Mueller Recommends Avoiding Major Site Changes That Are Unnecessary
Website SEO optimisation is crucial to improving search rankings and site traffic, but it often takes time for Google to notice big changes. One site owner asked Google’s John Mueller how long it would take for the search engine company to process a site move from a non-www version to a www-version. Mueller gave a short answer, but he also discussed the issue of unnecessary site changes to improve website SEO.
The person said that their non-www website is on the first page of Google’s search results. However, they wanted to switch to a www version. They asked Mueller how to make a huge change on their website without affecting their top ranks or other risks.
Mueller simply told the person to follow the usual website move guidelines from Google. They will find all the essential information outlined in their guide. He also told the person to follow all the URLs that they had in their previous site version. Since the person is moving within the same domain and wants to change into a different subdomain, Mueller said the process should be smooth and unproblematic.
If the person sets up the redirects properly and does not block things in any specific way, the process would take a week or two. Even medium-sized websites moving to a different subdomain should be easy. But if one is moving to a different domain, then the process would get more complicated. Splitting and merging websites could also be too challenging.
Mueller reassured the person that moving their website should go well. And if it takes longer than usual, the users will most likely fail to notice anything; they would only click on the old link and be redirected to the new content page.
Website Changes Should Make Things Better
Mueller also discussed making significant changes to websites. He pointed out that site owners should make changes to their sites because they want to improve their website SEO in some way. For instance, they might want the site speed to improve or provide a better user experience so their readers can easily navigate and find content.
He said that making changes to a website often involves a lot of work, especially if it is a site move. Therefore, Mueller reminded the person to consider their goals in moving their site to a different subdomain. He asked them to think about the kind of problem they were trying to fix.
According to Mueller, many site owners spend time and effort doing all of these site changes, but in the end, nothing improves. If nothing changes, there is really no good reason to make the change; it is counterproductive.
Mueller guessed what the person was trying to fix by conducting a site move. He imagined that there could be situations where the SEO has a CDN where they need to make the site move to acquire a separate hostname. But if there is no strong technical reason to do it, Mueller recommends keeping the site as-is.
Major Website Changes Be Considered Improvements
Mueller answered the person’s questions directly at first. Afterwards, he addressed a bigger issue by taking a step back and looking at the vast forest before him instead of focusing on a single tree. Mueller’s insights serve as good advice to all the site owners and publishers who want to implement unnecessary website changes. If implementing the changes on a website is valid, then one should proceed with it.
But how can SEOs and site owners know if they need to update their website? Here are some of the top things that can be improved upon.
- 1. Mobile-friendly web design
- Having a responsive, mobile-friendly website affects the other factors that boost SEO. For instance, Google favours sites that look good on smaller screens. The search engine company began indexing sites for their mobile version instead of their desktop version. Moreover, 50 per cent of site traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, having a mobile-friendly site pleases both Google and the users.
- 2. Visual appearance
- A website should look appealing to the audience. Site visitors should see clear content images, appealing colours, open or flat elements, and so on. A site page should look professional with useful information relevant to the user’s query as their opinion about the site design reflects how they view the company. It’s the same with outdated or poorly designed websites.
- 3. Easy navigation and great content
- Site visitors should be able to find the information they are looking for with ease. If the website makes a good impression, visitors will remember the brand, as well as its products and services. One should consider implementing mega menus, site search features, and deep footers.
- 4. Page speed
- Bounce rates will increase by 50 per cent if the website takes 3 seconds or longer to load. Slow sites could hurt traffic and conversions. If a website has poor page speed, the site owner should update their website.
- They could optimise and minimise CSS or remove unnecessary plug-ins to reduce page load time. One’s chosen website hosting company and hosting plan can also affect loading speed.
- 5. SEO
- Although content relevance has the greatest influence on SEO, one should never forget the impact of page design. Publishers and site owners could choose from the many page designs and element orders to positively impact their SEO, including styled text instead of graphics and alt tags for images. If a website lacks metadata and alt tags, then the site owner should implement a site change.
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