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    How to Retain SEO Rankings After Redesigning Your Website

    Home Content Marketing How to Retain SEO Rankings After Redesigning Your Website

    Many website owners fear that they will lose their SEO rankings if they redesign their website. But they should not leave their sites outdated. It will negatively impact your user experience. 

    Peoples’ tastes change often. So, they want to see something new frequently. You do not have any other options but to act accordingly. Therefore, you cannot allow your website design to remain as it is but redesign it. 

    Today, you can get advanced design methods to improve the functionality and experience of your site for users.

    As such, redesigning can make your site look modern and up-to-date, and visitors will like it. And when your visitors like your site, you will get more traffic, hence more leads.

    How Can Redesigning Hamper SEO?

    You might be wondering how redesigning your website can hamper SEO. It is a bit of a technical issue. 

    A website is made up of HTML files. So, the HTML code gets changed when you redesign your website. So, Google will interpret your website as a different website and penalize it by lowering search engine rankings. 

    However, Google is smart to determine whether your website is a redesigned version of your original site or a new site. So Google will track your website overtime to figure out the reality.  

    Therefore, your redesigned website is likely to undergo a temporary dip in rankings. But, it will recover after some time. 

    Shedding your fear and getting your website redesigned is your way out. And, that is what we are going to discuss precisely in this article. 

    All you need to do is follow the following principles to redesign your website without losing SEO rankings:

    Backup Your Website

    As prevention is better than cure, you should implement precautionary measures before you actuate the redesign process. 

    So, create a backup of your existing website. Ensure the backup includes the theme files, plugins, and database. The backup will help you to restore your website to its original state if anything goes wrong by chance.

    You can easily create a backup of your website. Many plugins are available to create a backup of your website. You can choose one that suits your needs the best. 

    Create a “Site Under Maintenance” Page

    You should make it a point not to irritate your visitors. So, do not allow them to see a broken page or broken links when they visit your website. To prevent visitors from seeing such a page, you can find a way out. First, turn on the maintenance mode during the redesign process. So, visitors will know that your website will be eventually up. You can quickly create a maintenance mode page with one of the available plugins.

    Check Your Current SEO Status

    In the next step, collect the SEO data of your website. The data will help you compare your site’s performance after the redesign before making the changes.

    There is an easy method for extracting the site performance data of your website. First, go to your Google Analytics tracking tool and export the list of the top-performing blog posts and pages.

    Download the data and store it in a safe location. You will need the data after making the changes to compare the pre and post-data. 

    Do not Alter Content and Structure

    After you gather the SEO data, consider what to do with the site’s content and structure. Do not change the content when updating your design.

    Moreover, do not alter your site’s structure. The hierarchy of your site pages and the URL structure comprise the structure of your site. 

    Do not add or remove any pages of your website or change the URLs. Doing this will lead to the implementation of 301 redirects, complicating things.

    However, if you want to change some of your pages or the URL structure, do as follows:

    • Download the sitemap of your website. 
    • Redirect the old URL to the new URL 
    • Create a new sitemap with the updated URLs and upload it to the Google Search Console.
    • Audit the URLs after the changes to check whether they are working properly.

    Do On-Page Optimization of Your Content

    Do an on-page optimization of your content. If you do not have competent SEO professionals in-house, delegate the on-page optimization to a reputed professional digital marketing agency.

    Ensure that you retain the title, headers, meta-descriptions, and the body of the content during redesigning of your website. It is a good practice to maintain them in a spreadsheet. It will help you to compare the pre and post redesign elements. 

    Test Your new Design on a Staging Site

    It is an important step, so do not undermine it. Instead, do the redesigning on a staging server so that you can audit your website and test its functionality. Then, if you find any errors, you can easily fix them before taking your site live.

    Most importantly, do forget to check the checkbox– discouraging search engines from indexing this site–in your staging site.

    If you do not check this box, your staging site will also get indexed. And the result will be, Google will not consider your site for rankings due to the presence of duplicate content.

    Relaunch Your Site

    Now, you can relaunch your redesigned site. Remove your site from the staging environment and launch it from the live server. And turn off the maintenance mode. You can now let your target audience know of your newly designed website. You can also ask your audience to share their feedback on the new design of your site. 

    Conclusion

    We believe that the article has helped you alleviate your fear of losing SEO rankings if you redesign your website. But do not fail to do a post-launch audit to spot any errors that might have crept in during the redesigning process. Now, you can fearlessly go ahead with the redesign. 

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    Lynda Arbon
    Lynda Arbon is a passionate and enthusiastic health blogger. She likes keeping herself updated with the health trends and blogs. Her favorite past time is learning history and solving crossword puzzles.

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