Redesigning a website is a nerve-wracking experience for many website owners. It is because they don’t want to lose their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking. As you know, SEO makes your rankings strong, helps inflow more organic traffic and growth in the revenue
But for your prospective leads, the first impression will be based on the look and feel of your website, i.e., user experience (UX) design. Some compelling reasons as to why you must consider a website redesign could be:
- Changing face of the internet
- Rebranding your business
- Include a better content strategy
- Making the website mobile friendly
- Built on outdated technology
- Your competitors have adapted to change
The good news is that better UX design has augmenting effects on SEO.
Now you can redesign websites without losing SEO! Continue reading and learn all about it here.
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How Should You Redesign a Website Without Losing SEO?
To improve the functionality and experience of your site for valuable users, you must update your old website. It will make your business website look aesthetic and up to date, which can make your essential visitors happier too.
Therefore, you can drive more leads, and there will be growth in your business. Here is a quick rundown of the steps that will help you in the redesigning of the website without losing SEO:
1. Take Inventory of Your Pages
Here are some of the things that you should know while taking inventory of your pages:
- Number of pages your website has
- Number of links present on your website
- Videos, images, and other documents available on your site
- Number of content levels does the website have
For ease of use, here is a list of tools that will surely help you to collect your essential website pages while redesigning the old ones:
- Use a crawler
- Use your sitemap
- Choose Google’s index of your site
- Use Google Search Console
2. Use a Test Site
After an inventory of the old website, the next step is to redesign a new version of your business website.
When you are remaking the website and don’t want to lose SEO, it is best to use a test site. A test site is nothing but a staging site or a dev site. It is just a different development environment for you.
The main reason for using a test site is to avoid search engines crawling and indexing an incomplete version of your new website. Furthermore, it would not be best to allow the users to see web pages in the middle of being overhauled. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you prevent the test site from being indexed.
3. Audit Your Redesigned Site
You need to map out the new design features in your old business website without introducing any SEO issues.
You can do it by updating branding color schemes and spacing between HTML elements. Also, you may want to do a complete website redesign SEO audit.
But remember, a simple rewrite can cause a significant change, leading to the loss of SEO. Therefore, you need to be careful while making any change in the content.
4. Set Up 301 Redirects
A 301 redirect will help you in forwarding an old URL to a new URL of your choosing.
Redesigning websites can be more complex for maintaining your SEO if you don’t redirect old pages to newer pages. The primary purpose of using a 301 redirect is to tell search engines that this is a permanent change. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that nothing is lost, and hence you can’t skip this step.
Your main motive should be that visitors don’t experience the 404 error when clicking your website links.
5. Activate Redesigned Site
Once you are done with your redesigning website work for users to see, it is time to activate your better and new website.
Typically, developers will be the ones who will upload your new website, but you need to double-check it’s working. It would be better if you were sure that your new website was not disappearing from search results.
Be sure that your tracking codes are set up and collecting data such as Google Analytics, heat-mapping, social media pixels, etc. The best time to upload a new website is when you expect there will be less traffic.
6. Verify Robots Information
The robots.txt file includes an explicit link to the redesigned website’s sitemap.
You make crawling and indexing as easy as possible for search engines when you have a new sitemap in the robots.txt file. Therefore, be sure that you’re not unintentionally preventing essential pages from being indexed.
If there are specific landing pages that you do want to keep from being indexed, check those items as soon as possible.
7. Set Up Search Console
Submit your XML sitemap and sitemap URL to the Search Console.
By submitting, you are automatically guaranteed SEO rankings for the website. Setting up the search console will help the search engines to index your redesigned website quickly and effectively.
8. Monitor SEO Performance Changes
When your new website is uploaded, all you need to do is monitor the incoming data about rankings, conversions, and performance.
While watching, you may find some massive fluctuations in the first few days after activation. It means there may be a significant drop or an enormous increase. It will take a few weeks for the ranking to stabilize. Changing the website won’t immediately improve any of your SEO results. Therefore, you must keep patience.
If things are not going well for too long, you need to start thinking about implementing the corrective measures. Usually, changing the existing content dramatically or not following the right SEO and web design strategies causes considerable negative changes. Therefore, it is vital to use corrective actions to have positive impacts on redesigning websites.
Websites play an essential role in attracting customers. Weighing User Experience vs SEO is purely a management’s decision.
Even if your old website is performing exceedingly well on SEO but lags behind UX design, you must still consider redesigning your website because;
- Mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a task if the website isn’t optimized for mobile.
- If a website needs more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of the people leave the website.
- Every $1 invested in UX results in a return of $100 (ROI = 9,900%).
While redesigning the website, you will encounter different problems including communication, missing metadata, failure to implement redirects, missing content.
In that case, an experienced digital agency like ColorWhistle can help you in more than one way: provide one-to-one consultancy as well as implement the website redesign strategy for you.
Call us at +91-944-278-9110 or give us a line. We are happy to assist you.