23 May 10 Steps to Keep and Improve SEO During a Website Redesign
Your website is an ongoing project. From time to time, you will find yourself in need of a total website redesign.
There are many reasons you may decide to opt for a website redesign, a few of which include bringing more organic traffic to your website, potentially increasing SEO, updating your brand identity, incorporating new aesthetics, adapting responsive technology, etc. A well-executed website redesign will maintain your current website traffic and a successful one will eventually grow your SEO.
There are steps that should be taken to ensure a smooth transition while redesigning a website. A poorly executed website redesign can have a catastrophic impact on SEO and can cause severe long-term issues.
Below you will find 10 ways to improve SEO with a successful website redesign to ensure a smooth transition that will eventually boost SEO and organic website traffic.
1. Define clear and concise goals.
Why do you want to redesign your website? What are things on your current site that work well for your SEO? What are issues you consistently have on your current site? How does your current website perform? Having a well thought-out direction for your website redesign will help map out and plan for success with your new website.
2. Benchmark current metrics.
It is important to know your current website’s analytics and metrics so you have something to compare your website redesign to when it launches. You will not know if your website redesign SEO is improving or if there is an issue with your new website if you do not have any measurables to compare.
3. Run a crawl on your current website.
Running a crawl on your current website will map out your site architecture for you. A crawl will find all of the pages and give you all of the structure, metadata, and URL’s on your website. Being knowledgeable about your site architecture will help you identify what you need to change and will help guide you through the redesigning process.
4. Audit your current site.
Running audits on your current website will help you pinpoint current issues. Make sure all of your URL’s are working properly, your page pixels are appropriate, all of your pages are complete, there are no broken links, and you do not have duplicates of pages, tags, or meta descriptions. Auditing your current website will allow you to figure out what search engines liked and disliked about your site. It will also help you determine what content needs to be retained.
5. Reuse content.
Be sure to keep all content that will add value to your website. If you are unsure, do not delete. You want to make sure all of the important pages are transferred to your website redesign, especially pages that hold a high SEO value.
6. Block the redesign until launch.
“Noindex” the website redesign to ensure the web pages do not become indexed. If the pages become indexed before the website redesign is launched, the website content will have little to no value because it will be considered duplicate content, which will negatively affect your SEO.
7. Properly redirect your pages.
Pages that are not properly redirected end up with 404 error messages. 404 error messages will negatively impact SEO. It is very important to have redirected links working properly in the website redesign before launching the redesign. All URL’s you wish to redirect can be found in a website crawl.
8. Crawl your website redesign before launching.
Running a crawl on your website redesign allows you to compare your website redesign to your current website. It allows you to make sure you copied areas that had successful SEO and make changes to other areas listed as problem areas from your old website crawl and audit. A crawl will show you all of the pages associated with your website redesign. Running a crawl on your redesigned website will allow you to double check that all of the important content from your old website has been successfully transferred to your new redesigned website.
9. Run an audit on the redesigned website before launch.
An audit on the redesigned website will catch current issues that can impact your SEO as well as your already established reputation. The purpose for running an audit on the redesigned site is to catch any errors before the site is launched. You should make sure all of your URL’s are working properly, your page pixels are appropriate, all of your pages are complete, there are no broken links, and you do not have duplicates of pages, tags, or meta descriptions. You should also implement the findings of your old website’s audit to reflect the strong SEO points from your previous website, while staying away from findings that negatively impacted your SEO in the past.
10. Monitor the website redesign.
In the following months after your website redesign, you will want to monitor the results of your redesign. Search and watch out for errors. Correct errors quickly to prevent them from negatively impacting your SEO. Run performance metrics and compare them to the benchmarked metrics on the old website. Monitoring the website redesign will allow you to know if your redesign was successful or if you are experiencing a loss in SEO. A loss in SEO is expected in the first couple of weeks, but SEO should increase again after about 2 weeks.
A website redesign is a chance to improve your SEO. It is imperative that the website is fully functioning before the redesigned website is launched. If the website is not fully functional and is experiencing errors, you run the risk of negatively impacting your SEO, which can have dire consequences to organic traffic. SEO typically dips during a redesign. However, this can be minimized if the redesigned website is prepared properly and is fully functional.
If you still feel unequipped to handle your website redesign or SEO, contact us for a free quote.