Last Updated in September 2021 by Lukasz Zelezny
An SEO website redesign and relaunch aren’t easy, and if done incorrectly, it may quickly turn into an SEO nightmare. Any changes you make to your website’s redesign could result in a loss of visitors and make your current site less “search engine ranking” friendly.
Perhaps you want to make the switch to HTTPS, to go international, or simply start a rebranding effort. You want your link juice, rankings, and traffic to stay the same no matter what you do. And you wouldn’t want all that hard work to be for nothing if you put a lot of SEO effort into your site, would you?
We created a list of the exact procedures you should follow for a successful SEO website redesign or relaunch because we know how much our favourite cognitive value their job.
Listed below are Site redesign SEO checklists for a successful redesign, relaunch, or migration.
Step 1: Examine your current website
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You should test your present site’s performance before redesigning it. Look at your bounce rate, domain authority, time spent on site, unique visitors, number of form submitted, and the overall sum of sales made in addition to your rankings for important keywords.
You can determine what’s working and what isn’t on your website with this information. Rather than starting from scratch, you can keep what works and make an improvement on what doesn’t in your relaunch.
Step 2: Make a list of your top-performing content
Take notice of the pages with the highest number of views, shares, and inbound links, as well as the keywords each of these pages, rank for, when reviewing your site. These are current site assets that must be safeguarded during the relaunch. You could seriously harm your SEO if you don’t. Making this an important part of the site relaunch SEO checklist.
Step 3: Establish your SEO objectives
Consider how you want to boost your search engine rankings as well as your traffic now that you know what you should keep. Would you like to improve your keyword ranks by 10% this year? Are you looking to multiply number of unique visitors you get every month? Or are you in search of organic traffic to outnumber paid traffic in your search results?
Make these goals explicit, quantifiable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound to make sure your relaunch project is both feasible and linked with your entire marketing plan.
Step 4: Improve your current content
Every single page on your website should target at least one keywords that are vital to your industry if you want to achieve your SEO goals. This ensures that your content strategy revolves around what your users are looking for instead of assuming.
It will take time to update your content like this, which is fine. Content optimization isn’t something you do at one try immediately and mark off your to-do list; it’s something you need to do regularly to stay on top. You can take care of few pages daily as this will help remain consistent with the optimization process.
Step 5: Configure 301 redirects
When you audit your site’s content, you’ll likely find some pages of low-value that aren’t worth updating. They could be obsolete, redundant, or unrelated to your business or industry, which is why they’re attracting so few qualified visitors.
You should eliminate these pages or redirect to maximize your crawl budget. The process of pruning contents is not always as easy as just clicking Ctrl + Alt + Del.
While it is safe to just archive site pages without any backlinks or match any other criteria as regards performance, you should redirect any pages that have backlinks or ranks lower for the same keywords set as another page.
To stay organized, make a spreadsheet to track and plot out your 301 redirects.
Step 6: Update the architecture of your website.
After you’ve pruned out content, ensure that the pages remaining are organized so that users as well as search engines can simply find them and also understand the relationship between them.
Your homepage, for example, may have links to your Products page, Services, About Us, page, News page, and Contact Us pages, and your blog’s homepage. These individual pages will all link to different parts of your website. The blog website, for instance, may link to your category pages, which in turn could link to different blog articles. These will then lead to your website author’s page.
This structure aids search bots in understanding not only the relationships between pages but also the significance of other individual pages. This is because more pages have links to your blog homepage than, for example, an author page i.e., search engines value the homepage of your blog the more.
Step 7: Improve the speed of your website
We all know that today’s internet users want websites to load quickly. 47% of customers expect a website page to load in at most two seconds. However, site speed isn’t just important for the user experience alone; it’s also a search ranking factor.
Consider compressing your website files, including a content distribution network (CDN), try to minify your code, and install a caching plugin on your website to help optimize your average load time of the page. Following these methods will improve your site’s technical SEO while also reducing page load time.
Step 8: Refresh your XML sitemap
You’ll need to do a thorough update to your XML sitemap and send it to either Google or Bing, or both once your site is up. A sitemap functions similarly to your website floor plan. It provides all important URLs to help search engine crawlers grasp your site’s structure better, assess and make it rank.
You can manually update your sitemap or make use of a tool like InSpyder.
You can help search engines understand the changes you made as fast as possible by aligning the 301s, the page structure, website navigation, and your XML sitemap to show the new website structure.
Increasing the Effectiveness of Your SEO Efforts
The target for more than just avoiding SEO disaster when redesigning your website. Following the steps outlined above can assist you in not just maintaining but also improving your websites search engine rankings as well as the traffic.