If your redesigned website fails to deliver expected results due to non-consideration of key factors impacting Search Engine rankings, it is high time to fix the issue. Many marketers forget to plan SEO when launching a redesigned website. It results in severe fall organic search ranking of a website. It also affects traffic and revenue.
Here are some of the deadliest errors made while redesigning websites that ultimately lead to dropping in rank:
- Having Unoptimized Flash Based Images
One of the leading mistakes one makes while redesigning websites is adding unoptimized big images to new landing pages. Using heavy or flash based images leads to slow loading of pages and poor user experience. Potential clients will exit way before viewing content if the page takes forever to load. Also, flash images are not accessible to mobile users. Visitors abandon a web page if it does not load within seconds. So add only optimized, compressed and attractive images to your site.
- Not Keeping Spiders Off
Allowing staging website to be crawled and make entry into index of Google is a major error made during a website redesign. This results in GoogleBot viewing the content first on the website where the work is in progress. It will also see the beta website as an authoring site and also get a view of final publishing of website for the primary domain as duplicate content of lesser importance.
At the initial stages of an announcement of a new website, it cannot be found on Google. This is because it is eliminated from the rankings through URLs of work-in-progress website’s duplicate content. This serious SEO mistake may take over months to get fixed depending on website’s crawl rate. Removing URLs where Google initially viewed the content of the index will fix it. This can be done via using Google Webmaster Tools located under “Settings”.
So make sure you keep spiders off the site (work-in-progress) by a password protected staging site or disallow, nofollow, and noindex, in robots.txt file. The coding is available under “Crawler access” of Google Webmaster Tools.
- Not Adding Ranking Content
This is another serious mistake that can cost rankings. Informative and unique information targeting the audience is a vital requirement for a successful website. Addition of keyword rich and user-centric content will act as a life-giving potion for any website. Redesigned websites usually enable updating weaker content. However, migrating content that is already getting strong organic search traffic is a positive effort. Existing content that’s doing absolutely well on existing website should be migrated to the new website for added benefits.
- Not Checking Loading Speed Time
You would not benefit from a website redesigning project until the loading speed is appropriate. Loading speed is an integral part of Google’s algorithm. So re-code and condense files that are externally referenced for achieving faster load times. Do not increase load times carelessly via adding objects and images without checking the speed at which each of these load.
It is important to check loading speeds across a wide range of platforms including satellite. Remember that most loading speed issues grow enormously at slower speeds when a lot of people are accessing a server at a given moment. Average loading speed of the website should be checked in Google Webmaster Tools (under “Performance”). The speed should be monitored through WebPagetest, Page Speed, and YSlow as recommended by Google.
- Not Unblocking Search Engines from Crawling Website
This is a deadly error that blocks rankings and visibility of a website. The error occurs when websites get moved from the staging area to live server. In this case, robots.txt is used by developers to block search engine crawlers when they start redesigning and eventually forget to update file once the website goes live. There are several other mistakes made by designers while redesigning a website.
- Not Redirecting
301tends to redirects old URLs to new URLs permanently. However, this is not possible on a large website. This must be of the highest priority on top level pages which needs to be done instantly once the site gets live. A test can be run for validating links to guarantee that they are functioning appropriately.
- No Mobile Version of Site
These days, huge numbers of people use mobile devices for browsing online and shopping. Hence, not having a mobile-friendly website is a huge mistake. It is a must. Mobilegeddon launched by Google works towards targeting sites that failed to adhere to rules of mobile-friendliness and rendering user experience. On update, mobile-unfriendly websites observed the decline of mobile searches by about 12 percent in only first two months. So focusing a website mainly on laptop and PCs will lose rich traffic and revenue from mobile. Don’t let this disaster happen!