Website Redesign: Reasons to Do It + SEO Checklist to Avoid Losing Traffic

Your website has the potential to be your most valuable marketing asset. And site design, in particular, has a significant impact on your marketing metrics and user experience. Slow page load times, a confusing menu, and missing functionality won’t do your small business any favors. If your website design is standing in the way of marketing results, it may be time to refresh your design.

11 reasons to refresh your website design

A fully customized site redesign can be costly. So, take the time to determine whether you need a full redesign or just a few updates. Switching your website theme or adding plugins could be the solution.

1. Your web pages load slowly

Every one-second delay in page load time can reduce customer satisfaction by 16 percent, says The Daily Egg. Test your speed using a free tool like PageSpeedInsights, which can reveal underlying design issues.

2. You can’t perform site updates

Are you struggling to add new pages? Your search engine optimization (SEO) and site traffic could be suffering if your site lacks fresh content. Consider adopting a theme withpage templates.

3. Your design is not branded

Does your website design reflect your brand? Color, typography, logos, and images communicate a brand’s values and leave a lasting impression on visitors. Consider switching to a theme that is highly customizable, like Dara or Karuna.

4. You have a high bounce rate

The majority of websites have a bounce rate between 26 percent and 70 percent, according to The Daily Egg. A high bounce rate, meaning above 40 percent, can indicate several site design issues, such as confusing navigation, low-quality content, or poor page load times. web analytics can help you pinpoint any issues.

5. Your site is not optimized for mobile

Over half of global internet traffic now originates from a mobile device, per BroadbandSearch. Thus, a poor or non-existent mobile website could alienate a huge percentage of your visitors. A responsive theme can ensure your site scales seamlessly to smartphone screens.

6. You have SEO issues

Major search engines use hundreds of factors to rank websites, including usability, content, and design. If you aren’t ranking for important search phrases, it may be time for changes. The SEO plugin can help identify design issues on this front.

7. You don’t have a custom home page

Your home page is often website visitors’ first impression. A lackluster home page can decrease your crawl rate or the average number of pages that visitors view. Adopt a business theme with a stunning home page design, like Barnsbury or Maywood, to better engage your audience.

8. You have poor conversion rates

Your website should offer many opportunities to convert visitors into leads, including the following:

  • Subscribing to emails
  • Filling out a contact form
  • Downloading an e-book

Low conversion rates can be a sign that a refresh is needed to strengthen your calls to action or add more conversion pathways.

9. Your site is not secure

If your website isn’t secured with the HTTPs protocol, it may be harming your SEO. Learn more about HTTPS and SSL on websites.

10. You need new functionality

Are you lacking important website functionality, like eCommerce checkout, online appointment scheduling, or custom web forms? A site redesign is an opportunity to add new features with plugins.

11. You have confusing navigation

A high bounce rate or low crawl rate can be indicators that your navigation menu doesn’t make sense to your viewers. You may need to refresh your menu structure or add a mega menu.

Website Redesign SEO Checklist – Overhaul a Site Without Losing Traffic

Search engines favor websites that provide fantastic user experiences. However, if you perform a design overhaul, your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) may take a temporary hit.

Use this website redesign SEO checklist to understand why your organic traffic might decrease after a site redesign, and what you can do to minimize its negative impact.

Search engines need time to reevaluate

It can be disheartening to watch your site traffic decrease after you roll out exciting changes.

This result is typical, as search engines need time to reevaluate your site after you make major adjustments. Search engines like Google are expected to serve the most relevant content to users. Therefore, a site like Google might temporarily lower your ranking until it has a chance to reevaluate and index your site.

This is especially true if you made drastic changes to your site’s content or overarching structure. These updates communicate the value of your pages to search engines, so their rankings need to be reconsidered.

Search engines will crawl your site on their own, but it’s possible to expedite the process by submitting your sitemap directly to Google.

Website redesign SEO checklist

The long-term benefits of redesigning your site typically outweigh the short-term decrease in organic traffic. Just focus on improving your site’s user experience, as search engines favor navigable websites that provide high-quality content.

You can get ahead of any potential SEO issues that a site redesign can cause by following three steps.

1. Do your research before deleting pages or changing URLs

If possible, avoid changing your site’s structure. If you absolutely need to delete a page, dig into your site’s analytics using a tool like Jetpack to ensure that the page isn’t responsible for a significant portion of your overall traffic. If it is, consider revamping rather than completely deleting the existing page.

If you retire pages, set up 301 redirects. These permanently reroute search engines and visitors to the correct pages. Learn more about setting up 301 redirects from Yoast SEO.

2. Make sure that links are updated

Internal links are links from one of your pages that direct to another. These links help search engines understand the hierarchy of your site, along with the value of individual pages. If you change any URLs, verify that all internal links are consistent. If you can, update any backlinks (such as those on your social media profiles) to reflect the change.

3. Understand which pages rank well and why

When you make changes to a page’s content, you can unintentionally remove the elements that were driving the most organic traffic to your site.

Search engine-friendly copy will be thorough and rich with keywords that are relevant to a particular topic. Be sure that important keywords are prominently featured in your page headers, titles, meta descriptions, and other key SEO elements.

Time to refresh?

There are many reasons a website may be struggling, and it doesn’t always call for a total redesign. You can achieve many new capabilities and a stronger website with specific refresh and reset actions, like switching themes or adopting new plugins. Consider your website’s needs and identify what needs an update — your business will thank you.

A site redesign doesn’t mean reset

There are plenty of factors to consider during a site overhaul. So, following a redesign checklist can prevent you from starting SEO efforts from scratch.

To update your website’s appearance without changing its content or structure, head over to the Theme Showcase. From here, you can sort through designs by feature, layout, subject, and style.


The Team

We're a team of happiness engineers, developers, editors, and WordPress experts. Our team personally curates and serves up the best resources to help you no matter where you are in your blogging or website-building journey. At, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

More by The Team

%d bloggers like this: