How Can You Preserve SEO Rankings after Website Redesign: 10 Steps to Follow
If you are interested in redesigning your website, search engine optimization is one of the topmost concerns that you need to think about. Preserving the organic rankings, conserving link popularity, and recycling old content are crucial. According to www.forbes.com, the ranking factors of Google keep changing. When you are redesigning your website, you need to think of yourself as a marketing environmentalist and you need to take care of the ecosystem of the search engine rankings. To preserve your SEO rankings even when you are redesigning your website, you need to follow the steps that have been mentioned below.
Survey The Entire Landscape
Ensure that you know about the phrases that you are gaining rank for and the pages that are receiving the ranks. These phrases, as well as the rank, are going to be the benchmark that will be used for measuring your new site's health. Make use of Google analytics to discover as well as list those pages, which are receiving the maximum traffic from search engines. It is your responsibility to ensure that every page receives a new home so that the ranking can remain the same. Also, ensure that you are giving a similar environment to these pages.
It is suggested that even when you are redesigning your website, you should avoid making any drastic changes to the site. For example, you should avoid changing your domain. If you are changing your domain, this can come as a shock to the complete system and can lead to search engine optimization collapse. It is suggested that you use the URLs as much as possible. Especially, you should not play with the URLs of the important pages that are responsible for your high ranking. This is going to minimize the changes that you are making to your website and also play an important role in reducing any impact on the rankings.
Recycle The Page Content
Exactly like you prefer sorting out plastic and paper from trash, it is suggested that you sort the content that is present on your current site. Do not forget to recycle your good stuff. Also, following the best SEO practices is a must. Take care of the keyword phrases in the title tags, header tags, as well as internal links, which are working currently. Ensure that you are tossing everything else into the garbage. For instance, get rid of duplicate content, low-quality pages, and most importantly, poor marketing copy. This is an important step that you should consider when you are thinking about which step should you take to preserve rankings.
Key Phrase Biodiversity
Ensure that there are several ranges of pages. These pages should be based on all the current keyword phrases. However, you should also include new pages, which should match the newest keyword phrases that you have identified. A website redesign should be responsible for increasing and not decreasing the diversity of several target key phrases. Whenever possible, you need to focus on creating links that are key phrase focused. These links should be created between the footer, navigation, sitemap, and also the page content.
Ensure That You Are Not Letting Endangered URLs Become Extinct
All the pages on your website indeed have deep roots. As time passes, search engines start trusting these pages and they are linked from one website to another. When you decide to transplant all these pages to a completely new environment, which is your new website, it is your responsibility to ensure that everyone knows where the pages are going to be live. You should also plan to create the 301 redirects for all those pages, which are indexed and have high ranks. This is a must. In case if you forget to do this, the search engines will not be able to discover them. Google is going to think that all these pages died off. Eventually, you are going to become a part of page 5, and you are going to lose your position right at the top of the first page.
Before you are launching your new and green website, it is your responsibility to go through the several last-minute details, which will be responsible for helping your website thrive. Update the XML sitemap, which will help your new pages to get discovered quickly. You should check and understand whether everything present in the robots.txt file is accurate. Create custom 404 error pages. In case if there is any breakdown within your system, the 404 error pages will be responsible for minimizing the negative effects.
After you are going live, it is your responsibility to keep your eyes on the optimization health of the website for the first few weeks. You have to watch the rank. Apart from that, you also need to check the Google Webmaster Tools to understand whether there are any broken links or crawl errors. These can be extremely toxic for your ecosystem, and therefore, you need to put the hazmat suit on and clean everything fast.
Perform Site Speed Audit
You need to perform the side speed audit by making use of several tools like Google PageSpeed Insight tool. If the pages take a long time to load, they will be responsible for dragging down the optimization. Therefore, it is your responsibility to look for slow pages and you need to optimize them so that they can load faster. The page load speed can be increased by taking care of the image sizes and removing the flash code.
Rescrape Important Pages for Your Social Media Account
The Debugger tool of Facebook will help you to re-crawl certain pages, single by single or in batches. This should be done to ensure that when people are sharing the URL of your site on their social media pages, only the updated information is being shown on your website.
Ensure That You Are Checking The Organic Traffic
Check the organic traffic after a month. If you find out that there has been a dip of 20% on more, there can be technical glitches getting in the path of organic growth. According to the benchmark of the industry, organic traffic should have normal levels within 3 months after a site has been flipped.
Redesigning your website can be great for the environment or it can lead to the mass extinction of the rankings. You need to ensure that you are following all the steps that have been mentioned above so that you can lead to a healthy and natural evolution to the ranking climate.
Barrack Diego, Editor and writer of Bigdrop