It is necessary for companies to go for a website redesign every now and then. Websites and their designs have a habit of going obsolete in a rapidly changing technological environment. However, companies also put in a lot of effort into optimizing their sites. The last thing they want is to lose their high rankings because they inadvertently ruined the SEO work on their site during the redesigning process. That is why it is essential that they follow certain steps to safeguard their website.
1. One of the first steps to take is what many experts in the SEO industry refer to as a site audit. When the format of a site is being altered, a golden opportunity presents itself to the webmasters to review their site from the point of view of SEO. In fact on many occasions new ideas were developed during the redevelopment process for improving the quality of SEO on the site. Some of the queries that can be examined by the auditors are, if the Meta tags are being used effectively, whether the inbound links have the right anchor text and whether each page has been optimized for search engines. The auditors can also use Google to create a list of all the pages it has indexed. Evaluations can be done if the number of indexed pages is enough or if measures should be taken to get more pages indexed.
2. When a site is being redeveloped it stands to reason that some pages will be discarded and some pages will be rewritten. This naturally means that certain keywords will either no longer have any value, or care needs to be taken to see that they find their way into the new content. It is commonly noticed that some web pages are rendered obsolete. However, it will be a mistake to simply remove them. Outdated pages have their own worth. Prudence demands that Google Analytics is used by the webmaster to establish the amount of traffic that these pages generate. There will be times that it is simply not possible to accommodate a certain page within the new design. On the other hand it might be generating a lot of traffic, which no webmaster wants to lose. Using a 301 Redirect is a good way of solving this problem. This is also a good time to write new content keeping in mind all the algorithm updates.
3. One of the major problems that webmasters have to deal with is the change in URLs. The search engines have to be informed where the old URLs have been shifted. Webmasters have put a lot of effort into optimizing their URLs. The last thing they want is for all that good work to be undone. It is a good idea for developers to crawl their own site and understand the nature of the URLs that they are currently using. The results of the crawl should be documented in the form of reports and shared with the entire team so that they understand which links need to be migrated and where. It is also essential to perform an inbound link analysis, and understand the nature of the links and the websites they are connected to.
4. One of the best parts about website redesign is the opportunity that it offers to developers to actually improve their rankings by using new SEO techniques. Google is now looking at many new factors when it comes to ranking websites. Many of the old websites are not optimized using these latest requirements and consequently suffer from low rankings. Page speed is something that is being looked at quite keenly by Google. Websites with slow page speeds are prone to low rankings. When websites are being reformatted initiatives can be taken to speed up the pages on the site. Some pages also have too much unnecessary clutter on them. This can be removed to make the site more browser-friendly. If the site is not compatible across browsers then it can be rectified to make it so. Often it has been discovered that sites get higher rankings after a clever combination of old SEO work and new SEO techniques.
This article has been written by Gops. Gops is the head of his own SEO Company. He is also a passionate writer having many publications and columns to his name.