Website redesigning is one of the key processes for finding gaps in your existing site’s content and user experience (UX) and implementing strategies to fill them.
A successful website redesign with the help of creative agencies and SEO agencies helps you rebrand your online presence and leverage results like boosted conversions, seamless user navigation, and increased sales. A great example is a case study that saw an increase in leads by 314% and organic traffic by 540%—following an SEO and website redesign strategy.
However, often, lack of knowledge and improper website redesign implementation—especially by non-experts or without support from a web design company—can affect your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and rankings.
If you don’t incorporate SEO in your redesign process or leverage quality SEO website redesign services—your website will experience a loss of traffic and fall in search engine rankings.
In this blog, we’ll see how you can avoid this situation and implement a successful website redesign—while retaining SEO efforts.
But first, let’s learn more about the importance of SEO in website redesigns.
What Is The Importance Of SEO For Website Redesigns?
Although your website is the most attractive and eye-catching, if it doesn’t bring in visitors or drive sales, it’s most likely missing a crucial element—SEO.
If you’re considering website redesigning, there’s a high chance you’re doing it to hit specific business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)—such as attracting a target audience, hitting more sales, or targeting high revenue.
However, besides making users click on your website, another key challenge is to retain them and deliver a smooth website experience for better engagement and conversions—and that’s where SEO plays a critical role.
Thus, SEO affects your website in two ways:
- Redesigning your website without SEO makes it difficult to attract users and affects conversions—resulting in loss of traffic and sales.
- Redesigning your website while considering SEO helps you optimize it for both users and search engines—increasing its visibility, organic traffic, and sales.
Hence, if you want to experience the latter positive results post-redesign implementation, here are the ten important website redesign steps to implement without losing SEO results.
10 Ways To Redesign Your Website Without Harming SEO?
1. Perform an SEO audit of your existing website
Before redesigning your website, it’s essential to analyze your existing website’s SEO performance to ensure you clear all SEO issues and see where you stand before implementing any changes.
The best way to do this is by using a crawling tool called Screaming Frog.
Once you enter your website domain in the tool, it crawls all the web pages and shows the current SEO status, like clicks and views, along with issues, like 404 URLs, if any.
This crawling helps ensure you don’t replicate the prior SEO errors and resolve them before redesigning your website.
And once you’ve resolved all the issues, it’s best to collect key performance metrics, like unique visitors count, bounce rate, average time on site, and current domain authority, to measure the impact of your website redesign on your SEO performance.
2. Use a test site to implement site redesign
You can begin the redesign process after you’ve cleared all the SEO issues.
It’s highly recommended that you perform redesign implementations to a test or staging site to maintain SEO.
It helps prevent search engines crawl and index your incomplete site version—preventing users from accessing your website, which they can’t use just yet.
You can avoid your test site from indexing by:
- Adding a “noindex” tag or robots directive to all your pages
- Clicking on “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” if using WordPress
- Disallowing all the search engine bots from crawling your website via robots.txt file.
At the same time, you can create a maintenance mode page for your website—so visitors don’t come across broken links or pages—while you’re brewing hot redesign changes in the staging site.
3. Perform on-page content optimization
Once your redesign changes are in place, you must perform on-page content analysis.
It depends on your content goals whether you want to keep the headers, title, meta descriptions, and the content’s body the same or optimize it per trending keywords while redesigning your website.
Pro tip: Keep your page’s inventory handy to compare the content changes that might have occurred during the website redesign.
4. Audit your redesigned website
After redesigning your website, you want to perform a complete redesign website SEO audit again—to help identify duplicate or thin content that can negatively impact your site’s SEO performance.
You can come across issues like
- Losing valuable backlinks and SEO values from individual pages after combining or eliminating them. (The solution to this is using 301 redirects, which we’ll extensively cover later in the article.)
- Losing search engine ranking of changed URLs, as Google takes a lot of time to index the new URL and make it rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Without performing this audit of the redesigned website—all your years of content generation and successful SEO could go in vain.
5. Setup 301 redirects
301 redirects forward an old URL to a new URL—indicating this permanent redirect change to search engines.
In case you wish to change your page’s URL structure or existing content during on-page optimization—implementing 301 redirects is crucial. It helps transfer the SEO attributes, inbound traffic, and link-building authority to the new page or URL to sustain your SEO efforts.
You can use plugins like All In One SEO’s Redirection Manager to simplify your site’s 301 redirects.
6. Activate your redesigned website
Once your redesigned website is ready for users to see, it’s time to activate it and make it available online.
At this stage, it’s critical to double-check that everything’s in place and working as planned. Here are some tips:
- Remove the “noindex” directive so Google can index your redesigned website.
- Check the URL structure and ensure you’re using SSL Certificates for each page.
- Check the Google Page Speed Test and Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure good UX.
- Set up Google Analytics to monitor and track website engagement. Check browser compatibility for a seamless user experience.
Check titles, metadata, and image optimization for the best SEO results.
7. Verify the robots.txt file
You can explicitly add your redesigned website’s sitemap in your robots.txt file to make crawling and indexing easier for Google.
It’s critical to ensure you aren’t preventing important pages of your redesigned website from being indexed, and also verify if you’re keeping certain pages or landing pages from being indexed—if required.
Also, make sure you’ve properly implemented canonical links for similar web pages on your website to prevent duplicate content issues.
8. Setup search console
Besides adding your site’s sitemap in the robots.txt file, you must submit your redesigned sitemap URL to Google Search Console. This step makes it easier for Google to find and crawl indexable pages of your redesigned site.
You can refer to this Google guide to learn and start with Google Search Console.
9. Check website indexing
Once you submit your website’s sitemap to the Search Console, you can check its indexing status.
You can utilize the URL Inspection Tool on Google Search Console to ensure Google correctly reads and indexes your newly redesigned and deployed website.
Pro tip: You can click the ‘REQUEST INDEXING’ button to speed up the indexing process.
10. Perform a post-launch audit to monitor the performance of SEO changes
Once your website is live—your job isn’t done yet.
You must monitor your redesigned website’s incoming data, including conversions, rankings, clicks, and performance, and use these KPIs in your marketing strategies.
You can manually monitor these KPIs, including keyword rankings positions, or use a ranking tool like SEMrush.
Make sure you’re only seeing consistent or positive SEO results and identify major changes in rankings—to take timely and corrective actions.
While website redesigning helps you rebrand your website and make it appealing, faster, and mobile-friendly—implementing it without a proper roadmap and SEO strategy affects years of SEO efforts.
So, ensure you follow the tips mentioned above and consider SEO while redesigning your website.
If SEO isn’t your strongest suit—you can rely on and leverage the expert benefits of SEO agencies. They’ll ensure a seamless website redesign without affecting your site’s SEO, so you don’t have to worry about losing SEO results and expect boosted traffic and sales instead.