Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical element of website design. It provides the visibility that any brand needs to grow and to be successful in the long-term.
It takes a lot of work to increase a website’s SEO ranking day after day. Developers and content managers work hand in hand to maintain a brand’s SEO, and they may hesitate to do any website upgrades at the risk of a ranking dip afterwards! On the other hand, keeping your web page design fresh and fully-functional is crucial to your brand’s success. You need to keep on top of any website bugs that your users might be experiencing and to do away with superfluous features or pages that may turn off users.
You need not worry because there are ways to seamlessly maintain your website’s SEO even as you redesign it.
Before Your Redesign: Understand Your Current SEO Level
An SEO audit will give you all the data you need to know about the optimisation level of your website. Take note of your most popular backlinks and the pages that are ranking in your chosen keywords; make sure they have equivalent pages post-redesign!
Fix any broken links that you find and investigate any 301 or 302 errors. Consider how your existing content will match with your planned redesign. If you’re downsizing website copy, try to keep your keywords intact. Make sure your pages are following best practices for on-page SEO optimisations.
If your SEO strategy is more than a year old, identify new target terms and keyword opportunities that you can use. Review your strategy and set new, specific goals that you can aim for in the following year.
Before Your Launch: 301s and 404s
Set up 301 redirects for your most important and high-ranking pages. If you have too many to keep track of, it’s worth dedicating a team to monitor redirects for at least 30 days. After all, you don’t want to lose the ranking you’ve worked so hard for.
Even if you’ve been diligent with your redirects, site users and search engines may still run into broken links. As such, your 404 error page should be well designed, with links to your new main homepage so that customers can still access your site. Keep a close eye on the referrers on your 404 page and fix the broken links.
Update all your social media backlinks before launch. You don’t want potential customers to run into a broken link when they want to check out your website.
Post-Launch SEO Monitoring
The work doesn’t stop even after you’ve launched your website redesign. You will need to monitor your SEO for 30 days or more after launch so you can identify broken links and redirects. Configure your new HTML and XML sitemaps and submit them to the relevant search engines.
If you’ve changed your domain name along with your redesign, you need to keep your old domain name for at least 180 days. Google’s bots need this time to index your new pages, so work on your timeline with this in mind.
A website redesign can bring a fresh new look to your brand and encourage your clients to increase online engagement. However, as with any home renovation, thorough planning is needed before you begin. Be as systematic as possible, so you don’t lose any of the headway your developers and content managers have made in your website’s SEO ranking.
Are you looking for website design services to help plan and launch your brand’s redesign? Our professionals at BaseHost can manage all of your needs and transition your website seamlessly. All our services are tailored to give you precisely what you need to market your brand online. Consult with us today!