Your website is often the first thing that your clients will see and then decide whether they are willing to do business with you or not. So, your website design is a very important thing to consider. It is possible at some point of time you feel that your current design is lacking something or you have to give a fresh look to the design and then you plan to redesign your website but what if your website get lot of organic traffic, your website ranking is strong and current SEO is already in place from quite long.
Almost every new visitor starts with a simple Google search about the product or solution they want to purchase and eventually visit the website and it is also true that they only visit first page of google so Do you really want to undo all that SEO hard work which you have already done for your old website. If your answer is no then here are some of the important SEO tips to follow during website redesign process :
Audit the old site first to understand the current situation
First tip is SEO audit. It will give your idea regards to the current situation of the website. What is the current rank and what are the current challenges with the website.
- Title & Description of the existing pages.
- Internal & outbound links
- Tags, Header & Content details
- Canonicalization issues
- Crawl errors etc.
Once you complete this SEO audit then you can consider new website based on this response and you can improve the new website accordingly.
Deploy Google analytics and Google search console properly
You should setup the Google analytics and Google search console again on the new website. If you have made any changes i.e SSL then those should change in your Google analytics and Google search console accordingly. you will have to set your primary domain in both Google analytics and in Google search console to https domain. In search console, the https must be added in variations and a preferred domain must be selected. After moving the SSL, change your domain in Google analytics to https.
Create 301 redirect and NO FOLLOW Strategy
301 redirect will take place on the server level and your nofollow will take place on the page level. The server is going to redirect the bot to the new resource before it gets to the nofollow. If you are planning to redesign your website, creating a 301 redirect strategy is a must and the core of this strategy is to create a 301 redirect roadmap. If a new website is launched without a 301 redirect strategy, the web redesign will be a failure as you will end up losing a lot of traffic. This strategy must be a part from the very beginning of a website redesign. Though it is impossible to create an actual workable map until the URL redesign is complete.
Include XML and HTML Sitemaps
XML & HTML sitemaps both serve different purposes but together they make it easier for search engines and online users to locate your content amongst other billions available online. HTML sitemaps organize various pages or sections of your blog or website through hyperlinks which are listed on the website’s homepage in a particular arrangement. XML sitemaps organize various sections of a website using URLs by adopting a particular format for search engine’s consumption. While HTML is human based XMLs are not, they are for the search engines and they must be placed in the website’s root directory to enable easy access by search engines.
Adding and Changing content/ tags
If your site was never search engine optimized then website redesign will provide you with an amazing opportunity to carry on a full-on SEO campaign which will also include adding keyword rich contents and tags. Do not simply all the old optimized content on your website in order to try something very new and untested on your website. Why remove the optimization that has helped you to gain traffic previously? Though it is completely okay to try out various content. Also, remember to keep all the Title tags unchanged on each page.
Inbound links and 404 errors
Using webmaster tool is a great way for finding pages returning a 404. But apart from this, you must also have access to Webmaster Tool for general SEO purposes. After you have received access to Webmaster Tool, you can very easily check the 404 errors by going to the crawl error section. This will also give you a list of websites that create a problem for your website, you will have to focus on them and solve the issues as soon as possible.
Get Professional help for SEO tips during Website Redesign
If you want to focus on the core competencies then you can give this audit and consultation work to a seo consultant who can work on the website along with the website design agency and with right skills and expertise can help in smooth revamp of the website.