Changing up your website design can certainly be fun and refreshing, but beware of the many daunting consequences a new look can cause, especially with search engines.
To avoid risking your search engine positioning, be sure to follow these three helpful redesign tips:
Layout your site before you begin the development process. Plan with sitemaps, wireframes and mockups to build an appropriate site for both you and your visitors. Even though the layout changes you are proposing may make perfect sense to you, they may not make sense to your customers, or the search engines. Let’s say you want to de-clutter your site, going for a more minimalistic look is great, but it may cut off navigational paths by reducing or removing relevant content. Don’t diminish the content that feeds Google, Bing and Yahoo relevant information about your site. During a revamp, don’t inadvertently make your site less known to the search engines; make sure you leave appropriate content and important links on your web property.
A new look for your website takes time; not only for your designers, but also for your development crew and IT team. Every department needs the time necessary to digest, implement and test the changes that occur during a redesign process. Allow for a reasonable amount of time for all departments to become familiar with your site’s required changes. Don’t rush a redesign, because chances are you’ll sacrifice your search rankings.
Yes proofing content and testing navigation are crucial, but make sure you are also checking the SEO elements of your newly designed site. It’s important that this testing occurs before you launch the site. If you neglect this procedure your site’s positioning may suffer. Going live with a new site without properly testing the potential SEO impact almost always results in traffic loss and decreased positions.
Among web fonts, colors and layout, remember to consider SEO when redesigning your website. What’s the point of having a ravishing site if it doesn’t surface in search results or drive visitors?