So your website needs a refresh, but you’ve worked really hard on your SEO ranking?
Here’s how you can prevent a drop in your SEO ranking when you redesign your website!
STEP ONE: Make sure to update any internal links that may have changed as a result of the website redesign.
Ideally, you want the link structure of your web pages to remain the same, this will protect your SEO ranking!
So, if your previous website was set-up as yourdomain.com/about you shouldn’t change it to yourdomain.com/about-me
If something does change, go back & set it to the original version. If that’s impossible, see STEP TWO.
STEP TWO: Make sure to create a 301 redirect plan – this ensures that when users try to access the URL they used to they are redirected to the new version.
How do you know which pages will need a redirect?
Take note of all the site’s web pages that have already been indexed by Google. After you launch the new website, these pages will still remain in Google search results for some time, so it’s important we set up 301 redirects so that any Google users who click on them will be sent to the correct new page, not a 404 error page.
To see what pages have been indexed on Google, simply type into Google’s search bar:
site:domain.com (replace domain[.]com with the site’s domain).
TIP: If you’ve been actively sharing links to your old website on social media or other platforms, write down those links! Also, scroll through your Facebook page to see which links you’ve shared recently.
Download the Redirection CSV file by clicking here. Follow the steps for putting the old URLs in the first column & new URLs in the second.
Upload the CSV file to the Redirection plug-in on your WordPress dashboard.
You’ll want to do this ASAP, so that links can start redirecting to the correct pages. Google ranks your website based on accuracy of links so not doing this right away can cause a drop in SEO.
BONUS: Monitor your website traffic & rankings regularly! This will alert you if something is off & ultimately prevent you from having any negative effects of redesigning your website.