Congratulations! You decided to redesign your website. Making this transition is much like moving and can be just as stressful. There are so many features to pack up and you don’t want to leave anything valuable behind, especially your high-ranking SEO. Read on to learn how to redesign your website without losing SEO.
How can you transition that SEO to your new website? What will happen to the SEO of your current website? What about your ranking on search engines after the website is moved or redesigned? You don’t want to lose all the hard work you’ve put into strong rankings, organic traffic, and growing revenue.
Here are some ways to plan a move, so that you maintain all the benefits of former SEO and a newly-designed website.
Get an SEO expert onboard
First of all, SEO should be part of the design or site architecture, not something that is decided at the end of everything. So before you even think of taking down your old website, make sure to have the right team in place.
Wondering what questions to ask before the move, download our free Internet Marketing Questionnaire.
Audit your current website
The current website needs to be thoroughly evaluated in the terms of SEO; that means each and every page. This analysis can throw light on many things that are working for the website and those which are not working now for the website. This can help you spot any problems areas, in addition to enabling you to see which areas must be retained. Use the analysis to implement better SEO strategies and improve your content during the redesign and moving forward.
Do your keyword research on your site. What words and phrases are used the most and which ones bring in the most traffic? Create a list of important keywords that should be included in the site. Then build them into the pages of your redesign.
Our keyword research template can help you organize your keywords as you find them — and help you turn them into a content and SEO strategies that works for your business. Get yours here:
Download ready-made template spreadsheet for Free!
Plan the migration.
Benchmark the current status of the website. The major areas to be considered important are:
- Ranking: Record the current ranking of each page and also note the list of keywords and search queries for which a page is ranking.
- Indexing: Identify the content indexed by search engines.
- Crawling: Verify blocked content with Robots.txt and 404 errors.
- Links: List the inbound internal and external links to your site pages and make a redirect plan for it.
- Traffic: Get the organic traffic information for each page and related keywords.
- Configurations: Identify the site settings, sitemaps, links, crawl stats and problems in Google Webmaster tool/ Search console.
- Prioritize: List your pages by best ranking, links, highest traffic and conversions.
- Correlate: List the prioritized pages and add their updated URL version in the new site.
Implement the migration.
- Prepare: List and Test 301 redirects.
- Verify: Following the prioritized pages list, check the redirection.
- Redirect: Implement the 301 Redirects at a page level from old links to new links.
- Index: XML Sitemap Submit to Google webmaster tool/Search console.
Monitor the migration.
After the website updates are complete, keep tracking your traffic and your site’s performance. Use the data to continually improve your SEO.
- Crawling: Crawling errors need to be checked in Google webmaster tool/Search console.
- Indexation: New pages/links should index and old site links should disappear.
- Ranking: Track it for possible new keywords.
- Traffic: Monitor organic traffic volume.
Bonus tips to redesign your website without losing SEO:
- It is recommended that if you have changed your domain name, you keep the old domain name with the 301 redirects for at least 180 days as a period of transition.
- If the traffic for your website is seasonal, it’s best to launch during a down month, so if traffic dips, it won’t hurt leads or sales as much.
Optimizing your website takes a lot of time and energy, so it’s important that you don’t let all of your efforts go to waste when it comes time to revamping the layout and design of your site. Redesign your site with a clear SEO plan. Search engines like fresh content, and therefore, freshly redesigned websites. They like it when you redesign.
Follow these steps to carefully redesign your website without losing SEO and you may see an increase in both traffic and conversions.If like to know more how we do it at ITHands, contact one of our web designers or SEO specialists today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT Hands provides quality, custom web development services to web companies and ad agencies. Our globally-dispersed team is a tight-knit community focused on delivering excellent results using agile processes. In over 16 years, more than 350 clients have been thrilled by the competency, trustworthy consultation, increased capacity and cost effectiveness we bring to every project.