14 Apr Great Practices Of Website Redesign For Better SEO
A company’s website is intended to showcase its image on the internet. Targeted clients or customers learn about the company through its website. So it should portray every essential detail of the company. The company usually invests a lot of money and time into developing the best possible version of their website. So launching and redesigning a website may happen multiple times.
But once the website is redesigned and launched, you need to figure out, whether it attracts an increased audience, or plays a joke on you by a sudden drop on your usual traffic.
Unfortunately, the decrease in traffic after redesigning a website is the most common issue faced by major B2B companies.
Primarily, redesigning a website is a daunting process. We need to figure out the pros and cons and equip them with all the strategies while transiting from an old website to a redesigned new website. There could be a change in your URL or new content, pages, or sections that would need to be added. The structure of internal links or changes in the protocol or domain name should be taken good care of. To maintain your existing rankings and targeted search engine traffic, several best practices could help.
Find the checklist below, that could guide you through your redesign process and help you retain your ranking and reduce SEO related issues:
- Perform a site audit:
Audit your original website and track all the SEO related issues.
- Save the old website and keep it live till complete shift:
Keeping the site live on a temporary web address and ensuring that the crawler doesn’t access it, will provide you a much clear picture with the real site on. Although you may be able to view some pages with the web archive, the old site as a whole, could be a real savior.
The crawl data could be saved using URL like Octoparse,Screaming Frog or Parser can help you analyze the old data easily.
- 301 redirects:
Once the old site is saved, redirecting the old URLs to the new one should be next on the list. When redesigning, the contents could be maintained on the same URL. Here, Word Press redesign may help you keep the structure. Otherwise, tests on all your 301 redirects are advisable. Once your new site goes live, you probably should crawl the old list of URLs, just to make sure that 301 redirects everything correctly. To add to this redirect, just ensure not to fix anything that’s not broken. Don’t attempt a change, and keep things the same, especially URLs, if not required.
You could create a custom 404 error page instead of directing the visitors to the browser’s default 404 error page. This would indicate the visitors that some server maintenance is in process.
- Content optimization or recycle your good content:
Where the content looks good and performs well, minimizing changes or rather keeping the same content could be a better idea. The minimal content could be revised or changed any day, even after the website goes live. So missing out on the essential data could be avoided by reducing heavy changes.
- Optimize on-page elements:
All the key on-page elements like page titles, headers, and footers, meta-data can be easily traced and identified by the crawling on the old site. There should be no changes in these, except the unavoidable changes.
- Update internal links and Backlinks, fix all the broken links:
Your internal links and Backlinks can help you index the new site and gain ranking quickly by attracting new traffic and maintaining the already existing ones.
Be very careful with the changes to the internal link structure. The rankings can hamper badly if all the internal links are not traced or any missed.
Analyze and locate the sites that divert the most traffic to your old site and try to reach out to those webmasters and get them updated. Avoid losing any backlink with the help of 301 in place.
- XML sitemap:
XML should be updated at the earliest. XML should align with 301s, navigation and page structures, and direct all the search engines to the new site.
- Monitor organic traffic and rankings:
Monitoring traffic at key pages is effective enough to see improvements, as tracking every possible keyword that directs traffic is highly impossible.
Monitor issues on getting back at the baseline ranking within a month, expect some fluctuation though.
- Technical site audit
Get a technical site audit tool that will give you proactive information on any technical issues.
- Use Google search console:
Search engines, like websites, keep getting better and diagnostic information directly from Google would be informative. Tracking your 301s and 404s on Google will check that all the key steps are on the path. Any overlooked issues can be located in this process.