When a client declares, “I’m redesigning my website,” the very first thing any SEO considers is what effect this will have on all of my work.
In these situations, the client frequently waits until 2 days before launch to even take into account informing their online marketing agency about the redesign.
This guide will show you how to perform SEO audits on your test or site to make sure the URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and other elements are correct.
It also acts as a checklist for SEO aligning with 2022 web development trends, also covering issues that are frequently overlooked when a website undergoes a major redesign.
SEO’s Value in Website Redesigns
The bottom line is profit. A responsive web design service’s main motive is to do marketing investment meant to boost your revenue through higher search engine rankings and more traffic.
It’s likely that you are redesigning your website so that it will attract the target audience more. Theoretically, a more appealing website will raise profits (either through marketing or the generation of business leads) and provide a significant return on the investment.
Your website’s two primary purposes are as follows:
- Attracting your target audience
- Engaging your audience & converting them.
If you revamp your website without taking SEO into account, the first feature is neglected. A straightforward method to waste years of your previous digital marketing investment is to do this.
As a result, your company’s profit may decline, and the payback period for redesigning your website may grow noticeably longer.
How to Redesign Your Website without losing SEO?
Here’s what top web design and development companies suggest:
Make a list of all the pages on your current website.
When it comes to SEO, every page on your website is beneficial. A list of your pages can be compiled in a variety of ways:
- Use a crawler
- Make use of your sitemap
- Utilize your site’s index on Google
- Utilize the Google Search Console
Incorporate Your Redesign in a Staging Environment or Test Site
You can start designing a new version of your website now that you’ve evaluated the one you currently have.
Make your design changes in a staging site (also known as a “dev site” or “test site”) in order to maintain your SEO while redesigning your website.
To prevent search engines from crawling and indexing an unintended byproduct of your new site, you should use a separate development environment while redesigning your website. Additionally, you don’t want users to see web pages that are being updated.
Make sure you stop your test site from being indexed so neither users nor search engines can find your work in progress. This is possible by:
If you’re using WordPress, click “Prevent search engines from indexing this site.”
A “noindex” meta robots directive should be added expressly to each of your pages.
By using your robots.txt file, you can prevent any robot from crawling your website.
Check Up On Your New Website
There won’t be much new information to audit if your website redesign merely engaged in “reskinning” your current pages.
For instance, using CSS to update branding color palettes and HTML component spacing won’t typically cause any new SEO problems that will negatively affect your performance.
You should perform a thorough website redesign SEO audit if your redesign was more substantial. In a previous blog post, we provided an extensive tutorial for conducting a website SEO analysis.
This will assist you in locating flimsy or duplicate content that may unexpectedly potentially damage SEO rank.
Establish 301 Redirects
A 301 redirect moves traffic from an outdated URL to a new URL of your choice. Additionally, it communicates to search engines that this is a radical shift, which is crucial.
When you use a 301, you move the majority of the old page’s SEO value to your new one, preserving it.
Consequently, choosing the appropriate redirects is crucial for redesigning a website without losing ranking. Your prior link-building investment and the capabilities of your website will both be preserved.
Get Your Redesigned Website Activated
It’s time to initiate your design once you’ve finished your website redesign and it’s prepared for visitors to see.
Developers of top web design and development companies will generally do the bulk of the work during this stage, but you should always double check that everything is going according to plan.
For instance, do you recall how you stopped search engines from finding your website in step two? Prior to activating your redesigned website, make sure this feature has been eliminated.
A lot of times it’s seen that marketers launch new websites with “noindex” directives on each page, causing the entire site to gradually vanish from serps.
If you don’t have concrete data to support your decisions, you didn’t achieve your SEO strategy. Make sure your tracking codes are configured and gathering data. This includes heat-mapping, social media pixels, and Google Analytics.
Verify Meta Robots and Robots.txt
You can explicitly link to the sitemap of your newly designed website in your robots.txt file.
Making crawling and indexing as simple as possible for search engines requires adding your new sitemap to the robots.txt file.
Make absolutely sure you’re not unintentionally blocking important pages from being indexed, as we discussed in step five.
On the other hand, check those items right away if there are any landing pages that you DO want to prevent from being indexed. Verify that any canonical links you’ve put in place on your website for extremely similar pages are functioning as intended.
Configure Google Search Console
This simple Google guide can help you begin if you’re not acquainted with Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools).
Make sure you offer up your sitemap URL to Search Console in addition to including a link to it in your robots.txt file in step six. This makes it easier for Google to easily spot and crawl all the searchable pages on your newly designed website.
Track changes to SEO rankings
The work is finished at this point, and you are prepared to continuously keep an eye on fresh information about rankings, conversions, and overall quality.
Your marketing and executive teams must figure out how to select marketing KPIs that matter now that you have access to data.
Please remember that your SEO results might not improve right away if your website redesign SEO strategy is actually carried out. That’s okay. Maintaining the SEO value that your site had built up was your aim.
By redesigning your website without sacrificing SEO value, you improve both of its primary purposes. Your website will be more successful at drawing in prospective customers AND assisting them in becoming paying ones. Read on to learn how to do that!