Congratulations! You’ve decided that it’s about time to replace or update that aging website. So, what now? Is it possible to keep Google rankings when moving to a new site? For sure. Does a new website mean starting from scratch in the search results? Absolutely not. We’ll show you how to update your site like a pro and keep your momentum moving forward post-launch. If you’re the type that wants an answer already, here you go:
6 steps you should take to ensure a successful redesign process
- Conduct a comprehensive SEO audit of your website
- Identify the pages that drive the most traffic and conversions
- Analyze your top-ranking pages to ensure they maintain their ranks after the redesign
- Create a new website structure that’s user-friendly and SEO-friendly
- Develop a content strategy that covers all aspects of your website
- Monitor your website’s SEO performance before and after the redesign.
Redesigning your website can be an exciting and necessary step for your business, but it can also be a risky move if you don’t plan ahead. One of the biggest concerns when launching a redesigned website is losing your ranking on Google search results. After all, your website’s visibility on the search engine is crucial to driving traffic and generating leads.
But don’t worry, there are ways to prevent your website from dropping in search engine rankings when you launch a redesign. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition to your new website without sacrificing your hard-earned search engine ranking.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to launch your redesigned website with confidence and maintain your visibility on Google search results.
Preparing for the Redesign
Before launching a redesigned website, there are several things that business owners and digital marketers need to do to ensure that their search visibility is not compromised. This means having a good understanding of the past and current performance of the website, as well as some specific areas that they would like to see improved. This will vary on the type of website, the audience, and the size of the site.
Analyzing Current Website Performance
Once you’ve decided to redesign your website, analyzing your current site’s performance is crucial.
Important metrics to understand and have tracked are:
- How many visitors are coming from search engines?
- What keywords is your website currently google ranking for?
- How many calls and conversions is your website driving?
- What is the average amount of pages a visitor views per visit?
- How many of your pages are currently indexed by search engines?
Answering these questions will entail checking your search engine ranking, organic traffic, indexed pages, website conversions, and average pageviews per visit. All of this information will help you set benchmarks for the new site and identify potential issues post-launch. Those statistics may seem arbitrary or confusing, but understanding their relationship with the success of the website is important.
If your site is not currently tracking those statistics with a tool like Google Analytics 4, you’ll need to install that as soon as possible. Another important aspect is ensuring your site speed is under 2 seconds by using a tool like Lighthouse. Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. Developed by Google, it is one of the most critical tools to understand. Analyzing your website performance will allow you to make data-driven decisions and maintain or improve your google rankings.
Setting Clear Objectives for the Redesign
When planning a website redesign, it’s crucial to set clear objectives to achieve desirable outcomes. Identify your audience, analyze your website’s performance, and determine what the company wants to accomplish with the new site. Ensure your objectives are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Conduct a competitor analysis to see how they position themselves online and then outline the redesign strategy, including site structure, content migration, on-page optimization, mobile optimization, and URL redirects. Finally, establish KPIs to track and measure progress towards objectives, such as improving organic search traffic or increasing leads.
Conducting Competitor Research
To effectively conduct competitor research, start with a Google search using relevant industry keywords. Look for patterns with top-ranking websites, such as design and user experience. Use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to gain deeper insights into your competitor’s backlink profile, domain authority, and top-ranking pages. Evaluate their keyword targets, types of content posted, and external links used. Don’t forget to assess their weaknesses, such as weak backlinks or irrelevant content. Competitor analysis, top-ranking pages, SEO tools, backlink profile, and keyword targets are all essential components in effective competitor research.
Planning the Redesign Process
Redesigning your website can be an exciting yet daunting task, particularly if you have an established online presence. It’s critical to have a plan before launching your redesigned website, to maintain your search rankings and organic traffic.
Creating a Redesign Timeline
When launching a redesigned website, creating a timeline is crucial. Start by outlining all steps of the redesign process and setting clear objectives. Analyze your current website performance and conduct competitor research, prioritizing SEO considerations. Then, establish a realistic timeline and assign specific dates for completing each task. Be sure to include regular checkpoints for testing and quality assurance to keep everything on track. Consider including relevant keywords like “redesign timeline,” “website performance,” “competitor research,” “SEO considerations,” and “testing and quality assurance” to optimize your content.
Prioritizing SEO Considerations
When redesigning a website, prioritizing SEO considerations can help maintain current search engine rankings and organic traffic. Analyze current SEO performance to identify areas for improvement. Optimize website architecture and navigation for search engines and user experience. Ensure on-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and internal linking are optimized. Implement structured data markup and improve website speed for improved search visibility. Always prioritize on-page optimization and website architecture for the best results.
Designing User-friendly Navigation
Designing a website with user-friendly navigation is crucial for both visitors and search engines. When visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, they are more likely to stay on your site longer. Additionally, well-planned navigation can help search engine crawlers understand the structure of your site and crawl it more effectively.
