It has become a standard practice to optimize a website for SEO at the time of its inception.
But as SEO is a never-ending process, you must update your website’s SEO strategy regularly to stay in the game.
Hence, web redesign becomes essential to retain and improve your website’s SEO.
This article will discuss the complete SEO checklist to redesign your website.
What is Website Redesign?
Website redesign is the process of refreshing the design of your website and optimizing its SEO with the aim of improving its traffic and rankings.
However, one must ensure to preserve a website’s existing traffic and present ranking during the redesign process.
The Basics of Website Redesign
When you plan to redesign your website, you must ensure the following three things to preserve your website’s existing organic traffic and rankings.
- An in-depth knowledge of your present SEO strategies that are working well.
- A clear conception of the common issues that may arise after redesigning your website.
- A thorough planning of the changes you want to make during your website redesign.
What Are The Most Common Problems in Website Redesign?
You must be prepared to face the following common SEO issues while redesigning your website,
- URLs can change.
- New features may be added.
- Page optimization can change.
- The protocol may also change.
- New content may be generated.
- The subdomains may also change.
- The domain name can be changed.
- Internal linkings may have changed.
- New sections might have been added.
- Content may get removed, changed, or moved within the website.
The Complete Website Redesign SEO Checklist
You must ensure to tick the following SEO checklist while redesigning the website.
Perform A Site Audit
The first and foremost thing you must do prior to starting a website redesign is a complete site audit.
That will help you in two ways.
First, you will be able to identify the web pages performing well in search results. You must ensure that these web pages do not get tampered or lost during the redesign process.
Second, the site audit shall reveal the issues that are stopping your website from ranking higher.
RankWatch’s site auditor is the most user-friendly tool to perform a thorough website audit.
You only need to follow a few simple steps mentioned below,
- Log in to your RankWatch account and go to the dashboard.
- Click on the ‘Site Auditor’ tab and enter the domain of your website.
- Click the ‘submit’ button.
- The site auditor summary dashboard will instantly generate a detailed crawled report showing HTTP status code distribution chart and total site score.
- The HTTP status code distribution chart includes all the essential crawling stats like 200 pages, 301 redirects, failed URLs, and many more.
- The issues found in the site score chart are distributed in three categories; high, medium, and low, depending on their type of criticality. It helps you to decide which issues need to be addressed immediately and solve them during the redesign process.
- Scrolling down further will serve you the page depth of all your web pages.
- The tool also provides you with a page response time distribution chart showing the speed of all your URLs. You can easily identify the slow URLs and can start working on them to reduce the bounce rate.
- If you scroll down you will get the entire list of your non-indexable pages. This is crucial information as it shows essential data like the number of canonicalised and noindex pages. You need to re-work on these pages without further delay.
Save The Old Version
Please keep the old version of the website live using a temporary URL.
It will help if you are stuck at any point while implementing the web redesign.
Implement No Index to Your Temporary URL
It is a must to implement “No Index” to the temporary website URL during the redesign process.
That will stop search engines from crawling and indexing your content on the temporary website URL.
This is essential before you finish the website redesign and your website is completely SEO optimized.
You can implement no-index to the temporary website URL by adding the following code to the head section of your website.
Save Crawling Data
You should try to save the crawl data of the old version of the website available on the temporary URL.
That will allow you to analyze crawl stats of the old site if needed later.
Avoid Unnecessary Changes in URLs
You must try to keep the page names and URL structures intact unless changes are necessary.
That will reduce the chances of SEO issues after implementing a website redesign.
Redirecting the old URLs to the new ones should be the top priority.
Once you finish redesigning the website, it is time to test whether the 301 redirects are correctly implemented on the redesigned version.
RankWatch offers you a redirect checker tool for FREE.
The tool can provide you with the exact redirection path for the URL you enter in the blink of an eye.
Update Your Backlink Profile
A backlink profile is one of the most essential aspects of SEO.
Hence, before you dive in for website redesign, storing a list of your website’s page-wise backlinks is of utmost importance.
It would help if you opted for a reliable link analyzer like the RankWatch backlink checker tool for this purpose.
Once you get the backlinks associated with your various web pages, you can implement website redesign.
After completing the web redesign, you must reinsert the backlinks to your content to preserve traffic and rankings.
Maintain Internal Linking Structure
Internal linking almost plays an equally important role, like backlinking for website redesign.
It is essential to check your internal link profile using an accurate tool. RankWatch backlink checker tool can help you check the same.
All you have to do is login to your RankWatch account and select the “Backlink Analyzer” option from the side menu.
Once the dashboard appears, enter your website URL, and the tool will give you the summary report within seconds.
That includes total number of active and deleted backlinks, citation score, trust score, and a date-wise link acquisition trend graph.
Here you can verify whether your internal link profile is as intact as it was before website redesigning. If not, then start working on it immediately for the link juice to flow properly.
Keep Your Sitemap Updated
The sitemap of your website describes your site structure and most important pages to the search engines.
Hence, after you implement website revamping, you must update your sitemap to describe the new changes in your website structure.
Optimize Your Page Loading Speed
A slow page loading speed significantly increases your bounce rate.
You must ensure a faster page loading speed to offer a smooth user experience and a higher website conversion rate.
And the first step towards it is to check the size of your web pages. They should be within the average size of 3 MB to ensure a rapid loading.
You can use RankWatch’s website page size checker tool for FREE to measure the size of your web pages accurately.
Monitor Changes in Ranking
It is common to face fluctuations in the rankings of your web pages after implementing a website redesign and you must monitor the same.
If you click on the ‘Rankings’ tab of the RankWatch tool and go to the ‘Pages’ section, it will show you all the ranking details of your landing pages.
The “Rankings” section shows how your targeted keywords are working currently and whether they are bringing in traffic to your site or not.
Web page redesign is a common practice to drive more traffic and improve rankings.
However, as discussed in this article, you must be aware of the common SEO issues your website may face during redesign.
You need to be cautious while redesigning your website; going wrong can bring disasters. Keeping the page titles and URLs as intact as possible will be safer.
First, you must save the old version of your website on a temporary URL and implement a no-index tag to stop search engines from crawling and indexing your content during the website redesign process.
You must ensure that 301 redirects are placed correctly on the revamped version of your website, tweak your content, optimize your on-page elements, restore all backlinks, create a solid internal linking structure, update your website’s sitemap, and monitor changes in ranking after implementing website redesign SEO.