Website Redesign Strategy
Redesigning a website can be chaotic. You have to keep your brand in mind, ensure a smooth change for users, and possibly move the domain or hosting too. That is why many businesses that redesign their websites forget one aspect. Prior search engine optimisation efforts. Depending upon the type of transfer from old to new, your website redesign strategy could cause losses in search traffic. That is why you need to have a search specialist on hand when you update your site.
Here are some common challenges you might face when redesigning your site.
Take Shout for example. One of our recent posts was: https://www.shoutagency.com.au/inbound-lead-generation-for-ecommerce-sites/
However, if we decided to add the date into the permalink structure it would be: www.shoutagency. com.au/6/2015/inbound-lead-generation-for-ecommerce-sites/
Sounds innocent right?
Unfortunately, Google considers these two different pages. That means your content could be seen as duplicate. And your original page with all of the search juice could be de-indexed. Therefore, you need to ensure your web site redesign strategy is search friendly.
Use a free tool like Screaming Frog to crawl all of the links, images, CSS, scripts, on your site from an SEO perspective. Then slice and dice the data how you see fit by exporting it into Excel.
Once the website redesign strategy is finished you need to start redirecting the site links to your new structure. A few helpful plugins are: 301 Redirects and WordPress SEO:
Both plugins help you redirect pages to the correct new page, while at the same time notifying Google of this change. You might need to do a lot of this by manually inputting the links into the plugins, but that is the best way to ensure that everything is correct.
Start testing single pages on your site to see if they appear correctly in Google search. You might want to also use Google Webmaster Tools to see what they say about the link structure.
We have talked exclusively about links on your site so far, we also need to discuss inbound links to your site. One of the ways that webmasters increase traffic is through inbound links from third party sites. Just like you analysed your own links through Screaming Frog, you need to understand what links bring the most traffic to your site from third parties. You need to perform a link audit see which links you want to redirect.
Start your search with the highest domain authority sites with the greatest relevance to your business first:
– For example, if you have two inbound links you need to determine which one you should work on correcting first to get the most out of your search efforts. Therefore, if one link is from Mashable and another is from Huffington Post you should know which link to correct first. Google looks not only at the authority of the site providing you the link, but also the relevance that site has to your own.
In Shouts’ case, we would want to contact Mashable first, since Huffington Post is not based as much on tech and marketing ideas.
Once everything is moved over, you might want to have a specialist perform a comprehensive SEO audit of your site. Do not underestimate the amount of search engine challenges you can have from the move. It is best to have a specialist determine the strengths and weaknesses of your search strategy on your site now.
Once all the work is done on your site make sure you contact Google Webmaster to let them know about all the changes you made to your site. Go to Google Webmasters Change of Address tool in the search console to notify Google of all the changes in the transition. This should be done after everything is moved, so you do not have to let them know more than once.
Redesigning your website should mark a new phase in the growth of your website. That is why you must make sure you take special care not only of your website redesign, but also the search traffic that drives the quality visitors to your site in the first place.
If you do not take the proper precautions you can lose a significant amount of search traffic. If you are in the middle of a website redesign and want to avoid that, please contact us at Shout Agency or view our SEO Melbourne services.