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How to Redesign a Website Without Losing SEO

by Business Bod

Over the years, you’ve worked hard to boost your search engine rankings. You’ve secured your spot on the first page of search results, boosting your organic traffic rates. There’s only one problem: your website is outdated.

No amount of SEO strategizing can save you from the negative impact of outdated website design. Over 80% of internet users think less of a business if the website isn’t up to date.

The question is, how can you redesign a website without losing SEO? After all, making major changes can disrupt some of the valuable paths you’ve created for your website.

Read on to find out how to approach a website redesign without losing your SEO efforts.

Create a Backup

Redesigning a website can come with a lot of trial and error. The last thing you want is to get halfway through the project only to discover that it isn’t working or you’ve lost track of where you started.

Before you dive into the redesign, back up the website as it currently exists. This includes backing up theme files, widgets, plugins, and data. That way, if your redesign goes sour, you can revert back to your old website while you give it another try.

The good news is that there’s no need to start copy-pasting code into a Word Document. You can find plugins to create complete backups for you.

Let Visitors Know You’re Under Maintenance

Just because you’re making internal changes doesn’t mean that your links will stop showing up on search engines. The last thing you want is for potential customers to navigate to your website only to find that the page is broken. Chances are, they’ll get the impression that your website isn’t the only thing that no longer exists.

The way to reassure customers that you’re only doing a web redesign is to put your site in maintenance mode. How you do this will depend on your server, so work with customer support if necessary.

Collect Current SEO Data

Another early step to take is to collect your current SEO data. Head to your Google Analytics tracker to take stock of your top-performing pages and posts and record your current conversion rates. You should also note your keyword rankings for your blog posts, landing pages, and product listings.

Collecting current SEO data is a must if your goal is to maintain (and exceed) your SEO efforts. You can use this data to compare your redesigned website’s performance and get a sense of what changes may not be working in your favor.

Maintain the Same Structure and Content

If your website was doing well on search engines, you probably aren’t facing major structural or content issues. In other words, your current website is easy to navigate and the content is gaining traction with internet users. The problem lies with the aesthetic choices, which will be your major focus during the redesign.

As much as possible, maintain the same structure and content during your redesign. In other words, use the same URLs and language as you’re currently using. While archiving posts with poor performance is fine, you don’t want to ditch the ones that generate organic traffic.

If you do decide to change any of your URLs, implement 301 redirects. That way, if anyone tries to use an old URL, they’ll get sent to your new page instead of a 404 error page.

Check for Broken Links

When you’re redesigning a website but trying to protect your SEO, on-page SEO isn’t the only thing that you need to worry about. You may have invested some of your marketing efforts into developing off-page SEO, as well, and you don’t want to lose those precious backlinks.

Take stock of any guest posts or press releases that contain backlinks to your website and are still alive and relevant. Test your backlinks to make sure they’re landing on a functional webpage. If they aren’t, it’s time to use more than 301 redirects to make sure that those backlinks continue to support your search engine optimization.

Test Your Website Before Launching

Many people will use what is called a staging site to build a new website. This allows them to test out the website’s functionality before making the website live. This is important not only for the sake of your website’s visitors but also for the sake of your SEO.

SEO doesn’t just come from keywords and organic traffic. Google’s algorithms scan every inch of a website to look for signs that the website is tough to navigate, has a slow loading speed, or contains a ton of broken links. If you’re caught with any of these problems, your SEO is going to drop.

Work With Pros

A website redesign is a lot to handle, especially when you’re trying to preserve hard-earned SEO. There’s no reason why you should have to go through this difficult process on your own.

Instead, work with a website designing company. Not only will they provide you with a top-notch design that aligns well with modern trends and your brand, but they’ll also take all of the steps needed to preserve your SEO efforts.

Redesign a Website With Care

There comes a time in every company’s life when they need to redesign a website. Without upgrades, your website will start to fall out of fashion (and out of favor). Use this guide to redesign your website without losing any of your on-page or off-page SEO. You should also read about the pbn webeditor.

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