You’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to redesign, however you keep hearing horror stories of lost rankings as soon as the new website has gone live. Sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it? Here are a few steps to ensure that your website continues to rank highly- or ideally even better- once you’ve redesigned.
1) Re-evaluate your SEO strategy
It’s imperative to evaluate your key word focus; what you wanted to rank for three years ago when you initially designed your website may be completely different now. You could be focusing on areas which are just not creating ROI any more.
Redesigning gives you a great opportunity to remove what’s not working and work harder on what is, so that your keywords bring continual high quality traffic to the site.
It’s also worth looking into your landing pages, as some may be performing better than others. Redesigning gives you the perfect chance to look into your bounce rate and visitor numbers on each of your pages.
Ideally, it would be great to keep the same website structure when you redesign as to your initial design. However, this isn’t always possible if you’re moving pages into different sections etc. In this case, it’s very important to use 301 redirects.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. It helps retain rankings by guiding search engines from the old URL to the new URL, where the requested content now lives. 301 redirects also preserve inbound links and internal links, both of which help to retain rankings.
3) On page optimisation
Ensure that all of your pages meta title’s and descriptions are fully optimised, particularly for any new pages which you create. Also, ensure that any new keywords which you have decided to target from step one are included within the redesign, particularly in your H1 tags.
4) Create a sitemap
Once live, create a sitemap and submit this to Google using webmaster tools. This will let Google know that your site structure has changed and will help the algorithm to crawl through your website more efficiently, which will help you rank faster.
Once the redesign goes live, carefully monitor your rankings and traffic data, paying attention to the following questions:
Are rankings improving or getting worse?
Is traffic to the site increasing or decreasing?
Are visitors engaging more or less with the site’s content?
Are visitors converting at a higher or lower rate?
A site redesign should not be a once and done project. Just like any other marketing effort, it’s an ongoing process, which needs to be carefully managed and measured. If you would like further information about redesigning your website or information about search engine optimisation, give Dental Design a call on: 01202 677 277 who will be happy to help.