In today’s highly competitive marketplace, design trends keep on changing. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors in the industry, you need to keep your website up-to-date with the latest trends and functionalities. In simple words, you need to redesign your website frequently. It is recommended by many SEO service providers to renovate your entire website every few years instead of doing small revisions here and there. However, people often hesitate about opting for the redesign process. The reason is that they are afraid of losing their SEO rankings in the process. During a website redesign process, there is a risk of losing its rankings, organic traffic, and even sales.
So, how to retain SEO rankings while redesigning your website? Well, with the help of some of the best practices, you can retain your ranking and enjoy the benefits of a new website design.
- Save the original website’s data: By keeping and maintaining similarity in the flow of content and design of your old website, the website’s rankings can be controlled to a great extent. It is vital to note that search engines rank those websites or pages higher that are easy to navigate. Therefore, make certain to save all the old and current data of your website including a list of all the pages, its URLs, important content, sitemap, keywords, etc. A backup of all the previous data helps developers and designers to ensure that the user experience doesn’t get disturbed on the redesigning of the website.
- Avoid making changes on the live site: Another important thing to keep in mind while redesigning a website is to prevent making any changes on the live site. Make sure to disable the website while making any kind of changes or redesigning process. You can make it live only after testing the updated version of the website. However, disabling the website may increase the risk of losing many customers and visitors who might be trying to access your site. To avoid this kind of risk, it is recommended by experts to do the changes and updates on a different domain or a staging site. Once all the changes are made, testing is done, and you are satisfied with the final result, you can swap the new website with the old one live on the Internet.
- Make use of 301 Redirects: Wherever there are changes in the URLs, be sure to create 301 redirects for them. The 301 redirects play an important role in notifying the search engines that the content has been transferred to a new location. This way it helps to take the visitors from the old web page to the new one. Any broken link can affect the ranking of the website negatively, leading to reduced organic traffic to the website. This occurs due to the reason that the search engine allocates the existing ranking to the new page only after it recognizes that both the pages have identical content in them.
- Look for broken links: Even after setting up 301 redirects for the web pages, there can still be an issue of broken links. For instance, if there is a spelling error or mistype in the URLs, broken links can show up. If this issue remains, search engines and your visitors will see a page with the message ‘404 Page Not Found’. It will create a bad impression on the visitors and they may switch to some other website. This way, the error not only affects the user experience but also the search rankings of the website. Therefore, it is advisable to use some advanced tools to find any broken links on the website and correct them immediately.
- Reinstall SSL certificates: The redesigning process of a website may result in the loss of the site’s Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Websites that have SSL certificates have an added advantage on the SERP. It is vital to note that the safety and privacy of data play an essential role in gaining people’s trust as well as in the ranking of a website. SSL is simply a protocol used to encrypt communications. It is used to form an additional layer of safety that protects the information people agree to share with a website. Therefore, whenever you plan to design your website, make sure to reinstall all the SSL certificates. This will assure that your new website will start ranking up on the SERP immediately after going live.
- Update your sitemap: A sitemap of a website helps search engines to determine the number of pages of your website for crawling. It is simply an XML file that comprises a list of the website’s URLs. When you redesign your website, be certain to create a new sitemap XML document. This will help search engines to index the website faster. Moreover, it facilitates easy navigation to the site visitors. With the help of webmaster tools, you can submit your XML sitemap to search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.
- Update your Google my business page: Though it is quite a small step but is very important for the ranking of your website. Google My Business is an effective business tool that helps in improving your local search rankings. It provides local service-based businesses the required exposure to be at the top of the SERPs in their region. Therefore, as soon as your new website is live, make sure to make the necessary changes to the Google My Business Page of the business.
So, these are some of the effective ways to retain your SEO rankings even after redesigning your website. Redesigning is necessary to keep up with the ongoing trends and technologies. At the same time, maintaining SEO rankings is also crucial to stay ahead of your competitors. You can also take the help of a professional digital agency like PeddleWeb, the best SEO company in India that can help in redesigning your website while retaining its SEO rankings.