You might think while reading this that this is a blog about why you might need a website redesign. Many business owners have been asking similar questions and literally begging for methods on how they should change their blog but not lose their SEO content and keep that intact. After all, change is the only constant.
One of these questions was, such as this. “Can I redesign my website without losing SEO ranking?” Obviously and certainly, yes!
So, if you have a website that Google and Bing already like, you would be reluctant to give up those rankings (even if your website is looking stale), would you not?
While the fact being, that, you should not have to put up with a stale website just to keep your SEO intact.
You should have both a fresh, customer-oriented website along with great SEO. The internet is a great believer in the power of SEO, so much so that most businesses, especially online ones, have a certified SEO expert working tirelessly behind the scenes of every website design that is carried out. So, back to question, can you or should you be able to redesign a website without losing SEO ranking? The answer is yes! However, like all things good, this too, requires and takes some work and planning
So, the first step towards an SEO-friendly website redesign involves and includes, and more importantly, is to get an SEO expert working on your team. Ideally, you would want the website designers, the SEO expert and the company management all on the same page.
The secret, however, is that SEO should actually be part of the design in the first place—part of the site architecture—not something that is slapped onto the website at the end. So before you even think of taking down your old website, it is essential to make sure to have the right team in place.
Next, you need a thorough evaluation of how your old website is doing in terms of SEO; and we mean each and every page. There are several tools we can use to evaluate the SEO success of each page on the website, including Google Analytics, Moz Analytics, RavenTools, Wordtracker, SEM Rush, Majestic SEO, Link Research Tools, and others. We need this initial analysis to determine what SEO strategies are currently working in the case of your website, and what things are not working. That way, we can design the new website without losing SEO rankings, while hopefully, we can even improve those rankings through the redesign process in the meantime.
The third step would involve this:-
When work begins on the new website, it is critically important that all of the new work be stored in a location that is not available for Google or any other searchers to crawl and index. The reason is that if Google notices duplications in text elements (even honest duplications in the case of migrating text from an old to a new website), it will penalize them. Hence, both the old and the new website cannot exist out on the public web at the same time—and just as importantly, both the new and the old websites need to be backed up religiously to prevent utter catastrophes.
The fourth step would be:-
During the website redesign phase, build the insights gathered from the initial SEO analysis, into the new website. Keep the keywords that are working, and ditch the ones that are not and replace them with content that works better for you and according to you. Make sure the design team and the SEO folks are synchronized. Everyone needs to work together to develop fresh, new and useful content that customers old and new can use, whether they are surfing from a smartphone or their old desktop computer.
The fifth step would be to take advantage of the website redesign opportunity to build in responsive web design: mobile-friendly web design can actually enhance your SEO success if done correctly; and besides, mobile web design is essential to your success in the future.
When the new website has been tested, tested and retested and is ready to go, your website design team should ensure that all 301 redirect pages are in place and that your old customers will be able to find what they need easily and with this, potentially and prospective new and fresh customers can easily find you on a search engine!