SEO is crucial for the success of any website or blog. A lot of consistent efforts are put into enhancing rankings and traffic. Website redesigning is necessary at times to update the users, but it has to be implements with proper planning.
A website redesign can be disastrous if proper SEO precautionary steps are ignored. You can lose traffic and ranking, which will also impact negatively on sales conversions.
Tips to prevent SEO catastrophe while website redesigning
Purpose and optimization
Why do you plan to go for a site redesign?
It can be for improving the user experiences, SEO enhancement, new marketing initiatives, or for other business uses. Have a specific plan with an appropriate goal. Have an SEO expert in the loop while working on-site redesigning.
SEO success depends on content quality, and how well they are organized on the site, so SEO personnel must be actively involved in redesigning. It is necessary to see that pages that carry high SEO value do not get omitted, and the overall message of your site does not get diluted during redesigning.
It is crucial to maintain content relevance, which is why it is necessary to optimize specific elements on page level like, title, URL, body copy, Meta description, alt text, and more.
All the pages that get carried into the redesigned site will need 301 redirects mapped out. If ignored, you will get 404 errors, which is fine with search engines if you wish to remove the content from the index. Remember, by using 301 WordPress redirect you can transfer the link equity of old and redundant pages to new ones.
Redirects must be done properly, especially when the website is large. Fortunately, with WP 301 redirect plugin the process can be made simple and quick.
In many cases, site redesigning had failed, because redirect mapping was ignored. To avoid all these gaps and glitches after the launch, you must use the redirects and test them thoroughly.
After doing the redirect process, there will be a short-term hit, which will get resolved as soon as the users and search engines get adjusted to the changes. Your old authority and relevancy status will return!
Perform thorough quality control checks. Never rush the launch if redirects are not placed, or if on-page optimizations are not performed. Test and retest the site before you go live. A slight delay is fine, than trying to undo the loss of traffic and ranking later on. You may even need to roll back or reset WordPress if he redesigning task is not planned and implemented properly.
After the launch
- Check redirects, and also identify stray 404s. Don’t forget to fix them quickly.
- If there are plenty of dynamic contents on your site, then you might miss out on detecting issues during migration, so a live audit can help to detect and fix them.
- Validate every page performance, because there will be glitches that couldn’t have been identified before the staging phase.
- After you feel satisfied with the live site performance, submit an XML sitemap to Google.
SEO is an ongoing task, which is why you will need to monitor your redesigned website regularly!