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  • Writer's pictureLeanne Robertson

8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid When Redesigning Your Website

Let’s set the scene: you have a website for your business, but it’s just... okay.

Maybe your user experience could use some work, or perhaps your website isn’t giving your brand the level of credibility that you desire. Maybe the visuals don’t match your brand’s persona, or your current SEO strategy isn’t bringing in enough organic traffic.

Whether your site needs some basic tweaking or a complete overhaul, giving your business a fresh online face places you in front of more prospective clients and wows them with stellar copywriting and striking media.

The Brand Brew  - 8 SEO mistakes to avoid when redesigning your website

However, not all website redesigns are made equal. Just like a personal style makeover, there are some common pitfalls that end up doing more harm than good (we’re looking at you, spontaneous bangs).

While a redesign can transform your website for the better, it also has the potential to compromise the success you’ve earned so far – especially when it comes to SEO. If you’re not careful, you could inadvertently erase your hard-earned rankings and watch your traffic take a nosedive.

Avoid these common SEO errors as you approach your next website redesign, and watch your online makeover bring all the pros and none of the cons!

1. Skipping the SEO Audit

Search engine optimization is integral to a website’s success. You don’t want your redesign to compromise your SEO strategy, and the best way to prevent that is by performing a comprehensive SEO audit before making any changes.

If you’re wondering, what the heck is SEO? This is for you.

This audit provides you with a baseline that you can use to compare against your redesigned site and ensure that none of your implemented changes have compromised your SEO strategy.

2. Maintaining – Rather Than Improving – SEO

Sure, preserving your SEO strategy through a redesign is a good start. But wouldn’t it be even better to actively improve your SEO in the process?

Take your SEO audit one step further and use it as a tool to pinpoint where your SEO strategy might benefit from some optimization. If you find that your local SEO is lacking, for instance, you might want to consider employing some strategies to land your newly redesigned website in Google’s Map Pack.

You’re giving your website a glow-up, after all – why not do the same for your SEO strategy?

3. Replacing Winning Content

You may be gung-ho about redesigning all aspects of your website. While the enthusiasm is great, there’s a limit – don't revise or replace your high-ranking content!

You're redesigning to improve the effectiveness of your website. So, why get rid of the content that’s already performing? Before you begin making changes, assess your current website to determine which pages bring the most value to your business and be sure to include those pages in your new site. They’re already producing the results you’re looking for, after all!

4. Getting Lazy “Above the Fold”

“Above the fold” refers to content that can be seen before scrolling on a webpage, and it’s especially important for SEO purposes to have unique, benefit-led, customer-focused copy above the fold.

This content is valued highly in SEO rankings, but it’s also crucial for engaging visitors and encouraging them to explore the rest of the content on your website. Appealing to clients and appeasing search engines are equally important, and they can both be achieved through strategic, creative SEO copywriting.

5. Overlooking Page Speed

Nobody wants to sit around waiting for a webpage to load. Slow page loading speeds drive people away from your website, and they negatively impact your SEO rankings, too.

Pay attention to this when redesigning your website. If you’re not careful, you may end up with messy, redundant code or large, slow-to-load media that drastically impact your page loading time. In this mission to transform your website design, be sure to optimize your page loading speed, too.

6. Neglecting Mobile Users

You likely have your smartphone with you at all times, and your clients are no different. Ensuring that your redesigned website is mobile-friendly is an absolute must if you want to reach your target audience in an effective and engaging way.

Make sure that your pages load quickly on mobile devices and that your content still looks appealing (and readable!) on smaller screens. Optimizing your website for mobile users is crucial for connecting with those on-the-go customers, and it’s a big factor in SEO scores, too.

7. Dead-End URLs

Once again, this common error directly impacts both user experience and SEO.

When you redesign a website, some pages may gain new or changed URLs. It’s imperative that those pages are equipped with proper 301 redirects so that search engines can tell that the page content has been permanently moved, saving your SEO and preventing visitors to your site from encountering those ever-so-frustrating 404 “page not found” messages.

8. Using an Outdated XML Sitemap

Your XML sitemap outlines your website’s structure and lists its essential pages, which allows search engines to find and crawl your site and benefits your SEO ranking.

When you redesign your website, you must also update your XML sitemap. Search engines only crawl a website’s sitemap the first time it’s encountered, so after having updated your XML sitemap, be sure to resubmit it to Google Search Console and any other search engines you rely on to bring traffic to your website.

The Takeaway

As you can tell, redesigning a website is much more than choosing fonts and picking colours. Keep in mind that there are technicalities to a successful website, and a hefty dose of SEO best practices, too. If you can avoid these 8 common errors in your redesign, you’re in a good position to take the world by storm and wow visitors with your freshly designed website.

When you choose The Brand Brew’s Website Design Experience, you avoid all these pitfalls and more as you gain intentional and effective page design with content that connects with your dream clients. We love giving websites a full makeover – and we’re good at it, too!

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