To make the most of redesigning your website to not only preserve your SEO efforts but also to grab the new options that are available with relaunching a website. A new website should provide you an opportunity to enhance SEO, digital marketing and conversion rates.
But unfortunately, it can turn out to be a dangerous one if the right steps are not taken. You need to ensure an effortless transition from an old site to a new one. Else you can damage by mistake the SEO image which your website has created over the years.
In this post, I will guide you on the stuff you need to look through during redesigning a website. This will ensure you retain and improve your current SEO rankings & traffic.
SEO and Website Redesigns
There are three components to maintain your rankings and organizing the traffic for redesigning:
- Understand what is currently required with your SEO.
- Gain knowledge of familiar issues that generates with a redesign.
- Planning stating of what changes are required on the new website.
You also need to know your SEO limitations as this would help you in identifying the points where necessary improvements are required on the new site.
1. What is Currently Required
If you run SEO campaigns you must have a good knowledge of what is functioning at present such as keywords and topics that are necessary for ranking, pages that bring good traffic and the list goes on.
By doing this you will understand what part of the work is intelligence and what is necessary to feed into the new site’s thought process.
2. Familiar Issues
There are several reasons for redesigning a site. This can be as much as doing with branding & technology and can easily be dealt with traffic and lead generation. Certain things which may go wrong while redesigning are stated as follows:
- Removal of content
- Changing of content
- Movement of content within the site’s hierarchy
- URL changes
- Changes related to page-level optimization
- Addition of new content
- Addition of new sections to the website
- Using new technology or features
- Introduction of new technical issues
- Change-related to internal link structure
- Changes related to the domain name
- Changes in regards to a subdomain
- The protocol might also change
Any of the above issues can cause damage to your existing site ranking & organic traffic. And if there is more than one issue like changing content or moving to a new URL, it becomes difficult to identify the root cause of the problem.
If you change the domain name as well as redesign it then this will turn out to be problematic. As we increase the number of variables here, the tougher the diagnose for these issues will be if they generate.
3. What Changes are Required with the Redesign?
You should have the knowledge of what is good and bad for the new site. The two main goals which would definitely improve your homepage redesign are as follows:
- Preserve the present traffic and rankings.
- Improve the traffic and rankings
You will definitely have a complete blueprint for the new website that you can utilize to compare against the current site and generate mappings for the URL moves.
Few Best Ways for a Worry-free Redesign
If you pre-plan, you can avoid SEO mishaps and maintain visibility during your homepage redesign. The below -mentioned checklist will guide you in redesigning your website and ensure you to preserve your valuable rankings when you launch your new website.
Try to Keep the Existing Below-mentioned Site Live
If you feel like keeping the existing site live you need to make sure it is not accessed by a crawler on a temporary web address. HTTP authentication is good but it is also good at times to refer to the old site when you come across a barrier. You will definitely find it on the web archive but it is always better to have the real thing.
Save the Crawl Data
Reserve an old site’s crawl, even though you have it on a temporary URL. the best one is Screaming Frog for this, and again if you want to do any type of analysis you can easily download the old site crawl.
Do not Solve Anything That is Unbroken
Wherever possible try to keep the things same especially URLs. If you keep the URLs structure & name of the pages the same, there are fewer chances of error to occur. If you wish to make any changes then make sure it is done for good and not just for the heck of it.
Your first priority should be to redirect the old URLs to the new ones. Try keeping the content on the same URLs while redesigning your homepage. For example, to keep the same permalink structure, A WordPress redesign would help.
If this is not desirable then you will require a spreadsheet of all the old and new websites in order to apply and test your 301 redirects. Also when the new site is functioning you will have an urge to crawl the old URLs list so as to confirm 301 redirects everything correctly.
Always aim in keeping the old content same if it functioning well without bringing many alterations to it. Although you will have sufficient opportunities to tweak in the new content.
As you crawl your old site it will permit you to export all the essential key on-page materials such as page titles, headers, meta descriptions, and so on. Try to keep these same and for sure you can make any improvements.
Review the sites with best backlinks that send traffic in analytics in the link index tools. From the list, webmasters can easily update them wheresoever necessary. Updated backlinks will help to get your new site ranked and indexed faster.
Thus from this post, you can easily make out how important it is to redesign your old website for ranking and indexation. It will enhance your SEO & conversion rates. However, websites requiring strong search traffic should undertake this with care for preserving SEO. following the practices above you can see positive improvements.