The improvement of an organization’s SEO performance should always be a priority when it comes to a project of a total rebuild, a platform migration, or even a site redesign.
If you’re a website owner or manager, chances are that you’ve overseen periods of huge volatility in search engine rankings – times that you except and plan for and times where you simply are perplexed.
With this in mind, let’s dive into some of the most common SEO concerns to look out for during your next migration, rebuild, or redesign.
Broken internal links. Links and other formatting related to HTML often break when there is movement in the digital landscape. When your website is stacked full of pages, at scale this can result in a deep bunch of broken links and force top ranking pages to drop to page 5.
As a result, internal links need to be found and replaced programmatically all throughout your content management system. Even a simple change of resizing your heading from H2 to H3 may cause a page to drop – now that’s frustration!
It is crucial to implement redirects to make sure that a new website maintains its authority. Some of the steps to think about include:
A) making sure that assets are redirected if your file structure is changing – that’s because PDFs and images are commonly a big source of backlinks.
B) collapsing your redirect rules into as few as possible because too many will have a negative impact on load time.
C) preserving legacy redirects from old websites as it’s important to review all possible areas where redirects live, like CMS settings, DNS- level redirects, and server configurations.
D) not creating too many redirects tied to your homepage. It’s best to redirect old pages to the closest relevant page within the new structure of your new website. For lesser important pages, just let me direct to a 404 rather than redirecting them to the homepage.
Meta tags not preserved. Meta descriptions and titles are usually hardcoded into settings panels or they are controlled by dynamic templates. And the problem is that they’re easy to overlook – particularly when it involves a CMS migration.
With equal meticulousness, make sure your meta tags are migrated.
Lack of image optimization. Something critical to SEO factors are image file names as well as ALT attributes. When it comes to image files, they should be appropriately sized and compressed. And for ALT attributes, use clear and descriptive language while keeping them concise – don’t just stuff them with keywords.
Neglected site performance. Behind every great website is an excellent user experience. Software developers need clear metrics to boost the user experience and overall website performance.
Vital to a successful website performance are your Core Web Vitals scores, which provide important data on the insights of site performance. Core Web Vitals are the foundations that you must build from before any architecture decisions are made or before the first line of code is written.
Not informing the search engine. Make sure to submit any new sitemap to Google Search Console as soon as possible after launching. In doing so, you’re telling the search engine all they need to know about the new structure of a website and allow them to get to grips with what has changed – meaning new pages will likely rank sooner than they would do.
All of these issues are only relevant if the success of your business is tied to organic website traffic, because any website change needs to be carried out with meticulous attention to detail and incorporated into the organization’s digital marketing strategy.