Prioritising website redesign SEO is a no-brainer for digital marketing experts, strategists, and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals. On the other hand, many graphic designers, developers, and account managers may require assistance understanding the relationship between SEO and website redesigns.
Let’s explore the most beneficial tips for maintaining SEO while redesigning your website.
Importance Of SEO In Website Redesign
There are several factors to look for when redesigning your website to ensure that your rankings and SEO performance are not harmed. Follow all the steps correctly to avoid confusing search engines and reduce trust in your website.
There are numerous reasons why a website redesign is required. The most common reasons are as follows:
- You want to change the look of your website.
- You wish to rebrand.
- You switch platforms, such as Joomla or WordPress.
- You’d like to use a mobile-friendly theme.
Since one website redesign does not always imply changing your domain, we assume that you keep the same field but change how the website looks, i.e., the design, in all of the above cases.
Redesigning your website without considering SEO ignores the first function. This is a fast way to waste years of prior digital marketing investment. This can lower your company’s profit and significantly extend the payback period for your website redesign.
How To Execute Website Redesign SEO?
The site redesign SEO checklist below will assist you in navigating the redesign process without losing your hard-earned rankings in significant search engines.
1. Build A New Website On A Temporary URL?
It’s always a good idea to copy your existing website to a temporary URL, work on the new design, and then switch the domain, and everything works perfectly.
There are some technical requirements for this to work, but your hosting provider should be able to guide you through the process or even do it for you.
Making design changes on your live website is not recommended because many things can go wrong. To avoid duplicate content issues, you must ensure that Google does not index your testing website.
2. Make a list of all the pages on your OLD website.
Changing a page’s URL structure or slug is normal, but you must notify Google and other search engines of the changes.
Failure to do so will harm your rankings, reduce domain trust, and cause you to lose organic traffic.
The first step is to list all the URLs on your current website. The most accessible pathway to do this is to save your sitemap as a text file.
3. Test The New Website For Broken Links
When you’ve finished making modifications to the new website, make sure there are no broken links. You can use XENU, a free program that verifies the validity of all links.
There’s a good chance you’ll have some broken links in your CSS or java script, and while these won’t affect SEO, fixing them before you go live is preferable.
4. Switch To The New Website
This is a vital stage you have been anticipating for quite some time. Your new website is ready to go live after your hard work in designing, programming, and testing, and it’s only a click away.
It would be okay if you migrated to the new website simultaneously. The alternative would be to perform it in phases, especially for large websites, but Google recommends doing it all at once because it will speed up crawling.
5. Set Up 301 Redirects
A 301 redirect redirects an old URL to a new URL of your choosing. It also informs search engines that the change is permanent, which is required.
When you employ a 301, you move most of the SEO value associated with the old page to your new one. As a result, effective redirection is critical to the SEO of your site makeover. This will protect your website’s functionality and your past link-building expenditure.
A 301 redirect is simple to set up if you’re using WordPress. We suggest John Godley’s Redirection plugin. Download it from the plugin directory in your WordPress backend and follow the simple instructions provided by the plugin creator.
6. Make Sure To Verify New Website With Google Search Console
The first step after going online is ensuring everything is operating correctly. We recommend rechecking broken links if you missed anything during the first test.
The following step is to check your webmaster tools (both Google and Bing) to ensure that the website is still validated. If not, double-check it to see how Google and Bing index the new webpage.
7. Verify Robots.txt and Meta Robots
An explicit link to your updated website’s sitemap might be included in your robots.txt file. Your new sitemap in the robots.txt file makes crawling and indexing as simple for search engines as possible.
However, ensure that you are not mistakenly blocking essential pages from being indexed. On the other hand, tick those boxes immediately if you wish to prevent particular landing pages from being indexed. If you have canonical links for related pages on your site, ensure sure they show as expected.
8. Monitor SEO Ranking Changes
You’re prepared to constantly examine new data concerning rankings, conversions, and general success. Now that you have gained access to your data, it is up to your marketing and executive teams to understand how to choose relevant KPIs.
A well-executed website redesign SEO strategy may only gradually increase your search engine optimization rankings. That is perfectly okay! You aimed to keep the SEO value that your site has earned.
On the other hand, your rebuilt site will engage users more and result in more customer conversions if your designers and user experience (UX) team succeed. More extended stay periods and happier website visitors will gradually improve elements that directly influence your search engine results, so be patient!
Feel free to redesign your website. Your SEO will be acceptable if you follow the measures above.
On the contrary, offering a modern design that is speedier, mobile-friendly, and easy to use with less clutter would enhance your rankings and increase visitors to your website.
When it comes to SEO, a website makeover involves a lot of dangers, but it may also bring many benefits. To maximize the benefits while minimizing the threats, you’ll need a well-defined approach, which is where our website redesign search engine optimization checklist comes in.