The answer is YES, absolutely. But if your website developers are not experienced in SEO, then you should include your SEO team in the website redesign process.
It is also possible to lose all your natural, organic SEO visibility if certain steps aren’t taken.
Because many of my clients have been with me for over 10 years, many of them have redesigned their websites one or more times since I initially started working on them. Hence, I have quite a bit of experience in maintaining and improving the SEO results as website morph from HTML to AXPX, PHP, WordPress, Joomla, Wix, and SquareSpace.
But sometimes, even though I’ve asked to stay involved and be consulted in the re-design sometimes a web development team are busy focused on the redesign and neglect to contact me. In these rare cases, I’ve been able to re-work the website in the immediate days and weeks after the new site is launched. This blog post is simply outlining some of the things to look out for, prepare for, or to ask your web developer about.
When Redesigning, Keep Somethings the Same
Keep Web Page File Names the Same
If your “About” page file name was about.html then the new site should be about.html or if you are switching technologies to something like WordPress then it should be /about/.
Keep Web Page Titles the Same or Consistent for Standard Pages
There are very few standards in web technology, but the Home, About, Products, Services, and Contact pages are relatively standard. If you old website “About” page title was “ABOUT”, now is not the time to change it to “What We Do”. Keep it the same, “ABOUT”! Note: fonts, bold, and italic settings don’t matter.
Changing Content Management System THEMES
The beauty of WordPress and other content management systems is that they allow you to change your theme, but the file names, titles, and content remain the same. So to a search engine, nothing has changed!
When Redesigning Your Website, Prepare for a Smooth Transition
Your website developers will be asking your for content, i.e. copywriting and images.
Rename Your Images
When you send your images, don’t just send the camera file name. Rename the images to something meaningful. This will not only help your website developer to quickly identify which image goes on which page, but it will also help your SEO.
Resize Your Images and Resolution
One step in optimizing a website is to optimize the image sizes. When you look at the photo size it is usually displayed in pixels (or inches). A landscape image that spans the width of your website rarely needs to be larger 800px wide or possibly 1200px. A small portrait photo is usually about 350 px wide.
Reduce the Image Resolution
Many smart phones these days take photos with resolutions better than many low-end cameras. These photos are much to big for optimization, and unnecessary for the web. You can compress them by changing the “resolution” from 300dpi to 72dpi.
Ask Your Website Developer to include Redirects
The URL of each web page of your website is indexed by the search engines. Hence if your “About” page was www.mydomain.com/about.html and remains the same, there is no need for a re-direct as the URL is exactly the same. However, if your “About’ page has now changed to www.mydomain.com/about-our-company/ then you should ask for re-directs.
Your web developers might ask you to create a hierarchy of your website and match the old pages to the new pages. Then they will take this information and create the redirects for the appropriate technology. Note: if you have a lot of changes and the old pages will come up as 404 page not found errors without a redirect.