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SEO when redesigning a website.

Google Analytics page on a mobile which is important for tracking SEO when redesigning a website

A website redesign or migration is a significant project. Use this SEO checklist to keep in mind SEO when redesigning a website to avoid disaster.

How to avoid losing your SEO when redesigning a website

Your attention was probably drawn by the word “disaster,” and in this instance, it is not at all melodramatic.

 

Website migrations that neglect SEO or are carried out with hurried and/or shoddy SEO planning can be devastating.

 

If you’re updating, migrating, and/or relaunching your website, you probably have good reasons for doing so. Also, you probably have high hopes for improvement in particular areas like user experience, brand perception, and conversions.

 

You may accomplish all of the aforementioned goals with the aid of SEO.

 

You may avoid disaster and get the best results for your business by following the pre-launch and post-launch measures. They are outlined in this blog post to make sure SEO is prioritised in your relaunch.

 

Check off each item on this list as you plan and carry out your website overhaul.

Pre-launch

Ahead of migration

Consider what you want this redesign investment into a site to help you achieve. This will allow you to produce a plan for SEO when redesigning a website to assist you to hit that goal.

 

Regardless of what else you intend to improve on. You need to protect the equity and value that have grown on your website over time. You don’t want to lose your present ranks, link value, or traffic. As this could take several months to rebuild.

 

Additionally, you probably want to enhance organic search performance.

Objectives and project plan

You are starting a website redesign for some probably very good reasons.

 

These might be connected to:

 

  • Use-cases in business
  • Upgrades to the user experience
  • Marketing programmes
  • SEO advancements

A crucial component of guaranteeing the project’s success is setting proper goals.

 

Create your baseline and benchmarks because you’ll need to be able to verify improvements and the project’s return on investment.

 

The majority of online changes follow a set strategy or process. Whether they are in account service, project management, product, IT, marketing, or another related function, the project owner is normally in charge of managing this strategy.

 

Make sure SEO is taken into account at every stage of your redesign to avoid being caught off guard.

Information and content

The success of SEO depends on the authority of the website’s content generally along with its sub-topics.

 

This has an impact on the website’s unique content and how it is organised.

 

Making sure that everyone working on the project is aware of how changes to the information architecture, sitemap, and overall content plan in the redesign may affect SEO is crucial.

 

The future of the site should not have any pages that are important to your SEO strategy removed, and the design should not detract from the overarching message and theme of any portions.

 

Work on the specifications for the new sitemap with your team using the present one as a guide. The remaining steps in the process of redesigning for SEO will be guided by this.

On-page optimisation

Maintaining the content’s relevancy to the purpose of your target searcher is crucial when you drill down to the page level.

 

Once you are aware of how the context and general architecture are changing (or staying the same), you may take proactive measures to safeguard or optimise the page for the particular parts that contribute to relevance. URLs, page names, meta descriptions, body copy, alt text, etc. are all included in this.

 

How extensive are the modifications to your sitemap and architecture? This will determine how much attention you should pay to the material’s relevance to make sure you don’t lose subject-related content on the website.

 

Do not wait till after the launch to optimise your staging site or code base.

Redirects

Make sure that you plan for 301 redirects for all pages that are gaining new URLs and those that are disappearing in the rebuilt site. This makes sense from the standpoint of the user experience.

 

If we can help it, we never want to send users to a 404 error page.

 

If we want to have information removed from the index, search engines are comfortable with 404s. However, if backlinks to your site return a 404 error, you will lose any link equity you may have.

 

If you don’t have control over ensuring that the links are updated to the new destination page URL, make sure that all pages with links going to them are (at the absolute least) appropriately redirected.

 

This could very well be the most time-consuming and crucial step in the redesign SEO process if you have a huge website.

 

To identify any URLs that require redirecting, use the crawl you performed previously for your sitemap planning.

 

To make sure you don’t overlook any redirects, you can also learn a lot about the pages the search engines regularly crawl through Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

 

When all of your redirects are planned out, make sure they are all implemented on the server, in a plug-in or utility for your website, and prepared for launch.

 

It is challenging to complete this work after launch because, frequently, users and search engines have already been harmed by receiving 404 errors. Here, every minute, hour, and day that passes means more missed opportunities.

 

Regardless of your SEO when redesigning a website, you’ll have to accept the short-term loss. Then work with an SEO agency in Wales to regain the authority and significance you had with your previous website.

Upon launch

Follow the go-live checklist when it’s time to launch and make any necessary quality assurance tests of the work you’ve already done on the staging site.

 

If any of your on-page work or redirects are not in place or tested, don’t give the all-clear for launch.

 

It is much simpler to slightly postpone the debut than to repair damage after. Or even worse… have to go back to the previous website.

Photo of a rocket ship launch

Post-launch

Audit of dev-to-live

Verify that every page and any customised on-page optimisation was transferred from the development site to the live site.

 

This is crucial for websites with a lot of dynamic content because migrations occasionally leave out databases and tables.

 

For instance, you can see missing or duplicate titles on every page or product page if you optimised all title tags on the staging site but the database they are in didn’t go live at launch.

Performance validation

Contrary to popular belief, the live website won’t operate exactly as it did on the staging site.

 

To make sure the site receives passing marks, run the homepage and important pages via the mobile-friendly testing tool or Lighthouse audits.

 

Run page speed tools as well to look for potential updates to the new website. On the production site, variations in servers, hosting, and other loads may result in problems that you wouldn’t have seen on the staging website.

 

Don’t forget to take into account any schema markup your website may have.

 

If anything changes between the old, staging, and live sites and how the search engines portray them, using validation tools to assure proper implementation is helpful.

Submit an XML sitemap

It is time to submit the XML sitemap once you are confident that your redirects are functioning properly and that SEO has been implemented on the live site.

 

Make that the dynamic sitemap has the entire set of intended destination URLs.

 

Create a fresh static sitemap right away, check it, and submit it if you are using one.

 

Keep in mind that you must guarantee the integrity of your XML sitemap file(s). You should make sure that all URLs are destination URLs rather than redirects or pages that canonicalise to another version, and you should have no URLs returning 404 errors.

Monitoring

It feels fantastic to have completed the challenging SEO work required for the relaunch and the move as a whole. It’s crucial to change your perspective and enter a monitoring phase right now.

 

Keep a tight eye on Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools for the next one to two months to look for reported 404 problems, crawl errors, and any HTML on-page issues found. Take care of this quickly.

Constant SEO

Keep in mind that SEO in Swansea is a continuous process.

 

After the initial excitement has subsided and the monitoring phase has begun, you can revisit your initial objectives and strategy to gauge how well the new site is performing.

 

After this, you can carry on with your usual continuous optimisation strategy.

 

Be prepared for certain steps to take longer than expected or for the need to add some as you go. SEO campaigns and web projects don’t always go as planned!

 

Beyond that, be sure to seize every chance you get to increase speed so you can get the most out of your site investment by using the redesign and relaunch.

Conclusion

Keeping in mind SEO when redesigning a website is essential for guaranteeing its long-term success. A website may raise its position in search engine results and increase its organic traffic by doing keyword research, optimising for relevant keywords, upgrading site structure and navigation, and applying responsive design. Your website may succeed in the cutthroat online environment by working with our SEO specialists and adhering to best practices.

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