Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on August 26th, 2009

SEO Tips For Site Redesign - Part 2

Yesterday we discussed how redesigning a website can be very tedious, time-consuming and, if not done properly, outrageously frustrating. Despite all the SEO “mojo” you had coming into the process, if you don’t stay on top of the redesign, you could lose it all.

Tips we covered yesterday included how each unique page on your site redesign should have a single, canonical URL. This makes it incredibly easy for search engines to crawl and index your site while avoiding a duplicate content violation. We also discussed links and how they provide the ability to crawl a site, passing link popularity and keyword signals on to the search engines and their SEO-hungry spiders. Here are a few more SEO tips for site redesign.

Crawlable Text

In yesterday’s post we touched on site’s that are not crawlable will not be indexed by the search engines. This includes dynamic content, i.e. videos, images, as well. If dynamic content is on your web page, it must be crawlable with JavaScript and CSS disabled. Use plain text, formatted as desired with CSS, for the dynamic content to be indexed by the search engine spiders. HTML text will confirm the keyword signals provided by the links to the page.


As every web page has a unique reason to exist, it must also have a unique keyword signal. Your CMS should allow you to assign unique keyword signals for each page with a unique title tag, meta description and keywords, HTML headings, and permanent body copy. Every web page template should be designed to contain at least an H1 heading and one sentence of permanent body copy.

301 Redirect

This tip is absolutely critical for a redesigned site’s SEO success (and your mental health). Any time a URL is changed, a permanent 301 redirect needs to be created. 301 redirects are the best tool to channel the traffic from the existing link to the new URL. 301 redirects give the website the best chance at retaining all that SEO “mojo”. If you don’t, you will have to start your SEO over practically from scratch.

As the Internet and its usability evolves, redesigning a site for your business is going to be necessary at some point. If you want to retain all that SEO “mojo” you have built up over the last few days, months, or years, you will need to use these tips. If you don’t, you will have to start over from scratch and watch your rankings and link popularity wither away into vast expanse of irrelevant web space. Do your business and yourself a favor and use these tips wisely.