“The more things change, the more things stay the same.”
We’re not sure who first uttered this timeless quote, but we do know one thing: they clearly didn’t work in the field of digital marketing. Things change at blinding speeds online, from the unveiling of new social media sites to the introduction of mobile-friendly apps. One area of online marketing that changes about as fast as Tim Cook’s internet connection is website redesign.
Here are the five most common reasons small business owners redesign their websites:
- Create mobile-friendly layout
- Current design outdated
- Content management system obsolete
- Subpar conversion rate
- Change in products and services offered
Do you need SEO services in the UK to redesign your website? Professional expertise with SEO is crucial, but you can also implement a few SEO tips yourself while redesigning your website.
Use SEO Practices that Currently Work
Here’s another timeless axiom that applies to website redesign (among other things): don’t fix what’s not broken. The first order of business for a website redesign involves identifying what has worked and using the same SEO techniques for the new website. The “don’t fix what’s not broken” saying applies to keywords that currently rank high, as well as web pages that attract the most visitors. Google Analytics offers several tools for measuring the success of different SEO strategies.
Life Support for the Old Website
Keep your old website live at a temporary URL that crawlers cannot access. The reason for this is to have your old website for reference whenever you hit a snag. By making sure that crawlers don’t access the old site, you won’t have your new site’s ranking compromised at all, and you’ll have a highly practical resource available to you as your redesign takes shape and deals with any teething problems.
Remember 301 Redirects
The first thing a seasoned SEO professional will do involves redirecting the URLs from your old website to the URLs on the new website. Your goal is to use the same URLs for the same content on the new website, but some redesigns prevent the seamless URL transition. 301 redirects automatically send visitors to the new page without them ever even knowing.
Keep the Content…for Now
One goal of a website redesign is to transition flawlessly from the old website to the new website. This means you want to transfer the same content. After you go live with the redesigned website, you can modify your content to account for new indexes and rankings.
301 redirects prevent sleepless nights, but you should update backlinks to get your new website indexed and ranked quickly. This can be a big job depending on how many backlinks your old website commands, but it can be an important factor in helping you avoid any drop in traffic or ranking.
Update XML Sitemap
You must update your website’s XML sitemap to account for URL changes. After making changes to the XML sitemap, submit the new XML sitemap to Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Update Internal Links
Internal links play a significant role in determining where each of your web pages ranks in the three major search engines. Your old website might have presented hundreds of internal links, but the new website presents web pages that have only a few internal links. You want the new site to be fully functional and practical for its users. Not only will the internal links help visitors navigate the site without any problems, but their thorough and logical structure will be recognised by the search engine crawlers, also.
You can work with a professional SEO agency or perform a website redesign on your own. In either case, you must monitor the results of the redesign to resolve any SEO issues before they become problematic. The most important thing to monitor is where your web pages rank now as opposed to how the pages ranked from the old website. Moreover, use a technical website audit to identify technical issues.
By focusing on functionality, logical structuring, and proven keywords for the right URLs, your redesign has every reason to successfully address the issues that prompted it in the first place, while also strengthening your existing search engine rankings.