How To Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO

When You Are Thinking About Redesign Your Website In New Looks, Then You Need To Make Sure That The Seo Ranking And Seo Performance Will Not Be Negatively Affected. If You Do Wrong Steps Then This Will Confuse Search Engines And Website Trust May Be Damaged.

Why Website Redesign?

  • There Are Many Reason Why We Need Website Redesign?
  • Common Reasons Are:
  • You Want To Change The Website Themes Or Looks
  • You Want To Change The Platform Like Joomla To WordPress
  • You Want To Redesign Your Website More Mobile Friendly Website
  • You Want To Do Rebranding
  • Website Redesign Need New Domain And Hosting?

Website Redesign Does Not Mean Changing The Existing Domain And Hosting Of Your Website. You Simply Keep The Same Domain But Change The Way The Website Looks That Is The Design Or Redesign.

Best Steps For Successful Website Redesign.
Here The Top Most Best 10 Steps To Follow To Ensure That Your SEO Will Not Be Affected From A Website Redesign

  1. Setup The New Website On A Temporary Url
  2. Find Broken Links From Temporary Url
  3. Create A List Of All Webpages From Old Website
  4. Create Page By Page 301 Redirect To Redirect Old Urls To New Urls
  5. Switch The The New Website
  6. Make Sure New Website Is Verified With Google Search Console
  7. Use Google Url Inspection Tool To Check That Google Can Properly Index The New Website, Its Pages
  8. Check Robots.Txt Files
  9. Create New Xml Sitemap And Submit To Google Search Console
  10. Monitor Your Ranking In Google Search Engine Result Page.

1. Setup The New Website On A Temporary Url

Its Always Nice Practice Copy Your Existing Website To A Temorary Url. Work On The New Design In That Temporary Url.
Or Create Backup Of Existing Website And Restore The Backup In New Temporary Url.
When Its Ready You Just Switch The Domain And Everything Is Working Without Problems.
Sometime There Are Technical Works For This Work By Your Hosting Provider Should Be Able To Guide You Or Even Do This Steps For You.
We Never Recommended Working On Our Live Website, Because A Lot Of Things Can Be Done Wrong When You Start Redesigning.
Make Sure That Your Temporary Url Is Not Index By Google To Avoid Any Duplicate Content Issues.
For This There Are Two Ways To Do This:

Method 1
If You Are Using WordPress, Then Go To Settings->>Reading->>Enabled Checkbox SEARCH ENGINE VISIBILITY

Method 2
Edit Your Robots.Txt File And Add The Following Code

user-agent: *
Disallow:/

When You Use Above Code, This Code Block All Search Engines From Accessing The Website.

2.  Test New Website For Broken Links

Rest Assured That There Are No Broke Links In Your Website. Please Kindly Check That There Are No Broken Links In Your New Website. Find Broken Links Here https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ Or http://www.siteliner.Com/

Please Correct All The Broken Links From Your New Websites.
Please Check Markup Validator Service To Find If There Is Any Critical Errors Or Warning In Your New Website Or Not.
Check Your Markup Validity Here https://validator.w3.org/

3.  Create A List Of All Pages From Your OLD Website

The First Step Is To Create A List Of All The Urls Your Existing Website Has. The Easiest Way To Do That Is To Take Your Sitemap And Save It As A Text File.
Check Each And Every Pages In Your Website, Its Page Url.
If Possible Change The Url Structure Or Slug Of A Page And You Let Google And Other Search Engines Know About Changes. If This Task Is Not Done Properly Then Result You Will Lose Your Organic Traffic.

4.  Create Page-By-Page 301 Redirections To Redirect Old Urls To New Urls

A 301 Redirection Is The Way To Tell Search Engines That A Page Has Changed Its Url.
Another Benefit Of A 301 Redirection, Is To Ensure That Any Bookmarks Or Social Media Links Will Still Be Working When The New Website Goes Live.
Let’s Say That Some (Or All) Of Your Urls Have Changed. For Example, The Contact Us Page Had This Url https://example.eom/contactus.html And With The New Design You Changed It To https://example.com/contact-us.

