Among the business owners, it is a very common misconception that website can be designed only once as redesigning a website again will result in losing its credibility on the Search Engines. This means it will lose its SEO ranking when redesigned. The truth here is that ‘this isn’t the case. The cheat here is that it should be done the right way and with proper protocols.
If you’re not a professional in Indianapolis web design or have any kind of knowledge about SEO, then this is the blog for you. Here in this blog, we’ll discuss the tips on redesigning a business website without losing its SEO ranking.
How Can you Redesign Your Business Website Without Losing SEO?
There are many occasions when you are going to need to update or change the design of a website. Some of the compelling reasons for it include the following:
- Changing your brand face on the internet
- Rebranding your business
- Updating the design of your website
- Include a better content strategy
- Built on outdated technology
- Making the website mobile friendly
In order to make the website more compelling and User Friendly, it is very important to update your old one and give it a new design. This will help make your old website look more aesthetic and up to date. And this will increase user engagement and make the visitors happier too. As a result, you can also drive more traffic, which will help increase your bottom line.
Have a list of pages from the old website
This is the very first step you want to take when preparing to redesign your business website. Whether it is a normal corporate website, a blog, or an e-commerce website, you must begin with creating a list of the URLs of your website. When you perform redesigning of the website, there are going to be a lot of changes that will take place and affect the URL re-structure. This is why it is very important that you back it up otherwise you run the risk of making a negative impact on your website ranking. There are many plugins or modules available online that you can use for this purpose like the Yoast SEO plugin that lets you crawl the website and then download the updated sitemap
A few things you should know while downloading the URLs
- Number of the website pages
- Number of links present on your website
- Number of content levels on your website
- Videos, images, and other documents on your site
Redesign the website on a temporary (DEMO) URL
A very important rule when working on the Indianapolis web design part is to make that you never do the changes on the actual (real) website. Instead, this should be done on a demo URL or temporary URL. The reason here is that doing design changes on the actual website can cause visitor issues and create some problems in the long run. You can start with copying the website and setting it up on a demo URL. You can start doing the changes on this temporary URL. An alternative to this is to switch the domain once all the required redesign changes are made.
If this seems like a tough task, you must take the help of a professional web designer and developer so that you can stay on a safer side to avoid any hassle. Another option you can choose is to get the hosting company to do this for you. You can simply connect with the hosting provider and ask them to do the setup for you. When done by professionals, it will help protect you from unforeseen issues in the future.
Test the new website
Now that you have successfully copied your existing website into the new one, it is time that you do a ‘test run’ before you start your redesigning project. This is a good idea to test the website so that you can be sure that the website is working well and is free from any kind of error. During the ‘test run’ you must check and lookup for different aspects of your website like broken links, features, CSS, etc. There are various tools you can use to do this like XENU, which is a free tool to check any broken link on your website.
Set Up 301 Redirects
The next step you need to take here to ensure proper website designing is to set up 301 redirects, which is aimed to help you in forwarding an old URL to a new URL of your choosing. Any professional Indianapolis web design company can tell that website redesigning can be more complex for maintaining your SEO, in case you are not redirecting the old pages to newer pages.
One of the main purposes of using the 301 redirects is to inform the search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc. that this is the new and permanent change on your website. It is very important that you do not avoid or skip this step as it ensures that nothing is lost. In case 301 redirects is not done, the search engines will get 404 web pages not found error. When you do this step, the old page will be redirected to the new one. It is just like informing your friend about your new house address once you have moved to a new place.
Make the jump to the new website
Now comes the final step when you finally need to switch the demo website design to the new website. In case the website is big, you can also choose to make an incremental change in stages as this will help avoid any kind of technical error. Once you finally move to the new website, make sure to run Google Webmaster tools to check if there are any broken links. In case you find any broken links, you must do the required as soon as possible.