Website Redesign: Consider your URL structure and referral sources
Looking further into mistakes commonly made when designing or redesigning a website
Another two points we would like to cover are URL Structure and Shady resources for backlinks
Failing to consider your URL structure
Your URLs play a significant role in your SEO success. If your URLs don’t align well with the actual content of your site pages, you should consider restructuring it during your website redesign.
A general rule to follow when creating a new URL: use dashes (-) between words instead of underscores (_). Google treats dashes as separators, which means it can return results when you search for a single word that appears in a URL. Underscores are treated as connectors by Google. It will only return results when you search for a group of connected words that appears in a URL. Using dashes creates more opportunities for your pages to be discovered.
Your URL structure needs to be organized for the user experience. Use keywords in your URL you are targeting for ranking. Keywords in your URL will help indicate to those who see your URL that they are getting what they want and expect. Keep the structure organized for user experience.
Shorter URLs between (less than 50 characters) are preferred for usability and user experience. Search engines are able to process long URLs without trouble, but it is important to write for humans first and think of SEO second.
Lastly, when creating a URL make sure it is accessible for all devices. Mobile friendly pages are normally ranked the highest in SEO. Let major search engines know which web pages on your site are mobile friendly in a sitemap.
Leaving shady backlinks in place
Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from one web page to another website. The more backlinks you have pointing back to your website, the more popular it will be.
When you create backlinks for your website, keep in mind that Google and other search engines prefer quality over quantity. Google prefers natural links.
A website redesign is a great opportunity for you to analyze your backlinks and remove the suspicious ones. Backlinks are great to have, but if Google suspects that there are spammy, low-quality sites linking to your site, your rankings could suffer.
A common mistake: Your search engine optimization firm built hundreds of bad backlinks to your website. Google’s penguin algorithm update in 2012 included penalization to websites that built erroneous back links in an attempt to drive ranking. Site links from unrelated sources, micro-sites, and false sources do more harm than good post-Penguin.
You can fix this mistake in your redesign by using Link Research Tools. This will provide detail on harmful link and help you get them removed from your site quickly and efficiently.
Most marketers think only about link-building instead of link-earning. Focus on making your content easy for your audiences to consume, understand, and share.