Redesigning or revamping a website takes a lot of planning and hard work. It can also be disastrous if we don’t take the proper SEO precautions. We all know the incredible importance of organic search. Less traffic and drop in ranking means, you’ll see fewer leads and less sales.
When we create a website and do Search Engine Optimization, we create a structure for the website, which makes it easy for search engines to crawl to the pages easily. Website URL is basically the architecture of a website. One of the biggest misconceptions among website owners is that SEO only needs to be done once. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Website redesign means changes in code and pages. If they are not properly handled, it can negatively impact the website’s SEO and affect the long-term growth of the site. If done correctly, however, redesigning a website can also increase your SEO strength.
Then, how do we redesign a website without affecting SEO?
- Take a note of all the pages from the old website – Listing down the URLs will give us clarity on the URL structure of the old website.
- Use temporary URLs for redesigning – Do the redesign with a temporary URL. Copy the old site and set it up in temporary URL and then make changes to it.
If you require any help with redesigning a website, please contact us.
- Once done, new pages and new URLs you can optimize for SEO.
- Test the new site for broken links and other features.
- Do 301 redirects – This step is very important, and you should do it no matter what.
How to do 301 redirects between old and new URLs. For example, if you have an “About Us” page on the old website, and its URL was “www.yourwebsite.com/aboutus.html.”
If during the redesign, you changed the URL to “www.yourwebsite.com/about-us.html” – it is better to implement proper 301 redirects to ensure that both URLs work and you don’t lose SEO benefits gained from your previous URL.
If you don’t do it correctly, the search engine will get 404 web pages not found. By doing 301 redirects, the old URL will be redirected to the new one. This is the technical way to tell the search engine that the URL has been changed.
If you have a WordPress website, you can make use of redirect plugins available.
- Once everything is done, your new site can go live.
- Run google webmaster tools.
This will help you in ensuring that whatever we have done till now has been successful so far. Check for broken links, 404 page not found errors , crawl errors etc.
- Check verification status and re-submit – Allow search engines to index your site and crawl.
Check if the redesigned website is verified. You can do so by logging into the respective webmaster’s tool provided by Bing and Google. If it lacks verification, then redo it and claim your website.
And finally, re-submit your website URL into Google index by clicking on “submit to index” button.
- Re-submit robot.txt – robot.txt of your website may get corrupted during a website redesign or website revamp. You can check it using google webmaster tool using robot.txt under crawl. Re-submit the robot.txt if required.
- Submit sitemap – As the website has new and modified structure, submit the website XML sitemap to Google as well as Bing.
- Monitor the changes – It is important to monitor the changes and look for any potential growth. Keep a close tab on the rankings of your top keywords. There are many SEO tools available that enable you to keep track of these keywords. If there is a considerable change in your SEO, then check why this is happening and look to find a solution if your website traffic slows down quickly. It is recommended to monitor your website closely for at least two to three months.