How to maintain SEO ranking during a website redesign

If you run a business website with a great SEO rank, and you have decided to update the site design, then you are in a risky place. Truth be told, we strongly advise hiring a professional who knows exactly how to maintain or improve your SEO ranking in the redesigning process. Otherwise, you risk losing all the organic traffic you built in the last years.

Here is a short checklist that a professional web designer and digital marketer will follow when redesigning your website in order to maintain your SEO ranking:

Assess what works well on your website

  • Using specific tools and tech, a web designer will have a good idea of what keywords, topics, pages, metadata, backlinks bring the most traffic on your website.
  • They will also keep tracking on everything that influences your SEO ranking, such as site speed, domain authority, the total number of backlinks, specific URLs and so on.

Refresh the design with a reduced number of radical changes

Redesigning the site, changing the domain name, completely rewriting content… these might be too many changes implemented all at once. If or when your traffic suddenly drops down, it will be difficult to diagnose the main cause of this issue. A versatile web designer will guide you through the process step-by-step and efficiently maintain your SEO ranking.

Save a crawl of your business old site

The web designer will create a copy of all the visited pages of your old website. This copy will be later used in communicating with the search engines to redirect users to the new available corresponding pages.

Keep the things that work

Do not jump in changing URLs, meta-descriptions, tagging, backlinks or content that bring you a lot of visitors. Try to perfectly integrate them in the new design, and change as little as possible in the architecture of your site.

Implement 301 redirects (this is crucial!)

  • A 301 redirect tells search engines, such as Google, that the URL for your website or the specific page has changed, and redirects automatically the user to your new page.
  • With the right skills and tech, more magic can happen when 301 redirects are employed: it will ensure that all of your old social media links will direct to the right page when your new website is launched.
  • Maintain the old domain name and the 301 redirects for at least six months after you enable your new website.

Avoid SEO disaster and undertake the website redesign with care. Count on Runningfish web designers to preserve and improve your SEO ranking.