Website Redesign and SEO
When you are considering a website redesign, it is crucial you take SEO into consideration so the website does not lose current traffic or drop in the search rankings. Sometimes in the anticipation of a site redesign or migration, it can be easy to overlook important items and stay organized. I wanted to pass along what we have learned redesigning websites for clients and how you can make sure you are properly prepared when you’re faced with a site-wide redesign.
Here are some questions to ask yourself / look into before launching a new website.
- What pages get the most traffic and referrals?
- Which pages receive the most back links?
- Will these top pages (found in #1 and #2) have a new URL?
- Are any pages being deleted? Is it necessary to delete these pages?
- What pages will the deleted pages be redirected to?
- What internal pages do the the deleted pages link to?
- Are the new pages that will receive the redirect relevant to the old page and target the same keywords?
- What changes are being made to the site architecture?
- What pages are changing position (example: main menu to submenu)
- How is the internal linking structure changing? What links are being removed from the main navigation, main menu and sidebar?
- Will content change on the existing pages?
- Will the current on-page optimization be carried over to the new site?
- Are the same images going to be used?
- Do images currently refer any traffic?
If pages are being eliminated during the redesign or if not all pages are being migrated over to the new site, you need to create a proper 301-redirect strategy. If you do not implement necessary redirects you run the risk of negatively impacting your site traffic. No matter how much you prepare, there is always a chance that some things will not go exactly according to plan. However, if you have the proper steps in place, like checklists, QA plans and other preemptive strategies, you will be more equipped to deal with issues that arise.