Are you planning to redesign your website and give it a completely different look? Redesigning a website can be sometimes tricky, especially at those points where you run the risk of dropping your site’s traffic. Hence, this could be a seriously challenging task that most businesses face when they think of redesigning their site to give it a new touch.
Many questions simultaneously pop up in the mind of website owners when it comes to giving a new design to their website like what’s going to happen to my site’s traffic on its re-launching? What will happen with the 404 errors? How the site will perform in search engine results? What do we have to do with the current links of the absent pages?
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There are two important ideas that all website owners or designers must keep in their mind about sprucing up their sites with new looks:
While the website redesign process, it is necessary for the developers, designers, and SEO experts to interact continuously with each other. It helps the designers and developers to make the changes keeping the perspective of SEO experts that helps in maintaining and improving their site’s rank after its revamp.
Most of the time, I have come across facts that some of the world’s renowned websites and brands miss very important SEO steps in the rush of meeting the deadline. Maintaining the site’s traffic in accordance with the SEO guidelines is more important than meeting the deadline because unreasonable deadlines might affect the overall performance of the site over the search engines.
The most common reasons why we need website redesign can be any of the two reasons, which are either the website looks old enough or it does not attract significant traffic and user engagement. Hence, while revamping your website, it becomes vital to take care of a few steps to save your website from suffering huge traffic loss upon its re-launch.
Don’t pull down your old site unless it requires to be pulled down for the uploading of the new design. This impacts your current site’s traffic significantly since, most visitors stop visiting a site if they counter the website with a message, “Website under Maintenance” for several days
If you want to continue the magic of traffic on your new site, it is necessary to maintain your old site as long as the new site doesn’t go live.
If you can retain the same URL structure, you will save your new site from facing traffic loss because when you change your website’s URL structure, you lose huge traffic through inbound links. You will have to conduct an enormous 301 redirect mapping campaign to get your site’s traffic back to its normal pace. Hence, if you are thinking to alter the URL structure of your website, then you must execute the 301 redirects also to maintain your website’s traffic.
The benefits of using 301-redirect are:
Inbound links are considered important for developing an effective SEO strategy and if you are planning to change the URL of your website while its redesign process, you might face a huge risk of losing your site’s effective inbound links. Hence, it is important that you should perform a detailed inbound link analysis before proceeding with the website redesign process.
It will also help you in understanding your link profile. For doing so, you have to know about the pages that link to your website and the source from where those links are linked to your site. You can perform the inbound link analysis with various tools available online and one of them is Open Site Explorer which gives you a detailed analysis report for your inbounds link.
When you are planning for revamping your website with a new design and look, it is important to check out the existing site reporting to know about its top-performing pages, top-quality content, and referring sites. This will let you know which of your web pages are contributing the most to the traffic and user engagement on your site and which are the top landing pages of your site. You could also know which of your landing pages are getting referral traffic.
Analyzing the site’s report will help you in exporting them from your current analytics package to the new site so that you can retain and maintain your existing traffic without facing any drop.
Most of the popular search engines like Google and Bing offer webmasters tools that the webmasters can use for setting up their accounts for authenticating the possession of a website, analyzing the diagnostics of their websites, and checking click-through data and search queries related to their sites.
Having webmaster accounts will help you in receiving messages directly from the search engines if something is wrong with your website. If you are planning to move your site’s domain, you can tell it to Google using the Google Webmaster tool to reduce any effect on the current traffic of your website.
By creating accounts on the webmaster tools of Google and Bing, you can keep a check on your site before redesign as well as after redesign to ensure everything is moving smoothly.
It is important that you determine the vital keywords of your website for their appropriate implementation during a website redesign. Evaluate your existing site content to know if your targeted keywords are used properly in them and add this content to your new site to retain your site’s traffic.
Once, your website is re-launched with a new design, work on the target keyword phrases to get visitors interested in your services and products. You can improve the optimization of your website after its re-launch by developing relevant tags using the important keyword phrases of your website.
As you can perceive, there are various key topics to know while going through CMS migration or website redesign process, however, it is very adverse that still most businesses are not aware of the after-effects of website redesign and as a result, they lose their complete SEO power, natural search traffic, sales, and search engine rankings.
But if you choose to plan accordingly before the start of the redesign process, you might not lose your site’s SEO power.
Redesigning your website with affecting its SEO can be very difficult if you do not have a concrete plan on how to go ahead with the redesign process. Hence, it is advisable to have a detailed and methodical understanding of the process involved in redesigning your website before initiating the process.
Keep a track of the staging environment as well as the new production environment. Focus on eliminating the errors that you may find on the staging site before making the newly designed site live.
We hope that this article was helpful enough to guide you with the redesigning process and help you with a step-by-step procedure that you need to follow for the same.