Jun 17, 2023

3 Ways Your Website Redesign Hurt Your SEO

I love your new website.

It’s mobile friendly, makes use of beautiful images, loads quickly, and is easy to navigate.

And why wouldn’t it be? After all, you dropped a pretty penny on its redesign, right? Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch the ROI roll in.

Except it’s been about 6 months now, and your digital marketing team is reporting no increases in organic search traffic. In fact, it appears people are having a harder time than before finding your website!

What gives? You followed all the latest web design trends and rules – so why haven’t you shot up Google’s results pages?

Unfortunately, that expensive new website may have hurt your SEO without you realizing it. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. All too often businesses get caught up producing an attractive consumer-facing product – a noble cause, to be sure – while ignoring the corresponding changes required to meet their marketing goals.

Here are three common ways a new redesign can hurt your SEO:

Your Website Redesign Increased White Space, But Decreased Content

Phrase-matched keywords are a little less important now than in days past. Google now values “context;” or, in other words, how informative your site’s content is regarding a given topic. In general, providing engaging and educational content to your visitors requires words. A lot of them.

But that new streamlined design may have drastically cut down on the amount of text across your website. The problem with that is you won’t be building any inbound links – an essential aspect of Google’s ranking algorithm.

The concept is straightforward – the more information you provide, the more other sites will link to that content. As more and more sites link to your stellar content, the higher your authority with Google. It’s a trust building exercise – and the more Google trusts you, the higher you’ll climb.

Google Can’t See Your New Images

The new graphics you’ve employed throughout your site are certainly eye-catching. For site visitors, that’s great! For Google’s web crawlers…not so much.

To you, the high-res picture of your tax office’s front sign tells you everything you need to know about who you are, where you’re located, and what you do. But to Google, it’s only registering as “newsign1.jpg.”

Your designer most likely uploaded these beautiful new images without corresponding ALT tags. These are brief descriptions that tell search engine bots what the picture they’ve come across is showing. These are important, as they’re a great opportunity for you to fit in an extra target keyword!

Plenty of people are searching Google’s image results as part of their queries. Why not take the chance to show off those new images and get in front of more potential visitors at the same time?

Those New Pages are, Unfortunately, New Pages

Perhaps you consolidated your old web pages to fit into a long, single-page style format. Or maybe you broke one particularly text-heavy page into two or three more easily digestible pieces. Either approach can have positive impacts on user experience, but without properly communicating these changes to Google, you run the risk of having a lot of “404” and “page not found” URLs floating around.

Without 301 redirects, all your old inbound links, rankings, and authority could be caput. Google regularly re-crawls previously indexed pages; want to know what happens the next time they return to that old URL and find nothing there?

Spoiler alert: your site’s reputation (and ranking) sinks.

Is There Any Good News?

Now, I don’t want you to panic. After all, you’re still the proud owner of a gorgeous and functional site – which is more than plenty of others can say. And for the most part, you can fix these mistakes to varying degrees. But the fact is, these aren’t the only ones that tend to occur after a website redesign.

The good news is, I’m going to provide you with a resource that helps explain these and a couple more common SEO must-haves in more depth – which you can download right here.

Once you’ve read that through and are ready to discuss the specific needs of your own site, go ahead and give us a call – we can’t wait to help out!

Get free marketing and advertising insights...

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