Don’t Sacrifice Your Search Rank: Redeveloping a Website with SEO in Mind

How to Maintain and Improve your Search Engine Rankings during a Website Redesign 

When it’s time to redesign your website, it’s also a great time to revisit your SEO strategy. Why? 

Two reasons:

  1. To Maintain your existing rankings during the transition.
  2. To build upon and improve your rankings with the new website
First, let’s talk about the transition. 

Maintain SEO Rankings During a Redesign

When you redesign a website, it’s helpful to run an audit on the website to ensure you are not carrying over any problematic issues to the new website that could hinder your search rankings.  For example:

  1. Avoid importing duplicate content
  2. Avoid importing spammy Titles, Meta Descriptions, or Meta Keywords
  3. Avoid importing overly large images
Instead, when re-designing a website, take the time to re-visit your SEO strategy.  It’s a great time to set benchmarks to where you are at in terms of traffic and keyword rankings and determine where you want to be in the next year.

Further, it’s a great time to determine what is working and what isn’t and plan the new site around how you can improve.

Improve SEO Rankings During a Redesign

If your existing website isn’t driving traffic to the important pages and you are not ranking for your important industry keywords, a redesign is the perfect opportunity to restructure your website. 

During the redesign planning phase:

  • Build the new site architecture around important keywords, establishing and SEO-friendly hierarchy to develop optimized landing pages.
  • Establish a logical naming convention for URLs to incorporate keywords and ensure a clean URL structure.
  • Establish a naming convention for Title tags to ensure they are strategic and non-duplicated. If the existing Title tags and Meta Descriptions are high quality, carry them over to the new site.
  • Ensure 301 redirects are established on a 1:1 basis as close as possible. This will maintain rankings for old URLs and pass it on to the new URL.
  • Check Google Search Console post-launch to clean up any crawl errors from old URLs missed in the 301 redirects. 
These are just a few helpful items that will help improve SEO during the redesign.  To fully optimize the website before and after launch, we recommend a SEO audit as well as working directly with a SEO specialist.

For more information about Pre-Launch and Post-Launch SEO Audits, check out this helpful article from Search Engine Land: Relaunching your website? Don’t forget an SEO audit!

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