How to Launch a New Website without Losing Your Google Ranking!
A fall in the SEO ranking is a matter of worry for any marketer or website owner, for it translates into present and future losses. That explains why website owners are often apprehensive about redesigning their websites. Afterall, it takes so much investment of time and effort to occupy a high slot in Google ranking.
But it’s also true that people’s tastes change over time, so the longer you delay your redesign, the more outdated your site will appear. Moreover, newer design methods allow you to improve the functionality and usability of your site for your visitors.
Redesigning your website will not only give it a modern look with all up-to-date facilities, it will make your visitors happier for sure. And you know what happier visitors means in marketing!
In this article, we’ll show you how to redesign your website without losing seo. Follow these simple steps:
#1, Take a through backup of the URL structure of your old website
The first step is to obtain your website’s URL structure. Redesigning entails a slew of modifications, including reorganization of URLs. As a result, it’s critical to back it up; otherwise, you risk harming your website’s ranking.
Plugins can be used to obtain the URL structure. You can crawl the website and then download the updated sitemap if you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin.
#2. Never modify your existing website directly, do it on a copy
Redesigning an existing website is never advisable. It may annoy visitors and impact your Google seo. The best idea would be to copy your website and save it as a temporary URL. This will give you freedom to experiment. Another option is to change the domain once all of the needed redesign modifications have been completed.
If you think you might have trouble with this, you can always ask your developer for assistance. You might also hire a hosting firm to handle it for you. It’s critical that you ask your hosting provider to handle the setup for you, as this will prevent you from future problems.
#3. Check-up the new website for broken links and other features
Finished copying your existing website? Now you can begin your redesign process
The very first thing you should do before implementing the modifications is perform a thorough audit that should cover broken links, features, CSS, and other parts of your website. To identify the broken links you can use the free-to-use applications, such as XENU. Running Google webmaster is another good option to identify the broken links.
#4. Ensure smooth 301 redirects
This is a very critical step and must be done by you.
Make sure your 301 redirects linking your old and new URLs together smoothly. For example, if your “About Us” page in the old website had the URL “www.XYZ.com/aboutus.html.” And If your designer changed the URL to “www.XYZ.com/about-us.html” during the redesign, you need to use proper 301 redirects to guarantee that your visitors are redirected to the latter URL correctly and that you don’t lose any SEO benefits earned from the prior URL.
The search engine will return “404 web pages not found” if your 301 redirects don’t perform correctly. 301 redirects is the technical method of informing the search engine that the URL has changed. As long as your 301 redirects are smooth, you’ll not be penalized by Google.
You can use the .htaccess file to add redirects. Also, there are redirect plugins that require you to fill out a form to be able to do it.
#5. Changeover to new website
Once both redesign and redirections are complete, it’s time to transition to the new website. If your website is large, you can also make changes in phases. Also, don’t forget to identify and fix broken links using Google webmaster. This will save you penalties in future.
#6. Check the status of the verification and re-submit
Usually developers and web designers often stop the search engine from crawling, during their work. So, you must ensure that the website’s crawler option is activated. To activate the crawler status follow these steps:
- Verify the status by going to “Fetch as Google” option under crawler
- Select “Fetch and Render” from the menu.
This will make your website fully crawlable.
It’s also important to check if your newly modified website is verified. This can be done through the webmasters of Google or Bing. Log into a webmaster and then verify and claim your website.
#7. Check the robot.txt file
The robot.txt file could get corrupted during the redesign process. Use the “robot.txt” option under crawl to check it.
#8. And finally, submit the sitemap
Submit the website XML to Google and Bing, now that your website has a changed structure. Your new website will be crawled within hours of being submitted.
Now that all steps are complete and your new site is fully active on the web, here comes the phase of monitoring the effects of changes and looking for more growth ideas. Keep a tight eye on your top keywords’ rankings. Many SEO tools are available to help you maintain track of these keywords. If your SEO has changed significantly, try to figure out why and find a solution if your website traffic has slowed significantly.
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