To ensure a website’s navigation is user-friendly, it should be planned based on the home page. This will help structure the site in a logical way that makes sense to visitors. Best practices for navigation include using text-based links that clearly describe the destination, avoiding overly complex dropdown menus, and steering clear of image-based navigation, which can be difficult for search engines to crawl. Script-based event handling should also be avoided.
By designing a website with user-friendly navigation, visitors will be able to find what they need quickly and easily, while search engines will be able to effectively crawl and rank your site. So when developing a website, be sure to prioritize navigation as an essential element of your design process.
Implementing Mobile Responsiveness
When launching a redesigned website, mobile responsiveness is crucial. Choose a mobile strategy that works best for your site, then use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure your pages are easily viewed on mobile devices. Consider implementing AMP for faster loading time for static content. Use large, easy-to-tap buttons for CTAs and form fields, and avoid using popups that are difficult to close.
Content Migration and Optimization
When launching a redesigned website, make sure your content remains optimized to maintain your ranking on Google. Content migration involves moving your existing content to the new site, while optimization involves making necessary changes to improve the content’s quality and relevance. It’s essential to keep in mind the target audience and their search queries to ensure that the website is user-friendly and informative. In this section, we’ll discuss how to perfect your content migration and optimization.
Conducting Content Inventory
Conducting a content inventory is an essential step in launching a redesigned website without losing your ranking on Google. Start by documenting all existing content, such as blog posts, images, and videos. Use SEO tools like Google Search Console and SEMrush to analyze the content’s performance and identify underperforming or duplicate content. Removing or consolidating this content can improve SEO and preserve your ranking.
Optimizing On-Page Elements
Another critical step in launching a redesigned website is to optimize on-page elements to maintain your search engine rankings. On-page optimization involves analyzing and updating key elements such as meta tags, header tags, and URLs. By incorporating targeted keywords into your content, you can improve your website’s relevance and visibility in search results.
Effective on-page optimization also involves creating unique, high-quality content that engages your audience and provides value. Avoid keyword stuffing and instead use keywords naturally throughout your content. Optimizing images, using internal linking, and ensuring your site is mobile-friendly and fast-loading are also important factors to consider for on-page optimization.
Creating Fresh and Engaging Content
Creating fresh and engaging content is an essential strategy for maintaining your website’s search engine visibility. But how can you achieve this? By using a variety of content types like videos, infographics, webinars, and more, you can capture your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more. Make sure your content is informative and valuable to your audience, incorporating relevant keywords and optimizing titles, meta descriptions, and header tags to attract the right traffic. With these strategies, you can create content that will keep your audience engaged and help your website rank higher in search results.
Consider technical aspects that affect your SEO ranking. These include URL structure, redirect handling, broken links, XML sitemaps, and schema markup. Prioritize user experience by having a mobile-friendly website design and optimizing loading speed. Keep your code clean and easy to navigate, prioritize HTTPS protocol, and use SEO plugins to optimize your site’s performance.
Ensuring Proper Website Setup
Remember to ensure that your site is mobile-responsive and includes sitemaps, both XML and HTML versions. This will help improve your website navigation and domain authority, allowing Google to crawl and index your site more effectively. Don’t forget to include the sitemap URL in your Google Search Console account!
Setting up proper redirects
When redesigning a website, setting up proper redirects is crucial to maintain your ranking on Google. Use 301 redirects to transfer link equity and redirect visitors from the old URLs to the new URLs. Make sure to address duplicate pages by redirecting both www and non-www versions, HTTP and HTTPS, and redirect uppercase to lowercase URLs. Before launching, ensure that all redirects are properly set up to avoid negative impacts on rankings, traffic, and conversions.
Implementing Structured Data Markup
Implementing structured data markup is crucial if you want to boost your rankings on search engines. It’s a way to provide additional information about your content, making it easier for search engines to understand its meaning. One way to do this is by using schema markup. You can use HTML code or tools like Data Highlighter and Markup Helper to implement it correctly. This is essential if you want to add entities like products, business locations, and events listings for better search engine visibility.
Optimizing Website Speed
In today’s digital age, website performance has never been more critical. Slow page load speeds can lead to a poor user experience and rank lower on Google. Here are some tips to optimize your website speed without losing your ranking on Google.
Select Fast WordPress Hosting Provider
Choosing a fast WordPress hosting provider can have a significant impact on your website’s performance. Take your time to research and select the best option for you.
Install a Caching Plugin
Installing a caching plugin is one of the easiest ways to optimize website speed. This plugin will store your site’s frequently used data, reducing the time it takes to load the page. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are examples of such plugins.
