Today we will talk about a topic that you will surely have found on more than one occasion: update the design of the website that works on web positioning or SEO. As usual, many clients come to our web design agency with the desire to renew their website.
Previously, the client had a web page with a design that moved far away from the target audience. It was cold, sober and serious. On the other hand, for the new version, we wanted to bet on a more modern and fresh design, more appropriate for the students they are addressing.
The new website is better programmed and designed so that it adapts to all devices, whether mobile or tablet. In addition, the programmed technology is far superior to the previous one, achieving a higher loading speed and a better user experience.
Obviously, so that a web page does not lose all the organic positioning obtained so far, you have to work the URLs of the new web page and prepare a file with redirection 301 to avoid 404 errors or pages not found, the typical error that many companies and that do not take into account. On the other hand, even if it seems silly, you have to keep in mind the code of G. Analytics or Google Tag Manager, since without it it will be very difficult to analyze user behaviour.
Another aspect to consider is the content of the website. As has happened on this occasion, we have lost several static pages causing the current one to have a lower number of indexed pages and, with it, we must work and optimize the rest of the new pages to avoid the decrease of pages.
Once we have the web page published, we will have to touch up the titles and descriptions and work on those new attributes such as the alts of the images or titles of internal links, menu titles … In the coming months, we will follow the project closely to see how it is evolving and Check that everything works correctly and that there is no lost organic positioning in search engines.
Before Making Your Web Change
Before making the change, there are a series of previous tasks that you have to do to avoid having problems in the future, since not doing so before making the change you will not be able to perform later.
- Control the current status of your SEO
Whether you are an individual or if you are an SEO agency, it is essential to avoid claims to have control of the current status. For this purpose, I use a report from Search Console (Webmaster Tools). After a month of the migration of your website, you must make a comparison by dates to know if you have really lost or not some SEO.
- Control of your domain URLs
This is usually the most common fault, especially when you make a change from Prestashop to WordPress or vice versa since the URLs they use are completely different. To know what the URLs of your domain are you have several options, but the most efficient is to use the sitemap of the CMS itself. Later we will talk more extensively about this problem.
- Indexing Status
It is important for SEO to have control of the URLs that Google has indexed your domain, keep in mind that every URL you lose can be decisive as far as traffic is concerned. For this, it is best to draw two reports from the Search Console. Before, during and after the change you have to control the entire indexing state.
- Search traffic / Search analysis / Pages
- Google Index / Indexing Status
- SEO improvement proposal
If Your website is an eCommerce, you can implement a product comparator or include an offer section. If it is information medium, it includes new sections to attract new visits from other keywords.
The New Design Of Your Web And Seo
The first thing to keep in mind is to know who is responsible for the design of your website, as cited in the first paragraph. You must have a clearly defined SEO strategy since you are going to have to make decisions, some of the minor importance and others more important, such as including new content or removing URLs.
In general, it must contain the same structure as the previous page so that SEO does not suffer, especially that of the keypad, maintaining the same button texts. But all this is a priori since, in the improvement phase, you must use Google Analytics and Search Console to determine the position of the content and whether or not it should remain on your new website.
If you are going to modify the content of parts of your website, an action that we will now talk about, it is essential that you find out what are the words by which each of the URLs you modify is positioned. For this, you can use the “Search Analysis” of Search Console again. Keep in mind that if a URL is positioned by a word and you remove that word from that URL, in a very short time the URL will no longer be positioned by that word. This is a very common flaw in design changes.
With Google Analytics, you have the option of “Page Analytics” which you can access from the “Behavior ” section. Now you can define what the content that is interesting and what is not for your users is, so you can evaluate which part of your website will not be integrated into the new design. But before making a decision, you have to go to the next point of the analysis, to determine if it is relevant for your SEO in addition to your users.
Each migration or step from one design to another is completely different. In the more than ten years that I have been carrying out this process, I have never encountered two identical cases, but I think you already have more than enough information to realize that it is a process in which to have someone to control all the SEO processes of Your page when you change the web is essential since these processes are not common in programmers or web designers.