No matter how useful your product or service is, an outdated website design may ruin your business. That’s because websites create the first impression and if it fails to win people’s trust, they won’t convert. Therefore, keeping up with the latest website design trends is crucial to stay ahead of the competition.
However, many often, site owners hesitate to redesign their websites fearing it will affect their SEO rankings and organic traffic. And the fear is not entirely meaningless given the fact that a website redesign may lead to the following: change and removal of existing content, domain and subdomain may change, page-level optimization may modify, new technical issues may spring, new content can be added, internal link structure may change, and so on.
All these have the potential to affect your SEO rankings but with the right strategies, you can maintain a balance between the two. Yes, you can redesign your website without losing organic traffic or SEO rankings. How? This blog will explore it all. Stick to the end.
How to Retain SEO Ranking after Website Redesign
1. Run an SEO Audit
Before setting out to redesign your website, perform an SEO audit. It will help you analyse the best ranking keywords (use these even after redesigning the site), low-performing keywords (you may sacrifice these), the pages that are receiving the most traffic (try not to mess with these!), and so on.
Depending on the insights, you should take the next step. Adopt the best on-page optimization practices while redesigning your website.
2. Don’t Only Focus on Aesthetics
Enhancing aesthetic appeal lies at the heart of website redesign, we agree. But it should not be your only concern. Scrutinize your website from an SEO perspective. For instance, you should adhere to the on-page SEO practices to ensure that your site aligns with search engines’ demands.
From keyword research to content update, meta title and descriptions optimization to loading speed enhancement, image alt text inclusion to title tag optimization – there are lots of works to do. Here is a complete guide to learning more about on-page SEO best practices.
There are several agencies that offer both website development services and SEO services. Try to engage such a company as it will be aware of both and can optimize your website alongside redesigning it.
3. Don’t Play with URLs
Avoid making any drastic changes to the site domain. If you change the domain, the entire system will be affected, which, in turn, may lead to collapsing your search engine optimization efforts. Therefore, keep using the existing URLs as much as possible.
Especially, keep the URLs with high ranking and traffic flow as they are. If some pages have low ranking or nominal traffic, you may update their URLs and make them more SEO-friendly. Also, if you seek to add new pages, you have the liberty to select any URL for them. That way, you won’t impact the rankings.
4. Review Internal Linking
Internal linking helps in flowing link juice. That means, if you link a low-ranking page to a high-ranking one, the former will receive link juice from the latter and thus enhance raking. As you can understand, you can adopt this practice for newly added web pages.
Since these pages don’t yet have any ranking, they will be benefitted from the link juice flowing from the high-ranking pages. Yet another tip is not to make the website architecture too deep. It will lead people from one page to another and frustrate them. It will create a poor user experience and delay the conversion. Further, search engines will consider these pages to be too hard to find and thus may not feature them in high positions.
5. Set Up 301 and 302 Redirects
Redirecting old URLs to new ones is necessary at times (though you should limit this practice to the least). If you are planning to make any major changes to the permalink structure, it’s important to have a spreadsheet of all the relevant redirects. After the site is live, crawl the list of URLs to make sure that every redirect works as desired.
Here, 301 and 302 redirects come to play. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from the old page to the new. Sometimes, it is preferred over temporary redirects as it transfers the inbound links to the new page.
If you want to set up a temporary redirect, a 302 redirect is the way to go. You can set it up while updating a web page so as to ensure a seamless user experience. However, it’s better not to use too many temporary redirects as they damage SEO.
6. Preserve High-Quality Content
If your website has a dedicated blog section full of keyword-optimized high-quality blogs, don’t lose them at any cost. You may update these blogs with the latest information. Preserve video and image SEO practices so as to boost your SEO efforts. Also, while transferring these assets to the new site, pay attention to keeping all the file names and metadata intact.
7. Monitor Ranking and Organic Traffic
Once the new site is live, it’s time to monitor ranking and organic traffic. Some fluctuations are expected during the initial phase but it will soon get steady. Now, it’s time to boost your efforts with more high-quality content and a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You can connect with a top SEO agency to enhance your search engine ranking and organic traffic.
Following these tips will help you to preserve and even enhance SEO rankings even after redesigning your website. No more do you have to delay website redesigning fearing it will affect your SEO efforts. So, what are you waiting for! Try these and let us know how they are translated for you.