If your website has outgrown itself and needs a change in its overall look/design, you surely are in for a revamp. Since Google constantly keeps on making changes in its algorithm, it includes new ranking factors based on user friendliness etc. Your website needs to bring about renovation with passage of time so that it can adapt itself to new website designing trends and bring more user friendly features to its audience. Here are some ways you could revamp your website without affecting SEO:
Retain the same URL structure or use 301 Direct
Take a list of all the urls in your original website and save it in an Excel file. Make your best efforts to retain the same URL or use 301 redirects for saving the website from incurring a loss in traffic. If you change the URL structure of the website abruptly, you will also lose all inbound links and that could lead to a total disaster.
Conduct a 301 redirect mapping campaign so that you get your website’s traffic back. Execution of the 301 redirects is essential so that you don’t lose all your traffic. A major advantage of redirecting your website is that search engines will move all values of your inbound links from old urls to new ones.
You Need to noindex your Website
If you are in the process of working on a new web design, you definitely wouldn’t want Google to index it before you finalize it completely. Therefore it is critical that you noindex the website including all the web pages. You have a few options: if you have WordPress, check the box which says “Discourage search box from indexing this site”. You can also put “Disallow /” for blocking your robots.txt file. Any digital marketing company and elsewhere in the world should know all about SEO and web designing best practices to keep up with the latest trends of the industry.
Conduct an Inbound Link Analysis
It is very important that you should do a detailed inbound link analysis of your website before you go ahead with the website redesigning process. There are a myriad of tools available to help you in doing a detailed link analysis. You will be able to know the pages which contain the inbound links and also the sources from where you are getting all those links. In fact, there is a need to do an inbound link analysis of the website before and after the new web design.
Updating the Site Map
Avoid making the switch at once. Follow a phased approach in various steps starting with a small sub domain of the website. Once you have validated everything in that step, you can start moving the rest in baby steps, and ultimately transferring the entire website.
This definitely increases chances of success for the relaunch. You can do the transition all at once if you have a very big website and that will expedite the crawling process. After you launch the new website, it is very important that you add new
URLs to the existing XML map.
Make sure that you add the sitemap location to Search Console and to the robots.txt file as well. It is a critical step especially if the URL of the sitemap has changed with the newly launched website. Don’t forget to use ‘Fetch as Google’ option in Google Search Console and particularly the ‘Fetch and Render’ option to be sure that Google can read the new website properly.
Audit your Website
If you don’t address pending issues on the current website, but remain unattended, you will be left with problems which can create issues in future for the new website. Therefore it is critical that besides conducting a detailed website audit before the relaunch, you conduct a comprehensive audit after the relaunch as well.
This will ensure that your SEO strategy is all up-to-date. Don’t forget to take care of adding the relaunched website to all of your social media accounts. After relaunching you should make sure that all social media accounts link back to your main website. Any SMO Company and anywhere within the country also needs to follow this step for all such clients who are relaunching their websites.
Monitor your Rankings
It is highly recommended that you have a record of the rankings for keywords before and after the website redesigning process. You can monitor it with the help of various tools or even do it manually. What you are trying to do is to figure out major changes in the ranking, either positive or negative after the relaunch.
Take care not to panic in case you get to notice big fluctuations in the rankings and at the same time, avoid getting too excited at the drastic increase in rankings. Give it a couple of weeks and then start deciding on the strategy after giving it ample time. Avoid changing text of web pages drastically, unless you want to improve the rankings for some of them.