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The SEO Impact of a Poor Homepage Copy and Navigation Redesign

There are 1.11 billion websites currently on the internet. So how can you stand out amongst the crowd?

While there are plenty of technical search engine optimization (SEO) aspects involved in website visibility, one often overlooked aspect is homepage copy and navigation. The copy that you present to visitors, as well as how you present it, can have a direct impact on search engine results page rankings (SERPs).

In this post, I’ll highlight the ramifications of not following SEO best practices when redesigning homepage copy and navigation. I’ll review an NP Digital client case study that shows why following the data is always a good idea.

Let’s jump in!

What Makes Poor Homepage Copy and Navigation?

When it comes to evaluating the quality of your homepage copy and navigation, there are three elements to take into account:

Search engine optimization. A homepage that has not been optimized for SEO will perform poorly on SERPs.

User experience. A homepage that doesn’t take user experience into account (e.g. intrusive popups, low-quality copy) will suffer from high exit rates and low engagement.

Accessibility. A homepage that doesn’t follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will make it difficult for all users to navigate the website effectively. This can directly affect user experience while also impacting SEO.Poor homepage copy and navigation is anything that misses out on one or more of the above three elements.

How NPD Helped a Client with Their Poor Homepage Copy

NP Digital is my digital marketing agency. My team and I work with clients worldwide to help them uncover their full potential and accelerate their growth.

As part of our work, NP Digital consults with businesses when they want to make big changes to their strategy.

One of our clients recently embarked on such a change.

Our client informed our team that they were about to embark on a homepage copy and navigation redesign. They told us that this change would take place in early February of 2023, and they asked us to do an analysis to determine the prospective impact of the homepage redesign.

We provided data to support that their homepage keyword rankings were moving in the right direction and that they needed to proceed with caution and a strong SEO strategy. However, our client forged ahead and completed the homepage copy and navigation changes in February.

We leveraged Google Search Console and Semrush to analyze the lead up to the homepage redesign and what happened afterwards. Our findings show the impact of not following SEO best practices when redesigning homepage copy and navigation so you can learn from our client’s mistakes.

How NPD Explained the Homepage Redesign Impact

We looked at pre-redesign and post-redesign metrics to determine what impact, if any, our client’s homepage redesign had on SEO and user engagement.Pre-Redesign

Prior to the redesign, our goal was to determine whether the current homepage rankings were trending in the right direction. From August 2022 to January 2023, the number of homepage keywords in position one through three on SERPs increased from 154 to 205. The total number of ranking keywords in positions one through 20 increased from 685 to 880.

Of course, we know that rankings translate to clicks and impressions. So how was the client performing prior to the redesign?

These are the Google Search Console results for non-branded queries for clicks from August 2022 through January 2023:You can see that coming out of August, our client was in a seasonal lull. However, clicks started to steadily increase in the month of January.

This is what we would expect to see considering the marked increase in keywords in the top three positions from August 2022 through January 2023.

We see a similar, but even more prominent increase, when looking at impressions of those same non-branded queries from August 2022 through January 2023:

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