Site redesigning could prove to be quite challenging and tricky. However, sometime down the road, you need to redesign your site and you simply cannot avoid it. However, when you do decide to redesign your website, you would be running the risk of losing some traffic and seeing a drop in your SERP ranking. Hence, redesigning a site is generally regarded as one of the most challenging tasks, a company encounters.
According to, whether your emphasis is on social media, content marketing, PPC or PR, Search Engine Optimization is certainly going to be one of the key stratagems in the marketing toolbox of your choice. Hence, you simply cannot ignore your SEO rankings. You need to preserve your SERP rankings despite a site overhaul. Let us explore some of the crucial steps or SEO best practices for preserving your rankings on the search engine results page once you launch your newly-redesigned site.
Establish Your Present SEO Ranking
You must be clueless about. You must start by examining your present SERP ranking. This could be done in two ways. Firstly, you could scrutinize your Google Analytics and identify the keywords that are already generating some organic traffic. Then you should Google those specific keywords directly and check your ranking for that specific keyword. You may alternatively, use the free software known as the Link-Assistant. Once you could identify the specific keywords you presently rank for, you could transfer such data directly to a spreadsheet to maintain records.
Establish Existing Meta Description and Link Structure
The next vital step would be to establish the present link structure to precisely your website. The best way to do it is simply by taking your current sitemap and transferring everything directly to a spreadsheet. Hence, if the existing sitemap is About, FAQ, Home, Services, etc. Then you could input practically all those pages one by one onto a spreadsheet. Consider incorporating the link for every page systematically in a completely separate row. This should prove to be crucial while examining and analyzing it against the brand new site structure.
Keep Content Almost Same Since It Is Associated With Search Indexing
This is only applicable to a specific page that is presently ranked extremely high on Google meant for an already given or specific keyword. Under the circumstances, it is best to keep the content almost the same to the extent possible. If it is working, don’t try fixing it. If you are already appearing on top of the Google Page one for a specific search term, you must simply let your content be just the way it is currently. This is simply because nothing you do could end up improving your situation and it most probably could make things worse.
Stick to Preserving the Site Architecture to the Extent Possible
Try to preserve the original site architecture in terms of the sitemap, to the extent you could. This should be including the overall linking structure along with the high-level hierarchy. This is applicable to a situation when you are presently having amazing rankings and naturally, you do not intend to mess up anything now. You could consider updating or upgrading the design of your website dramatically, however, you must focus on keeping your website’s overall structure the same. This step should help you in saving your spot on the first page of Google.
Keep Your Old Website Live
If possible, it is a good idea to consider keeping your original or old website live on basically a temporary online web address. Ensure that the website cannot be accessed at this juncture, by a crawler. Certain HTTP authentication could prove to be best but it could be truly beneficial if you could still have your old site live for reference purposes in the event you encounter an issue. More often than not, some portions of the website would be available on the web’s archive. However, having the real site live could prove to be a far better and fruitful idea.
Save All Crawl Data
The next important step is to consider saving all crawl data relating to the old site even though your site is on a temporary URL. In this context, Screaming Frog would be the best solution. Moreover, for a free analysis, you could consider loading up your old site.
Try to Avoid Fixing Things that Are Not Broken
Try to keep as many things the same as before as you can, particularly URLs. If you could maintain the same page names and URL structure, then fewer things could go wrong. If you need to make certain modifications, go ahead with them but ensure that they are necessary for overall wellness and greater good and not just for the sake of doing it.
Keep Monitoring Rankings
You could anticipate some fluctuations; however, you would be keen to be back to your previous rankings within a month of the launch of your redesigned website. If you are face issues, try and investigate them now so that they could be identified and resolved. At times, with humungous websites, if you have encountered certain issues, try to investigate them meticulously so that you could identify the problems and resolve them now. Remember it could be slightly time-consuming for deeper web pages to be effectively recrawled. You must also, keep track of organic traffic to key web pages for ensuring enhancements.
Perform a Technical Site Audit
You could utilize an effective tool specializing in technical site auditing for providing you with proactive information and data on technical issues. There are numerous competent tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, etc. However, one tool that could prove to be of immense help would be DeepCrawl that would also keep monitoring log files for detecting issues before they get transformed into nagging and more serious problems. These tools are effective for identifying and resolving new technical SEO problems that keep cropping up from time to time.
Seek Assistance from Google Search Console
We know that Google Search Console is constantly getting better by the day. It is useful in providing diagnostic information straightaway from Google. Tracking your 404s and 301s here would assist you in making sure that all these vital steps would all be working very much in your favor.
You have gone through certain key steps for preserving your SEO rankings after a session of upgrading and redesigning. It is best to employ the services of a qualified and capable Digital Marketing professional. Moreover, you could use this article as a comprehensive checklist for ensuring that all important steps are followed.