In a recent Google office hours session, John Mueller addressed a question about the potential SEO impact of making user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) changes to a website. Mueller advises that planning in advance is crucial, as fixing problems caused by broken SEO can be time-consuming.
UI and UX are critical elements of a website, impacting user satisfaction and the ability of visitors to accomplish their goals on the site. UI elements affect how visitors interact with a website, such as navigation, input forms, and informational icons. On the other hand, UX elements encompass a broader range of considerations, including accessibility, consistency in design, mobile responsiveness, readability, site speed, and usability.
Changes to UI and UX can affect SEO ranking, from technical issues related to how Google crawls the page to on-page ranking considerations. Therefore, making sitewide changes to UI and UX, along with adding new webpages, should not be taken lightly.
Mueller highlighted the importance of a clear understanding of all changes being made to the website, recommending that all changes are mapped out in a document. It is also crucial to be aware of the potential SEO implications of these changes. Mueller suggests seeking help from experienced professionals as errors in a website revamp or migration can have significant SEO consequences.
It is advisable to create a detailed plan for the rollout of changes. Key steps to consider include crawling the website before and after changes to identify and fix any potential issues, creating multiple backups of the website, and staging the new website in a separate environment for review.
The article emphasizes the importance of staging the website, as this allows for development and quality assurance testing before changes are implemented on the live site. This helps to identify and address any issues or technical bugs before they impact the live version of the website.
Overall, the article stresses the need for careful planning and meticulous execution when making UI and UX changes to a website, particularly in relation to their potential impact on SEO. It also provides valuable resources for managing successful website migrations and avoiding common mistakes during the process.
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