Based on my past experiences, I can safely say that the number of websites for whom I did the website SEO but was not involved in their redesign project, then their traffic count taking a nosedive just after the redesigning project was finished, is actually quite high! Surprisingly, I had to clean up for these websites after the redesign process which I was not a part of! For all of them, the site owners had to suffer, since their website traffic reduced in considerable proportion and their revenue generation had been hit! But, website owners doesn’t necessarily had to take this loss or could have avoided this in the first place!
First Rule of Redesign is to avoid doing any harm:-
As I have meticulously went through every single step of those redesign process myself during the patch up work, I know exactly what went wrong for which the website owners had to suffer such a huge loss, which could have easily been avoided. Let me put them up one after the other for you to understand, so that you may refrain from repeating the same in the future when you do your redesign for your website SEO, revenue generation being the clear goal.
Content shouldn’t always follow the minimalist approach
I must make it clear that even though the old adage of “Be specific to be terrific” holds good in general, but that is not always the case when it comes to SEO! The thing which I am pointing to is that, consolidation of your website to that level where the visitor needs to work hard to understand which are the services you provide or what exactly you do, would actually drive him away, which in turn would force you to accept a loss in revenue generation. The simple reason behind this is, not all visitors will visit your website through the homepage. They actually would reach you via the search engines, after searching for something specific which is relevant to them the most and one of your subpages specific to their search topic might have brought them there. You need to remember that you can only afford a few seconds to convince the visitor to stay, which is directly proportional to the revenue you generate in the long run. So, your ultimate goal would always be to keep each and every single page pretty clear and focused.
Carefully set your URL’s: Redirects must be proper
Technically, this is known as “301 redirect” and is a very important step to be followed. Let me explain in brief what it is that needs to be done. When you delete old pages and add some new ones in your website, you must take good care to automatically send your visitors to the correct new page. These automatic redirects not only guides your visitor who might click an old link to the correct place, but also gives the required information to the search engines where the content is residing at present, hence conveying the old page rank to the new one instead of starting it all over again.
Codes must be kept Semantic
The next big mistake committed while redesigning a website is doing it with poor coding. This might hamper in the understanding and indexing of your website by search engines, hence resulting in less traffic counts. So, for website owners, this simply comes down to knowing the best designers in the business who knows exactly what they are doing in whatever they do. Sometimes, it may appear that going cheap saves you a considerable amount of money in a glance, but the amount of business you would be losing out after that can really make you wonder if that was worth it. At the end of the day, someone selling their service cheap means either they are not sure of what they are doing or are not interested in making an effort and taking the time out to do it right.
Invest in Quality Themes & Templates
There are a lot of so-called “web designers” who are good at choosing some readily available themes and templates, customize it according to your needs and then deliver it to you – all of which can cut down the cost of designing considerably and you might have the satisfaction of going cheap. But beware! There are lots of poorly coded themes out there and if your “designer” fails to understand this, then your website traffic count can easily take a nosedive. Hence, you need to be alert as a website owner and must use Google to find out about themes chosen, whether it is really one of those numerous “off the shelf” theme or not, if so, then who the theme designer is, etc. This can save you a lot of pains later.
SEO should be done right away, not later
Generally, it can take months before a website SEO can fully recover after a poor redesign and not only that, it is more expensive to make someone do all the reworking necessary just to fix or delete the errors which should never have been done at the first place. The rule of thumb is, spending a little extra time to implement the SEO along with the project right at the very beginning with utmost importance can save you a lot of time and money in the end.
As a conclusion, I must say that I do believe the above points will give you a good insight and you are better equipped now to deal with the redesign of your website SEO. If ever you think of doing it any point of time in the future, then my advice is, you must consult your designers and find it out how they are going to deal with these issues and can help you and your company avoid inconvenience of lost traffic and in turn lost business in the long run.