If You Don’t Want Search Engines To Consider These As Two Different Pages And If You Still Want Any Links That
Point To contactus.html To Be Transferred To The New Url (https://example.com/contactu-us) Then You Need To Do A 301 Redirection.

Use The All Webpage List That You Created In Step 3 And Write For Each Page The New Url. If You Are Using WordPress You Can Place The Redirections In Your .Htaccess File (Found In The Root Of Your Website).

A Typical 301 Redirection Looks Like This:
Redirect 301 /OLD-PAGE-URL NEW-PAGE-URL
For Example:
Redirect 301 /contactus.html https://example.com/contact-us
Notice That For The OLD URL, We Only Type The Page And For The NEW URL The Follow URL Path.
Read This Nice Guide On 301 From Google For More Information
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93633?hl=en

5.  Switch To The New Website (All At Once)

After All The Hard Work In Designing, Developing And Testing Your New Website Is Ready To Go Live And It’s Only A Click Away.

6.  Make Sure That The New Website Is Verified With Google Search Console

After Going Live Your Website Check If It Working Properly Or Not. I Would Also Recommend To Run A Broken Links Check Again Just In Case You Missed Anything From The Last Test.
The Next Step Is To Login To Your Webmaster Tools (Both Google And Bing) And Make Sure That The Website Is Still Verified Or Not.

7.  Use The URL Inspection Tool To Check That Google Can Properly Index The New Website.

While In Google Search Console, Use The URL INSPECTION Option (From The Top Bar) To Make Sure That Google Can Read And Index The Newly Deployed Website Correctly.
If There Are No Issues, Click The REQUEST INDEXING Button. This Will Speed Up The Indexing Process.

8.  Check Robots.Txt

Robots Is A Simple Text File Used By Webmasters To Either Allow Or Disallow Access To Search Engines To The Web Site As A Whole Or To Certain Pages.
Another Thing To Check Your Robots File Using The ROBOTS.TXT TESTER Option Which Is Under Crawl (In The Old Version Of Google Search Console).

9.  Optimize And Resubmit XML Sitemap To Google And Bing.

Next And Final Step Is To Resubmit Your XML Sitemap To Google And Bing.
If Your Urls Have Changed The New Xml Sitemap Will Have The New Structure And This Will Help Search Engines Index Your Redesigned Website Faster And Avoid Any Unpleasant Surprises With Your Rankings.
If Not, You Should Verify It Again So That You Can Monitor How Google And Bing Index The New Website.

10.  Monitor Your Rankings.

Finally We Recommended That You Have A Monitoring System In Place Before And After You Do A Website Redesign.
You Can Either Use A Ranking Tool (I Use SEMRUSH ) Or Do It Manually By Keeping A Record Of Your Ranking Positions For Different Keywords.
What You Want To Identify Is Big Changes In Rankings, Either Positive Or Negative So That You Can Take Corrective Actions.
Others Things To Know When Doing A Website Redesign

Bounce Rate : Check Your Bounce Rate Before And After The Redesign And If You See An Increase (Which Is Not Good) Then This Means That User’s Are Less Happy With The New Design.
Changing The Page Content

User Experience Above All : Make Some Tests And Ask Friends For Feedback Before Launching A New Design.

Social Media Counts : Social Media Counts (Likes, Tweets, Pins) Will Change If You Change The Urls. As Soon As You Go Live, You Will Notice That Your Social Media Counts (For The Individual Pages And Not Domain) Will Go To Zero. Don’t Panic.
It May Take Some Time But Sooner Or Later Social Media Networks Will Read The 301 Redirections And Your Hard Earned Social Media ‘Votes’ Will Be Transferred Over To The New Pages.

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