Is it time to freshen up the look and feel of your website? Is your old site look like it was made a decade ago? Unfortunately many website redesigns happen without thinking of the SEO consequences. Here are common SEO mistakes that happen in a website redevelopment.
- Ignoring current good rankings: Many times websites are redone without regard to what brings in traffic currently. Instead look at your current rankings and which pages and phrases are bringing in visitors. Keep what is working and replace the parts that are not generating business for you.
- Reduce or eliminate home page text: Many designers will create a highly graphical home page with very little of no text. Content really is king with the search engines. Keyword rich content is how the search engines index and classify websites for search. Designers need no less than 250 words of content with 400-600 being optimal. Plan a content growth strategy for your site such as adding a blog not eliminating content.
- Replacing text with images of text: Sometimes designers will create a graphic that lays out the text inside of an image. They do this to get a certain font or layout. Search engines can’t read images, only text. Always place the text as text so it is visible to search engines.
- Use of subdomains: Site structure will greatly affect SEO. Many developers like to use subdomains (store.domain.com) instead of folders (domain.com/store). A folder structure is much more SEO friendly. Link popularity will flow back to the home page with folders, but not with subdomains.
- Old Website SEO not transferred: Many designers will ignore the SEO work that was done on the old website and replace the keyword driven Title Tags and H1’s with simple ones like Home or welcome. Make sure your previous SEO work is transferred and even improved upon.
- Page URLs changed: Many times new websites have completely new page URLs. You may be switching from pages that end in .html to pages that end in PHP. The trouble with this is you will instantly lose your search engine traffic to these pages as the search engines detect the old pages are gone. Instead put in place 301 redirects to redirect traffic to the new pages.
- Pages load slowly: Fast loading pages are given preference by Google over slow loading pages. Avoid pages that are heavy with graphics and images. Text loads very quickly so place emphasis on text content.
Bring your SEO person into the planning of your new website. Traffic is equally important as the design of your website. To get the best results you need to plan for both.