42: 6 Tips for Avoiding Site Redesign Landmines

Kurt and Brett discuss what you need to know before redesigning or replatforming your eCommerce site.

Design Changes:

  • Improve functionality and design, but preserve the core.  A great site should feel both new and familiar at the same time.  Confused, frustrated visitors don’t buy.

  • Pivot from a deep understand of your customer.  What does your customer want?  What does your customer love or hate about your site?  Make changes based on the user!

Limit Changes that Impact SEO:

  • Consolidate pages with caution.  Often when new sites launch it makes sense to consolidate two or more pages into one.  This can create a better shopping experience but just know that often organic rankings are lost when pages are consolidated.  Give special preference to pages with the most organic rankings when deciding on content and meta

  • Redirect Religiously.  This is one of the most important steps in preserving current organic rankings.  Creating proper page-by-page 301 redirects is critical.  It is typically not a good idea to redirect multiple pages to a single page except in the case of strategic page consolidation.  Ideally each old URL should redirect to the new matching URL.

    • Take special note of category pages

    • Take note of blog pages – this is where a lot of sites go wrong (often because this isn’t given the time and attention needed) and end up losing organic traffic that they often can’t fully recover.

  • Mind your Meta (when possible).  It’s ideal to keep the title tags and meta descriptions identical or very close to it for pages that currently have strong organic rankings.  Adding meta keywords are not necessary.

  • Canonical Care.  Mainly for category and product pages.  Especially on category pages with filtering options, creating a proper canonical tag is important to reduce duplicate content issues.

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