Do you need an SEO Consultant for Website Changes?

By Angeline Bautista

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a daunting task. As an SEO consultant, I often encounter a wide spectrum of questions that not only offer insight into the general understanding of SEO but also present an opportunity to guide and educate clients on the impact of website changes on search visibility. Unfortunately, a common oversight occurs when significant site modifications are made without consulting an SEO expert, potentially jeopardizing the site’s performance and missing key optimization opportunities.

The Importance of SEO in Web Development

A collaborative approach involving SEO specialists, marketers, developers, and other stakeholders is crucial to ensure that website development aligns with SEO best practices. Such collaboration is vital in navigating the complexities of search algorithms and optimizing site visibility.

Maximizing the Value of SEO Consultation

Consulting an SEO expert is not just a matter of expenditure but a strategic investment in the success of your website. This article aims to highlight the critical moments when the expertise of an SEO consultant becomes invaluable, ensuring effective communication and integration of SEO strategies in the decision-making process.

Key Areas Impacting SEO

SEO success is driven by a mix of on-page and off-page factors, ranging from content relevance and site architecture to backlinks and social signals. Understanding these elements is fundamental to leveraging your website as the core of your brand’s online presence, ensuring discoverability and engagement along the customer journey.

When to Engage with an SEO Expert

URL Changes, Redirects, and Removals

SEO consultants and developers play complementary roles in website modifications. Changes in URL structures, without proper redirects, can lead to loss of page authority and poor user experience. SEO experts can provide redirect mapping and insights to preserve “SEO Value.”

Schema Markup Optimization

Schema markup enhances search visibility through rich snippets but requires precise implementation. An SEO’s input on the most appropriate schema for each page can avoid penalties and maximize the benefits of rich results.

Analytics Adjustments

Modifications in analytics or Google Tag Manager (GTM) setups require a careful approach to preserve data integrity and accuracy. SEO professionals can offer insights on the implications of these changes, ensuring that data continues to drive informed decisions.

Modifying Content on Optimized Pages

Content updates are essential for keeping your website fresh and relevant. However, adjustments to highly optimized pages require a delicate balance to avoid impacting their search performance negatively. Consulting an SEO can ensure that updates enhance rather than hinder your site’s visibility.

Site Migrations

Migrations, whether for site, platform, or hosting changes, are complex processes that benefit significantly from SEO expertise. An SEO consultant ensures a seamless transition, preserving the site’s search visibility and authority.

Multilingual Implementations

Expanding into new markets often necessitates translating your site into multiple languages, introducing technical challenges that intersect with SEO. Proper implementation of HREFLANG tags and avoiding duplicate content are areas where SEO consultants provide invaluable guidance.

Removing SEO Plugins

SEO plugins manage critical metadata and structured data, essential for search visibility. Before removing or significantly altering these plugins, consult with an SEO to mitigate potential losses in metadata, which could impact search rankings.

Adjustments to Canonical Tags

Canonical tags help avoid content duplication issues but can lead to problems if not handled correctly. SEO expertise is crucial in making changes to these tags, ensuring the correct page version is indexed and ranked.

Robots.txt and Sitemap Modifications

Changes to robots.txt or the sitemap can significantly affect a website’s search visibility. SEO consultants can guide these modifications, ensuring that search engines correctly index and rank your content.

Effects of not consulting an SEO for Website Changes

  • Loss of Page Authority: Without proper redirects following URL changes, the authority accumulated by the original page through backlinks and organic traffic won’t transfer to the new page, diminishing its search engine rankings.
  • Poor User Experience: Failing to update internal links after URL changes can lead to 404 errors, negatively affecting site usability and potentially harming search engine rankings.
  • Decrease in Organic Traffic: Incorrectly handling URL changes without appropriate redirects may cause users to be unable to find the page they’re looking for, signaling to search engines a potential loss of relevance.
  • Redirect Chains: Implementing redirects without careful planning can result in chains (redirects leading to other redirects), which slow down page loading times, dilute link equity, and degrade user experience.
  • Weakened Internal Link Structure: Removing or altering URLs that play a key role in the website’s navigation can disrupt the flow of page authority across the site, leading to decreased rankings and loss of traffic.
  • Shift in Content Relevance: Modifying the content of optimized pages without considering SEO implications may shift the page’s relevance away from targeted keywords, potentially affecting its rankings and visibility for those terms.
  • Loss of Featured Snippets: Changes to content that currently earns a featured snippet could result in losing this advantageous position in search results, directly affecting click-through rates.
  • Downtime During Site Migrations: Site migrations without SEO oversight can lead to prolonged downtime, which may cause search engines to temporarily de-index pages, leading to a drop in rankings and visibility.
  • SEO Element Loss During Platform Changes: Transitioning to a new CMS or platform without considering SEO can result in the loss of critical on-page elements (like meta tags and structured data), negatively impacting search rankings.
  • Incorrect HREFLANG Implementation: When expanding internationally, improper implementation of hreflang tags can lead to issues like serving content in the wrong language to users, affecting user experience and site performance in global search results.
  • Duplicate Content Issues: Without proper canonical tags and hreflang tags, search engines might treat translated or similar pages as duplicate content, diluting SEO efforts across multiple versions of the site.
  • Loss of Metadata with SEO Plugin Removal: Removing SEO plugins without a backup plan can lead to the loss of essential metadata like title tags and meta descriptions, which are crucial for search engine visibility.
  • Inaccurate Data Tracking: Changes to analytics or GTM without consulting SEO can lead to loss of tracking for key metrics, affecting the ability to measure and optimize organic search performance effectively.
  • Misconfigured Robots.txt or Sitemap Files: Incorrect adjustments to robots.txt or sitemap files can lead search engines to either overlook important content or waste crawl budget on unimportant pages, hindering the site’s overall SEO performance.


The role of an SEO consultant is not just to troubleshoot or optimize after changes have been made but to be an integral part of the decision-making process, ensuring that every step taken enhances the site’s visibility and performance. Effective collaboration and strategic consultation are key to navigating changes and maximizing the potential of your website.

Got questions? Let’s talk!

About the Author

Angeline is the Head of SEO at FortifySEO. Her non-traditional path has seen her being a Flight Attendant for 4 years before exploring the world of Digital Marketing.

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