This is a common question everyone asks before making decision for website redesigning. No matter how good your site design is, every time new design trends release and you will keep changing or updating your design. Keeping your website up to date and continuously improving your design, features and user experience is actually something that is not only welcomed by Google, but it is also suggested.
Website redesigns can be good- they can be necessary sometimes to improve branding or other issues- but there are limits to what you can do if you want to keep your traffic. So it’s a main concern that SEO impacts your redesign, since a website redesign done wrong can mean the loss of hard-earned Google rankings. And anytime your page names, folder names, site structure or domain names changes; there are specific things you must do to keep your rankings and traffic.
Please take a look to how to preserve SEO and Traffic:
- Create a list of all pages from your OLD website. Keep as many pages of content and same as possible.
- Keep as much text as possible.
- Don’t drastically change text copy.
- Don’t create pages that take much longer to load, if possible reduce page load times.
- Keep site navigation as-is.
- Keep mata tags same.
- Keep site structure and URLs as-is, second best option is 301 redirects or mod rewrites- if a 5,000 page 301 redirect file is needed for launch, make sure you have a logic in mind about how new site is organizing the old pages.
- Keep the most linked-to pages as-is.
- Create a sitemap.xml file.
- If doing a change of domain name, add and verify Google webmaster tools on old site and new site BEFORE redesign, then at launch use change of address tool.
So don’t be afraid to make drastic changes with your site design. Just as it is important for you to continue to improve your traffic, it’s important for you to continue to adjust your design so you can maximize your conversion rate.