Redesigning a website can be daunting, especially if you’re worried about losing your hard-earned SEO. SEO strategy is vital for any website looking to rank in search engines and drive organic traffic.
If you change your domain name, you will lose all your link equity and search engine rankings.
Your URL structure is crucial to your website’s architecture; changing it can significantly impact your SEO.
Digital marketing specialists and SEO agencies typically have a few tips and trick up their sleeves to help make sure a website redesign doesn’t mean starting from scratch with your SEO.
Read on to learn how to redesign a website without losing SEO.
1. Make an Inventory of Your Pages
The first step is to inventory all the pages on your current website. It will help you determine which pages are the most important and must be carried over to the new website. A sitemap can be a helpful tool in this process.
A sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website. XML sitemaps are beneficial as they can be read by search engines and help them understand your website’s structure.
2. Evaluate Your Website’s Architecture
Evaluation involves understanding how your website is currently structured and considering how you can improve upon that. An excellent way is by looking at your website’s navigation. Is it easy for users to find what they’re looking for? Can they get to the most important pages with just a few clicks? If not, you may want to consider simplifying your navigation.
3. Audit Your Website Content
Auditing is key to understanding what content is working, what isn’t, and where gaps exist. This process can be as simple as using Google Analytics to review your most popular pages and posts, or you can go a step further with heat mapping software to see where people are clicking and scrolling.
4. Assess Your Website’s Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to yours and are a key ranking factor for SEO. They help Google (and other search engines) understand what websites are talking about and, as a result, can help improve your website’s SERP ranking. If you’re redesigning your website, it’s essential to assess your current backlinks and determine which ones you want to keep and which ones you want.
5. Verify Robots.txt
One of the most common mistakes during a website redesign is forgetting to verify your robots.txt file. This simple text file tells search engine crawlers which pages on your site they should and shouldn’t index.
Crawlers help search engines understand your website and how it should be ranked in SERPs. If you don’t have a robots.txt file, or if you have one that’s not updated, your redesign could seriously hurt your SEO.
6. Test Your New Website for SEO Compatibility
It is essential to test your new website for compatibility with the latest SEO trends and techniques. It involves monitoring your website’s visibility in the SERPs, click-through rates, organic traffic, and other vital metrics. If you see any drop in these metrics, your website is not optimized for the latest SEO trends, and you need to make changes accordingly.