Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing and it’s inevitable for business owners to have a solid SEO foundation. As their website grows, the SEO packages become critical to take care of SEO parameters while redesigning the website.
Redesigning the website can harm the SEO if not done correctly. If you are new to SEO and want to know how to maintain your site’s organic performance while revamping the design, we have you covered.
List down all pages
The first thing you do is list down all the pages that your old website has. You can download the XML sitemap or the URL structure of the website and keep it for further reference to map the pages. As you keep redesigning the pages one by one, you can take all the metadata from older pages and paste them into the new pages. It will reduce the on-page work while redesigning the website. You can utilize any free plugins to prepare the URL structure.
If you use the Yoast SEO plugin, you can crawl your site and then download the latest sitemap. By doing this, you will not miss any important page while redesigning the website and all the pages will have full-optimized meta tags.
Use a staging website
While redesigning the website, never do the changes on the main site as it will damage the current user experience for the visitors that are coming on the site. You can create an exact replica of the website and copy everything on a temporary URL. Once you copy the complete website, you can start making the changes and it will not damage the SEO of your current site.
You can create a subdomain and host the staging website to make all the needed changes. If you don’t have an in-house team to do this, you can hire a developer and get everything managed seamlessly. One thing to keep in mind while creating a replica is that you are not permanently moving any page or resource of your website.
Too many redirects can hurt your website’s SEO and you need to handle all the redirections carefully. Make sure there are minimum redirects while you redirect your pages and blogs. Having too many redirects will increase the loading speed and hence increase the bounce rate. So, once you are done with the redesigning of the website, open the XML sitemap and check each URL path to ensure everything is fine.
If you are using a WordPress website, then you can use a plugin to map redirects that are very important for your website. Once you cross-check all the URLs and make the necessary 301s, then you can assure that the SEO is going to be intact and it will remain unaffected by the site revamp.
Test the new site
Now, the next step is to test the new website before migrating it to the main domain of your company. Check all technical and SEO points that are important. From site’s loading speed to mobile-friendliness, and on-page SEO factors, check everything that is related to search optimization. If you are using WordPress, then ensure that the indexing is on and so that the crawlers can scan and index pages of the new website.
While testing if you found some pages that are less relevant, you can remove them from your site as it will improve the overall site’s performance. You can create a spreadsheet and mark down all the action items that you need to check while you live your website.
Run an in-depth SEO audit
Once the new website is ready, it’s time to run a comprehensive SEO audit on the website and check for all possible glitches. You can take help from an SEO reseller. From redirects to images, meta tags, and linking structure, check for all important things. You can use tools like Screaming Frog to scan the website for technical analysis and make the needed changes.
Along with this, also check the Google Analytics and Google Search Console are properly running and they are tracking the right property. It is a vital step and most people overlook it while redesigning the website.
If you don’t have an in-house developer, you can hire an SEO company that can handle all the technical work. With these steps, you can easily revamp the website and keep improving the website’s SEO performance.