A website redesign can be an exciting time in the life of your business. It means a renewed and sharper look at your online branding strategy, and this can often work wonders in helping you adapt to the present and prepare for the future.
However, it’s true that sometimes, when we change things, there are downstream consequences of our actions. For instance, it may be that you’re redesigning your website to make your utilities easier to read and see, and to steward longer visitor times. You may also be trying to increase your engagement, including your landing page conversion rates.
For this reason – you need to make good use of SEO.
Search engine optimization is a means by which to ensure your content is preferably rated, or at least not penalized, by Google’s search ranking algorithm. In short, this means those in your local environment are more likely to find you when searching for your terms.
Let’s consider how you can avoid being penalized despite your redesign.
Keep It Professional & Stick To Best Principles
There are no ways to ‘cheat the algorithm’ when it comes to SEO. It may seem that genius moves like implementing hidden keywords on the page can help you raise your search ranking, but the algorithm actively discriminates against that kind behavior.
Sticking to your best principles, making sure your UI is clean and easy to load, and that your reference content is informative, worthwhile, relevant, and also solves a problem can help. You can use a professional SEO company to help audit your best practice going forward.
Don’t Work On A Live Website
When making the changes to your web platform and testing the website, make sure this is taking place on a separate domain name and keep it offline for the time being. This can help you avoid not only confusing your customers and current users, but it prevents your website from continually being re-ranked and re-assessed for its SEO placement.
Keep Your Page Listings
It’s important to make sure the permalinks remain live and that they reference the correct material despite your web redesign. Of course, this step assumes you’re hoping to retain the content from before, only after a new web design. This means making sure your images are easily loadable, or that 301 redirects are in place to make sure search engines can relink to existing content.
Not only does this help you avoid losing out on essential SEO practices, but it also makes certain that your customers and users are still able to utilize the website they are familiar with, and that their possible bookmarks are still valid.
Change Backlinks If Possible
Not all past backlinks are easy to source, but if you contact the owners of those pages and ask for a relink, sometimes they may oblige. This can help you avoid losing out on your backlinking status, which can help in the long run. We’d also recommend that you use a worthwhile SEO company to help re-establish this backlinking framework regardless, as they will be able to more readily ensure your content is being ranked as ideally as possible.
Make Changes Before Going Live & Publishing
It’s essential that you pay attention to the details before you publish your website redesign and go live once again. This involves correcting spelling mistakes, making sure that your product pages are all functional, that your images are compressed well enough for easy loading, and that your outbound links are correctly placed.
From here you can make sure that the FETCH AS GOOGLE and FETCH AND RENDER utilities are used as part of the Google Webmaster tool – ensuring your website can be properly read by the search engine.
Take Metrics To Heart
It’s important to keep watch over your visiting metrics after the redesign goes live. If your time per visit decreases or a landing page isn’t being visited, or it’s been the 180 recommended days by which you have kept your 301 redirects and you see no differentiation in visitation, it could be that there may be a problem or something has contributed to your lack of progress.
Using an SEO professional to help map these considerations can help dispel you of any worrying notions, while better understanding how to curate an optimal forward strategy. However, if you’ve performed well, odds are that after a patient period, your website redesign will be bringing in new and sustained traffic. Be sure to ask your most loyal users for feedback for further insight.
With this advice, we hope you can redesign your website without losing SEO.