How to Manage a Successful Website Redesign and SEO Website RelaunchSeptember 12, 2019 No Comments
Featured article by Ritu Sharma, Content Insights Manager & Online Marketing Strategist
So, you have finally found out that there is a need for you to devise a new SEO plan and your website’s design needs an overhaul. Thanks to your initiative of being updated with the latest news in SEO, you made yourself knowledgeable of the latest trends in SEO and web design.
There is just one big problem. Your website is already gaining a reasonable amount of traffic and it is already performing so well in search engine rankings. However, if you do not do the overhaul as soon as possible, you will lose all of it and you will start back at square one.
So, how do you make sure that you are not affecting your current performance and user interactions while you plan your redesign and relaunch? Read on to know more.
Before anything else, you should know that migrating your website to, say, a new hosting or a new CMS is not easy. It needs careful planning and tedious checking. One wrong move and you could mess up with the entire code of your website!
Aside from that, you also need to consider the SEO strategies already in place on your website. If these strategies are not carried through, then you could be losing a lot of traffic and potential leads. So, we are here to guide you on what you should do, or at least take note of, when you are doing a redesign. Remember that these are just simple tips. Do your homework and read up on related topics too.
Project Plan and Goal Setting
The process of redesigning and relaunching a website is very similar to doing it for the first time. Just like launching for the first time, you also need to have a proper project plan and you need to set a new set of goals in line with your new project plan.
Give yourself ample time to plan ahead. You do not want to rush things. The important thing you need to remember is that at this stage, you need to be detailed with your plan. It should include a proper timeline, a checklist, and a quality assurance plan. Below are some aspects that you may want to give attention to.
- Content Structure: Make sure you take note of how your content and date are architected. You should have a sitemap, a table of your themes, topics, subtopics, and subjects. If you do not have a current content structure, then this is the perfect time to do it.
- On page Optimization: Any SEO strategy, no matter how updated it is, will not work if there is no proper on page optimization. So, before you do your redesign, make sure you take note of the HTML elements you will need to optimize later on once the redesign is done.
- Redirects: The complicated thing about redesigning is that links will always change. And, you do not want a user to click on your high ranking link and then arrive at a 404 error page. This is never good for the userexperience. So, you need to come up with a detailed re-direct plan so that even if your previous old links are still ranking on Google, the users will be directed to the new and updated links.
- Backup: Of course, the last thing you need to do after you have reviewed your old website is to back it all up. Nobody wants to make content from scratch all over again, right?
Checking and Initial QA
During the launch stage, the only thing that you need to remember is to religiously follow what is in the checklist you made during the pre-migration phase. Moreover, if you can do an initial quality assessment, do so.
If you find even a single fault, never give a go signal to go live.
Proper QA and Sitemap Submissions
After launching, the very first thing you need to do is make a proper sweep of the entire website. The most important part here is to check every single link from your old website and make sure that they are properly redirecting to the new site links.
Moreover, you also need to start working on submitting your new XML sitemaps so that search engine crawlers are informed that you did an update.
Unfortunately, your SEO strategies will not be totally carried over to your new website. So, once everything is set, by set we mean that you already did your QA and you are in the middle of monitoring your performance, you can start implementing your new SEO strategies right away. This will ensure that search engines will not have time to put you down in the rankings.
It is true that redesigning and doing major updates to your site is tedious. It is a lot of work. However, it needs to be done. And, you can actually make it less stressful if you plan everything ahead and you stick to your deadlines and checklists.
About the Author
Ritu Sharma is the Content Insights Manager & Online Marketing Strategist with over 9 years of professional experience. She is currently working with India’s leading SEO company PageTraffic. She has spearheaded many successful SEO campaigns for PageTraffic. You can follow her at twitter @realritusharma or Google+.SOCIAL BUSINESS