One of the most dreaded tasks for a website owner is to redesign his website. Whatever the reason may be, it poses a great deal of threat to the business. Many areas get affected during the redesigning whether it is pages, codes or high ranking SEO articles.
If the redesigning is done correctly, your SEO score may boost up, but if anything goes wrong, then it will harm the website’s SEO.
For example, you start redesigning your page, and one of the URLs to your high rated SEO article gets lost, then your SEO ranking will go down.
Either you have an established business and want to optimize your content or you are at the baby level and want to adopt a new template to escalate your visibility, the website redesigning is a sure short way of doing that.
But it comes with a price if not appropriately handled.
In spite of the fact that the SEO ranking gets affected so much because of the redesigning, some website owners still have a misconception about the SEO being done only once.
If you happen to be one of those people who have this misconception, then its high time to change your thinking.
Below you will find seven strict rules that you should follow before starting with the redesigning of your website.
But before that, you may want to tell your company that you are thinking of redesigning instead of giving them a notice two days before work.
And if you have no idea why you should do this, you will understand that by the end of this article.
So let us begin.
No Work on Live Website
This is one of the most important things to remember. You should never work on the live website. By this, we mean that your online site should not be touched when you are redesigning.
This is because redesigning takes an ample amount of time, and even if you have to do a tit-bit of here and there, there might be a possibility that some major screw up occurs. As a result, your business will suffer along with your customers for you might have to close your website for some time.
Since you cannot work on your live website, you will have to either disable your website till all the required changes are made or, build a new website using a different domain and swap with the original one when it is ready.
The former ideology can be followed when a few changes need to be done, but then some major problems can occur, destroying everything on your current website.
The latter one is what we recommend because there is a very low risk and any changes, whether small or big, can be done without any hesitation.
Don’t Forget to Non-index Your Website
Let us suppose that you are thinking of redesigning your website completely. As the process will take a substantial amount of time, you use a different domain to redesign your website.
Now if you forget to disable your SEO indexing, then the search engines may start indexing your new website.
The problem here is even if you post excellent content on your new website and get a high SEO score when you publish your new website, your content would not be original and will be dubbed as duplicate.
In order to avoid this, what you need to do is either tick the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”, or block your site in the Robots.txt file.
Both of the options can be followed depending on what is suitable for you.
Save the Information
There might be a situation where you lose all the original information and data present on your unique website. This data can vary from URLs to high ranking SEO articles.
In any case, you do not want to lose it because it will cause you SEO ranking to disintegrate.
It may be the case that some of the URLs crash while redesigning and when customers try to find them they get a 404 error. Therefore, to avoid such a situation it is necessary to keep track of all the URLs present on your website.
The best way of doing this is to use the 301 redirects. What you are doing here is that you are telling the search engines that you have redesigned the page and ensuring that both of the URLs work.
This will also ensure that you do not lose the SEO ranking on your previous URLs.
Now considering the 404 error, it is not always possible to be conscious about the URLs. Sometimes due to some mishap, the URLs may go haphazard, and the customer might get the 404 error.
In that case, you should design the page in such a way that the visitor is directed to the previous page or a similar page. Because it is rightly said, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Match The Two Version
Nobody likes to be thrown into an unfamiliar situation. Everyone wants to be in a comfortable space. This is what you should always consider before redesigning your website.
Especially when your website is popular, a sudden change in its layout may not impress the customers. After all, they don’t like the burden of going through new ways again.
Try to maintain the originality. Your authenticity is what defines you. To do this, use a crawler to know about your original design and match the new one with it.
You can do this by using a crawler to map out your new website and once you are done, use the crawler to compare the structure of your new site with the old one.
Tracking the Backlinks
Just like the URLs, the backlinks form the backbone of your website. These are the links of various sites on your websites signifying their trust in you.
Backlinks are a measure of your authenticity.
At the time of redesigning, always keep track of the backlinks. The SEO scores escalate with the number of backlinks you have. If, while redesigning, you lose some of them, your SEO score will go down.
To do this, you can contact the owners of the websites to move the links so that they point to the new site. Or else if you are a well-established business and have an ample amount of backlinks, then you always have an option of using the 301 redirects.
You should also evaluate whether you need backlinks from all the websites or not. It depends on the position of your business. If it’s a start for you to grab as many as you can. If you are well established, maybe you can eliminate one or two as they won’t affect you much.
Check for Broken Links
One thing that should be taken care of is broken links. You should carefully monitor all the links present on your website and check if there is any broken link.
If you find any, they should be repaired as quickly as possible. Use 301 redirects if necessary.
Also, check that the robot.txt file is not broken. There might be a chance that it gets corrupted while redesigning.
After taking care of everything, you are ready with your website. Your website goes live.
Now your actual work starts on the maintenance of the site.
Imagine it has been two months since your new website is live. You notice that there is a dip in your SEO score, and the conversion rate is also dipping.
But you expected a rise, right? This isn’t why you took the pain of redesigning the original website.
The problem is internal, that is what we can tell you. After taking all the precautions, maybe there was a loophole. So now you have to find it and fix it before it causes any more harm to your SEO.
Had you monitored your new website from the start itself, such losses could have been easily avoided. Therefore, compare your bounce rates from the beginning.
If you see a dip, then you should start considering all the places where there might be a loophole. As soon as you know the possible reason you should start cracking it before you incur a loss.
Now that I have given a detailed explanation on what all you should take care of before redesigning, I ask you to follow the points to boost your productivity.
This article is meant not only for those who do not understand the importance of SEO in redesigning but also for those who dread at the mere thought of redesigning.
I hope that this article will help you in solving your problems. After all, Digital Marketing is our present and future, and I’ll try to help you in every possible way.