Are you thinking of sprucing up your website with a whole new redesign? With trends constantly changing, it is vitally important that you keep up with them to ensure your website doesn’t fall behind with the latest digital updates. We understand that if your website currently has growing profits and good traffic that you will be hesitant to change things, however, here we will be discussing the steps that you can take to ensure your website is not an SEO disaster.
Ensure the Website is Crawled
Before you rush in and make any changes to your website, it is important that you crawl your website. When you do this, you will have the relevant information needed about the URLs, structure and its metadata. This information is all necessary to update your new website with. We would never recommend redesigning a site before you have a proper plan in place as this will ensure you avoid any costly and time-consuming mistakes that could affect your SEO.
Audit Your Website
Before redesigning your website, it is important that you look at Google Analytics to see which areas of your website are already thriving and which areas need a helping hand. You can then base your redesign on these adjustments and see where people are landing after a Google search.
Inbound Link Analysis
A major mistake many people make with a site redesign is not checking all of their inbound links. While a 301 redirect will take place here, it is still better if you carry out this analysis yourself and ensure that all of the inbound links are in good working order. Failing to do this can really hurt your SEO and there are plenty of tools that you can use to help you with this such as Ahrefs and Moz Open Site Explorer.
While the first option is always to keep the same URL structure, sometimes with a site redesign this just is not possible. Doing this wrong can cause major problems and so you need to ensure that you implement any 301 redirects so your visitors land in the correct place. When you don’t do this, you will be losing out on a lot of traffic from these inbound links and this can set your SEO strategy backwards.
Create A New Sitemap
A common error is not creating a new sitemap as many think that the 301 redirect will be enough on its own for Google indexing. However, when you update your current sitemap, this makes it easier for search engines to find your new URLs. Crawl through your site one last time after the redesign and match up the previous crawl with this one to ensure that all URL’s are properly ranked and indexed.
Back Up Everything
Finally, the last thing you need to ensure you do before a site redesign is back up all of your important data to ensure all your old files are safe and sound!