3 Items That Will Save SEO Efforts Throughout a Website Redesign

19 September 2013

San Jose: The look and feel of a website is significant factor that help to express the quality of a site.  Regardless of how great the content is, or how renowned the company is, a website that doesn’t “look good” isn’t going to give a good brand experience.  That’s why it’s in the best concern of website owners to revive their website every few years with a modernized design.  Although website design entails a completely different skill set than an SEO campaign, SEO still needs to be deemed all through the redesign process.  If you are considering a website redesign, get your SEO team on board as quickly as possible.  If you don’t have an SEO team, it might be a high time to look into getting one. If a redesign is done without regard to SEO, it can spoil some of the search engine trust that was so hard to gain in the first place.

To save SEO efforts, it’s essential to do the following during a site redesign:

Utilize 301 redirects

A website redesign entails many components and is a best time to clean up components of the site that might have gotten disordered along the way.  It’s possible that when the site was first set up, or even during the last redesign, that usability and best practice wasn’t considered when setting up the URL structure.  If the URLs are very long or take in a string of letters or digits that don’t precisely mirror the content on the page, the URLs should be revised.  However, you can’t just copy over the content to a new URL and get rid of the old one.  It’s the existing URL that has gained search engine trust, which you don’t want to lose.  To preserve this search engine trust the existing (old) URL needs to be 301 redirected to the new corresponding URL.  To guarantee that some URLs don’t slip through the cracks, it’s suggested to set up a spreadsheet that lists all of the existing URLs on the site, note whether the URL is varying, and if it is- what the new equivalent URL will be.  This can be given to the web developer to execute.

Review changing content

All through a website redesign, it’s also common for a lot of the written content to be revived too.  This revised content needs to be reviewed from an SEO perspective to make sure that pertinent keywords are still incorporated.  You can look at Analytics and the previous keyword research that was carried out to see what keywords were bringing in visitors.  It’s imperative to confirm that those keywords (if relevant) are still taken in the on page content and within the meta information.  If the content and purpose of the page has altered, new keyword research is essential.

Password

Throughout the redesign process there will be two versions of the site, one that is live and one that is in a testing environment.  It’s very important to ensure that the new site in the testing environment is password protected so that it can’t be crawled and indexed by the search engine spiders.  You don’t want both versions of your site to come into view on a search engine results page.

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