Maintaining SEO Rankings When Redesigning a Site
So, you’re prepared to give your website a makeover? Something very cool with the most recent and best design and tech, right? Absolutely.
This is an exciting endeavor for virtually any business. A well-thought-out redesign has the potential to deliver all the ideal traffic and brand new leads, improving visitor and branding interaction with your website.
But consider this: what if you rank extremely high in search engines? Including ranking for crucial important phrases important for your industry?
So the question is, should you take the jump will it hurt your search rankings?
The answer is no, but only in the event that you do it the right way.
There is a strategy to keep your organic SEO positions when redesigning your website, but you have to design with SEO in mind. By following these measures through the redesign process, You’ll Be able to bring your Website to the contemporary age and keep your valuable traffic:
Utilize a rank checker to locate all the phrases you rank for and which pages they’re related to. Create a spreadsheet which shows the date, the phrase, the page, and the present average rank. This will permit you to check them after the website upgrade to ensure they continue to carry out the same, or when adjustments will need to be made.
- Know that Pages Bring Traffic — Assess your analytics application (or set up one now if you are not already using one) to determine which pages are getting the most organic search traffic. Make sure your new site comprises these pages. You do not wish to get rid of a page that’s performing nicely. Know the key phrases that brought traffic to the old pages and if you are using new content, make sure it is just as important as the older and, if at all possible, use the identical URL structure on your new site.
- Understand your Website Architecture — Website Architecture refers to how your site is set up, including your navigation and internal linking. When doing a site redesign there’s a good chance your URL structure will change — at least slightly — and it’s important to notify the search engines in which the previous URLs have moved. If you do not take this measure, it could absolutely destroy any SEO power you’d with the search engines. Luckily, there are several tools you can use to crawl your website to understand the current structure and how pages should be redirected or plotted.
- Examine your Inbound Links — Inbound links are still immensely important to the search engine optimization energy of a website. If your website redesign changes your URL structure, neglects to migrate important pages, or doesn’t redirect the essential pages to their new edition, your inbound link value will be lost and it is very possible that you will lose precious traffic. By conducting an inbound link evaluation, you may understand that pages are linking to you and which of the pages they are linking to.
- Create a Redirect Plan — as soon as you understand which pages are receiving the most traffic and which pages are getting the most inbound links you can create a redirect plan. Properly redirecting your older pages to their new versions with 301 redirects is the vital piece of your website migration from an SEO perspective. Utilizing 301 redirects will safely pass any PageRank from old pages to new ones and will maintain your rankings and your traffic. If your pages are not 301 redirected correctly, your site will cover it. Your Robots document tells the search engines which pages they shouldn’t index and needs to be updated to match your new website structure.
- Create a New Site Map — Along with telling the search engines which pages they need to not follow, you are going to want to inform them that pages they should follow and help them find these pages as quickly as possible. Your XML sitemap will not just that. Many CMS programs, such as WordPress, have plugins that will help you create a sitemap, but any good development company will have the ability to help with this as well.
- Set Up Webmaster Tools — After your redirect plan, setting up Webmaster Tools is the most important step. Google and Bing will even alert you when something is wrong. Webmaster tools would be the best way to observe your website before, during, and after the migration to ensure everything is going nicely.
As you can see, there are numerous things that you want to look at when going via a website redesign, and a great deal that can go wrong. But if you plan well and take the appropriate steps, you might have a powerful redesign that doesn’t negatively affect your search rankings or organic traffic.
Noble By Design is a website design and SEO Business in Reno, Nevada. If you’d like to redesign a website without losing your SEO momentum, then we’d love to talk with you about how we could help. Learn more about SEO here or Contact us here.