At one point or another, your business will call for a website redesign. Whether you will want to redesign because you want to change the way your business is perceived or because you want a newer and fresher look, they say that in the professional world, change is inevitable.
Remember, search engine optimization (SEO) is responsible for driving traffic which results in significant business revenue. Therefore, if you do not redesign your website in the right way, then you may lose valuable rankings. But you don’t have to! Here are 4 steps that will help you redesign your website while keeping SEO:
- Step #1: Maintain your 301 redirects and your URL structure
Have you ever clicked on a website link only to be redirected to a different page? Well, redirects have proven to be an invaluable tool when it comes to redesigning your website and keeping SEO. This is because 301 redirects inform search engines that the content has moved to a new location.
Therefore, search engines will not only know of the migration but also understand that the new pages carry the same content. Thus, it is safe to assign an existing SEO rank to a new page. The significance of setting up a 301 redirect for every page of your old website is that it prevents your visitors from running into broken links.
However, you should not set up a general redirect that will funnel the old pages of your website into your new or redesigned site. If anything, these alarm search engines. Also, it is important to maintain your URL structure during the redesign process.
Do whatever you must to keep your URL structure the same as this will score you huge SEO points. Worry not! You do not have to do the leg work! By choosing a web design agency, you will keep your site visitors happy as well as maintain your original search engine ranking.
- Step #2: Focus on the page titles and meta-descriptions
This is just as important as redesigning the website in itself. A majority of website owners often fail in migrating their meta-descriptions and title tags to their newly redesigned site.
Now, you can successfully complete every step of redesigning your website, but if you forgo the keywords and title tags that were attracting valuable traffic to your website then you will not keep SEO.
And as rankings are precious, it is important to get the right words indexed so that your refurbished site could maintain its ranking. You can do this by ensuring that all the pages on your new website have page titles and Meta descriptions.
This is as easy as transferring important keywords from your old website. However, it is important to ensure that your titles and descriptions are up to par. You can only redesign your website while keeping SEO if (and only if!) you choose tiles and descriptions that are relevant, unique, and descriptive.
- Step #3: Don’t rush to change your domain name, there is a transition period
If you are redesigning your website and decide to change your domain name, do not do it immediately.
Certainly, you may be excited to put up a new domain name that will embody your brand and all that it represents but Google recommends that you keep your old domain name for at least 180 days.
This is considered a “transition period”. During this period, Google’s bots are able to crawl and successfully index all of your new pages. This will allow you to maintain your SEO ranking.
- Step #4: Conduct a professional SEO audit
An SEO audit will enable you to identify your website’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential for long-term success. During your website redesign process, it is important to have professional auditors to check that you are following SEO rules and regulations, every step of the way.
This is a no-brainer because experts are able to go over your redesigned site with a fine-tooth comb and identify all areas where SEO is lacking and how it can be improved. But do not use free SEO checkers to do this.
Instead, choosing a web design agency that is qualified in all things SEO will ensure that your SEO audit is done the right way. Granted, there are costs involved. But if you rely on organic traffic as a revenue stream then it may be more expensive if your redesign site launches without proper SEO care.
There you go! 4 steps that will lead you to website redesign and SEO success! Make a point in following all these steps to the latter and you will end up with an SEO-friendly, shiny, new website.