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How to Preserve SEO Traffic When Redesigning Your Website

Digital Marketing

Serg Ursa SEO Specialist

In the digital age, your website serves as the heart of your business’s online presence, attracting visitors, generating leads, and driving conversions. However, the decision to redesign your website brings with it the risk of diminishing your hard-earned search engine optimization (SEO) traffic.

This drop in organic traffic can be an unwelcome surprise to many, from seasoned business owners to digital marketers who might not specialize in SEO. That’s why recognizing the significance of your website’s current SEO standing is crucial when planning a redesign.

In this guide, we show you what to do to avoid a decline in SEO Traffic when redesigning your website.

Why It’s Important to Preserve SEO Traffic

The importance of preserving your website’s SEO traffic cannot be overstated. Organic search traffic represents not just a culmination of your past marketing efforts but a cornerstone of your digital presence. This type of traffic is the result of time-intensive and resource-heavy investments aimed at building your brand’s visibility and authority on search engines.

Unlike paid advertising, organic traffic brings in visitors without the direct cost per click, making it a highly valuable asset. Losing this traffic due to a website redesign could mean not just a temporary dip in visitor numbers but a significant setback in the online competition for attention.

Why SEO Traffic Can Decline After Website Redesign

Understanding the technical nuances behind why SEO traffic might decline following a website redesign is crucial.

At the heart of this issue is the relationship between your website and how it’s indexed and ranked by search engines. Each page of your site that appears in search results does so because search engines have a record of its URL.

When you change these URLs, whether by renaming pages, altering site structure, or deleting content without proper redirection, you risk breaking the link between your site and its presence in search engine results.

To find out more, you can read our resource on why SEO traffic can decline after a new website build.

Preserving Existing SEO During Redesign

The prospect of a website redesign offers an exciting opportunity for improvement and innovation.

However, it’s important to approach this process with a strategy that preserves your existing SEO value. This includes resisting unnecessary changes to page URLs, titles, and content that currently enjoys high rankings and traffic.

When changes are essential, implementing proper redirects ensures that search engines and users can find the new locations of moved content.

The goal here is to make sure you do not create 404s in search results and that users don’t hit a dead end from visiting a broken link from a search results page.

Improving SEO During Redesign

While preservation of existing SEO is critical, a website redesign also presents a prime opportunity to enhance your site’s SEO performance.

This can involve reevaluating your site’s structure for better user and crawler accessibility, optimizing content and metadata for clearer relevance signals to search engines, and ensuring that any changes in URLs are managed through careful planning and redirection.

Making the Migration Plan

A successful website redesign that maintains or improves SEO performance requires meticulous planning.

This involves a detailed audit of your current site, understanding which pages are most valuable in terms of traffic and engagement, and planning how each piece of content will fit into the new site architecture.

The creation of a comprehensive migration plan, which includes URL redirection strategies for every moved page, is essential.

Monitor 404s and Your Traffic

Monitoring your site for 404 errors and tracking your traffic patterns are crucial post-launch activities. An increase in 404 errors can signal issues with your redirection plan, potentially harming your SEO by disrupting user experience and search engine results.

Equally, keeping a close eye on your search traffic before, during, and after the redesign can provide valuable insights into the impact of the redesign on your site’s search performance.

Consider Doing It In Stages

Approaching your website redesign in stages can offer several benefits, particularly from an SEO perspective.

By separating visual and structural changes from content updates, you can minimize disruptions and better isolate the effects of specific modifications. This phased approach allows for more controlled experimentation, easier troubleshooting, and more accuracy.

Moreover, staging the redesign process enables you to measure the return on investment (ROI) for each phase separately, providing clear insights into what works and what doesn’t in terms of SEO and user engagement.

This strategic approach ensures that each modification including the site’s appearance, structure, or content contributes positively to your overall online presence.

Conclusion

Starting a website redesign is a significant venture that offers the potential for substantial rewards in terms of branding, user experience, and digital presence.

However, without careful planning and execution, it can also pose risks to your established SEO traffic and rankings. Remember, the goal is not just to maintain your digital footprint but to expand it, making your site more visible, accessible, and engaging than ever before.

As you move forward with your redesign project, keep these principles in mind and consider enlisting the help of professionals if the process seems daunting.

If you have questions or need assistance with website development or SEO strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to NVISION for help. Your website’s future success starts with the steps you take today.

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