Redesigning a website is essential to a growing business. A website redesign aims to increase revenue through traffic and rankings. It also offers multiple end-user benefits, better-performing SEO, and a more responsive website.
In order to climb up in SERPs for organic lead generation, you should give SEO special consideration while redesigning your website. You might change your domain, sub-domains, or URL structure during a complete website revamp. You might also remove or update existing sections of your website. SEO should be taken into account throughout these steps to ensure that existing traffic is not affected.
To help you make sure that you receive all the benefits of a website redesign while avoiding its drawbacks, we have compiled the following checklist.
1. Analyze your website
Before taking up a website redesign, you should conduct a thorough performance analysis of on-page and off-page SEO. The website assessment should ideally incorporate a look at your rankings for high-performing keywords, bounce rate, time on site, domain authority, time on site, lead form submissions, amount of unique visitors, and the total amount of sales generated. Off-page SEO performance takes precedence over on-page SEO due to its direct impact on your domain authority. You should analyze the quality of your backlinks and omit the low-quality ones in the redesigned website.
2. Take inventory of all pages
An integral part of the website assessment is undertaking a content gap analysis of the old sitemap v/s the new sitemap to find gaps in your website’s content sets and avoid them in the website redesign.
Identifying and protecting the web pages with the most traffic during a website redesign is necessary. Making significant changes to these web pages can dent your SEO optimization and hurt your page ranking.
3. Determine SEO goals
After gaining an insight into the search engine rankings and traffic you need to retain through your initial assessment, define your SEO goals. Is your focus on increasing organic traffic to your website? Do you plan on increasing your keyword rankings? Align your website redesign with your SEO goals, and take action accordingly.
4. Implement redesign on a test site
Pre-define your goals in mind before you commence with your website redesign. Maintaining your existing SEO should be a priority during a redesign. For this, carry out your design changes in a testing environment. The main benefits of using a testing environment are to avoid indexing an incomplete website on search engines and to prevent users from looking at an unfinished website.
5. Set up 301 redirects
While assessing the content on your website, you’ll shine a light on some low-value pages that are bringing in low to zero traffic. These redundant pages should either be removed or redirected. Pages with no backlinks and unsatisfactory performance should be removed, while those with at least one backlink should be redirected. If you revise your URL structure, you also need to set up redirects.
Redirects ensure that visitors or search engine crawlers end up on your website’s existing content. Setting up 301 redirects is crucial for retaining existing website traffic and rankings.
6. Audit the new website
A complete website SEO redesign audit helps you identify thin or duplicate content that can negatively impact your website ranking. Most issues identified during this stage occur due to combining pages, changing URLs, or eliminating pages. With a thorough audit, you can set up the necessary redirects, which will help you to avoid losing SEO value during the redesign.
7. Activate redesigned website
After completing the redesign in a testing environment and preparing it for deployment, you should initiate the activation of your redesigned website. At this stage, developers are heavily involved, but you have to make sure the execution of the plan is on track. Make sure that the “noindex” directives implemented during the trial stage, which prevent your website from being crawled by search engines, are removed. Ensure that all tracking codes are implemented and running.
8. Optimize page speed
A majority of online consumers expect a website to load in under 2 seconds. In addition to improving the user experience, a quicker loading time makes your website rank higher on search engines.
Consider optimizing your site's page load time by compressing your files, using a content distribution network (CDN), minifying your code, and using a caching plugin.
9. Monitor SEO ranking changes
At this stage, the website is live, and you’re already monitoring new data about conversions and rankings. A successful website redesign does not instantly improve your SEO efforts. Be patient and realistic about your results. Maintaining the existing SEO value of your website is also a benchmark for a successful website redesign.
A website redesign is a beneficial process for a flourishing business. However, a website redesign without a blueprint can diminish your SEO efforts. At Amura Marketing Technologies, we have an experienced team that can take businesses by hand and leads them through a streamlined, constructive, and effective website redesign process. By leveraging our expertise, we redesign your website to provide a better customer experience while having a positive impact on your SEO.