Utilize Proven Tips
Test and Aim for a Performance Grade
Testing your website speed using Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix can give you insight into your website’s overall speed and identify areas that need improvement. Aim for a performance grade of over 50 and a load time of under 2 seconds.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Testing and quality assurance are important when launching a redesigned website. These steps ensure that the website remains functional and performs optimally once it goes live. In this section, we’ll explore essential testing and quality assurance measures to undertake before launching your website.
Conducting Thorough Website Testing
When launching a redesigned website, testing is key to ensure proper functionality. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and Pingdom to test site speed, performance, and responsiveness. Test forms, links, and menus to ensure proper functionality and compatibility with different devices and browsers. Prioritize testing to prevent any issues from affecting search engine rankings and user experience.
Monitoring SEO Metrics
As a business owner, monitoring your website’s SEO metrics is crucial to maintaining your search engine visibility and attracting organic traffic. By regularly tracking metrics like search rankings, organic traffic, bounce rate, and backlinks, you can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about your SEO strategy.
Tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Ahrefs make it easy to measure and analyze these metrics regularly. It’s important to continually evaluate and adjust your SEO strategy based on the results of your metric tracking to maximize your search engine visibility and attract more organic traffic to your site.
Launching the Redesigned Website
Launching a redesigned website can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to maintaining your hard-earned search engine rankings. However, with the right strategy in place, you can transition smoothly from your old website to your new one without losing any of the ranking and traffic that you’ve worked so hard for. In this article, we’ll go through the steps you can take to launch your new website without risking your search engine visibility.
Communicating with Search Engines
When redesigning a website, don’t forget to notify search engines of your changes. Submit an updated sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure your website is properly indexed. Monitor any crawling and indexing issues using these tools and make sure all pages are accessible to search engine bots. Keep search engines in the loop to maintain your hard-earned rankings.
Monitoring Search Engine Crawling
Although it may seem obvious, you’ll also want to ensure that your site is being crawled and indexed correctly by search engines. One way to do this is by monitoring search engine crawling regularly. You can use Google Search Console to check your website’s crawl status, crawl errors, crawl statistics, and indexed pages.
By checking these metrics, you can identify issues and fix them promptly. There are also tools like Screaming Frog that you can use to crawl your website, and find broken links, missing meta tags, or duplicate content.
It is important to stay up-to-date with best practices and algorithm updates as search engines are constantly evolving. With regular monitoring and optimization, you can maintain your search engine ranking and improve your organic traffic.
Managing Website Downtime
Website downtime can hurt your search engine ranking and user experience. Plan ahead to minimize its impact on SEO and website performance. Set up a website monitor to get notified of downtime, create a backup system to quickly restore your website, and use a content delivery network to distribute your website’s content globally. Don’t let website downtime negatively affect your online presence.
After launching a redesigned website, optimize it for search engines to maintain your ranking and organic traffic. Post-launch optimization is a crucial step in updating your website. We’ll cover the best post-launch practices for optimizing your new website without losing your ranking on Google.
Monitoring Website Performance
After launching the redesigned website, it’s crucial to regularly check important metrics established during the preparation phase, like search engine traffic, conversions, and average pages per visit. Don’t forget that site speed is important, aim for under 2 seconds for the fastest site. Look into any underlying SEO issues that may affect the site’s performance, like rankings, indexed pages, backlinks, and organic traffic. Although meaningful progress can take upwards of 3 months, set up regular daily ranking reports. Monitor these metrics for at least six months post-launch to see how the new design performs.
Evaluating Search Engine Rankings
To determine the success of your newly launched website, it’s vital to evaluate your search engine rankings. First, establish a baseline by checking your current Google ranking. Use tools such as Google Search Console, SEMrush, or Moz to track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and search visibility. Measure important metrics like bounce rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate to assess your SEO efforts. Building high-quality backlinks from reputable sources and creating natural, relevant, and shareable content can boost your website’s authority and visibility.
Building High-quality Backlinks
Building high-quality backlinks is important for any successful SEO strategy. One effective way is to focus on creating high-quality content that naturally earns editorial links from other sites. Thorough research and providing useful and relevant information will help achieve this. Utilizing resource pages and broken link building is also a great tactic to obtain valuable links. Mixing up anchor text links with generic keywords to avoid search algorithms’ penalties is a must. Internal linking and guest posting can also contribute to building high-quality backlinks. Remember that building high-quality backlinks takes time and effort, but it’s essential for improving search engine rankings and driving organic traffic.
In conclusion, launching a redesigned website without losing your ranking on Google can be a daunting task. It requires technical considerations and fresh, high-quality content creation. Working with professionals is critical to ensuring a successful migration and preservation of SEO ranking.
However, the job doesn’t end there. It’s essential to monitor SEO metrics continually and reevaluate search engine rankings to make necessary adjustments to maintain website usability, increase organic traffic, and drive revenue.