you’re at the point where your website needs a thorough redesign, this is your chance to open up a whole new chapter. It’s your opportunity to breathe life into your business, find new customers, position yourself as a main player in the market, and ultimately elevate your brand.

That’s why a website redesign isn’t something to be taken lightly. Put your business in the capable hands of the professionals at Creative Ideaz and let us take your business to the next level.

Sumit Kumar

Growth Hacking Strategist @ Creative Ideaz