I was asked by my customer, a fairly large public corporation, the following: ‘We are heading into budget discussions for next year, and we are going to be adding our website redesign as a task to complete. Would we want to complete an SEO review before or after the redesign?’ The following points were my answer, great considerations for any website redesign, and were emailed to my customer.
It’s generally a good practice to conduct an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) review before you start the website redesign process. Here’s why:
- Identify Current Issues: An SEO review will help you identify any existing issues on your current website that may be negatively affecting your search engine rankings. These issues could include broken links, duplicate content, slow page loading times, or poor URL structures. Addressing these issues before the redesign can prevent them from carrying over to the new website.
- Set SEO Goals: By conducting the review beforehand, you can establish clear SEO goals and objectives for the redesigned website. This ensures that SEO considerations are integrated into the redesign process from the beginning, rather than trying to retrofit SEO after the fact.
- Content Strategy: SEO often involves optimizing content for specific keywords and search intent. Understanding your SEO strategy before the redesign will allow you to plan the content structure and information architecture of the new website in a way that aligns with your SEO goals.
- Avoid Disruption: Implementing SEO changes after a website redesign can be more challenging and time-consuming, as it may require significant modifications to the newly launched site. Conducting the review before the redesign allows you to make necessary SEO improvements during the development phase, minimizing disruption.
- Ensure a Smooth Transition: If you make significant changes to your website without considering SEO, you risk losing search engine rankings and traffic. A pre-redesign SEO review can help you plan for a smooth transition and mitigate potential drops in search engine visibility.
- Cost-Effectiveness: It’s typically more cost-effective to incorporate SEO into the initial design and development process rather than making extensive changes after the fact.
That said, it’s important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process. Post-launch, you should continue to monitor your site’s performance and make necessary adjustments to maintain and improve your search rankings. So, consider conducting a follow-up SEO audit and optimization after the website redesign to ensure the site is fully optimized for search engines.