In the last few years, customer requests for “redesigned or relaunched” companies have grown. These had changed the structure of their new websites, put a lot of emphasis on design and usability, but disregarded the SEO aspects. This resulted in sales slumps, which were often difficult to absorb.
Have you decided to look after the redesign of your website? Then you have to follow SEO Tips to redesign your website.
Backup the old web page: Back up your old website, so you can get back to it! We did not have to go through this drastic step of the relaunch of the old website, but it is always better to stretch a safety net, because you will see what is important and which can go wrong.
Prevent indexing by search engines: The development of the new website should take place in a “shielded” environment, ie search engines should not be allowed to index the new website. If this point is not observed, problems with duplicate content may occur, as both the old and the new website (and probably a test domain) with similar content are online.
Possibilities to prevent indexing by search engines:
- In the robots.txt
- In Robots Meta Tag – set this to “noindex”
- In addition, we recommend setting up a password protection in the htaccess.
New website structure:A relaunch is often used to adapt the structure of a website to the current products or services.
URL of pages: This usually also changes the URL of the individual pages of a web page.
For example, Old URL: www.domain.com/pictures
New URL: www.domain.com/pictures/pictures-21-coll
To ensure a smooth transition from the old to the new web page, it is important to create a list with an overview of all old URLs and the corresponding new URLs. Please take into account the following:
- Whether a URL changes
- Whether a URL will be omitted
- Subsequently, it is decided for which URLs 301 redirects ( Permanent Redirects 301 ) are set up in the htaccess. These redirects should be made for all important URLs.
If many URLs are missing and there are no hierarchically superior pages on your website for redirects, a very user-friendly 404 error page is to be set up. A 404 error page is part of every full web page, but after a relaunch, it is especially important, because it is displayed in the browser when the URL you are called is no longer on your web page.
Moving pictures and media: The “addresses”, ie the URL of the media, can also change. Here it is important to check the correct integration into the new pages:
- Check the pictures
- Check PDF
- Watch videos …
Internal linking: The links between the pages of a web page are called internal links. You will find internal links in the navigation / menu, as text and image links in your website. If you have a so-called HTML sitemap on your website, the links must also be adapted here.
Even if you have set up redirects as described in above point, the internal links should be carefully examined. You can perform this check manually or with tools.
Backlinks: Links from other websites to your website. These backlinks have often been built over years, through their commitment, networks, partnerships, professional associations, etc.
Valuable backlinks are still an important ranking feature for the search engines and therefore it is important that you get as much backlinks as possible. With the 301 redirects from point 3 you take a first step. For all important backlinks, we recommend you:
- Entries in associations / social media channels etc. change itself.
- To inform everyone who has linked to your website and to link to the current content.
Move the analysis codes: All codes of the old website should be integrated into the new website shortly before the relaunch:
- Google Analytics – Pay particular attention to the target definitions and remarketing lists when you are already working with them.
- Google Search Console
- Link to Google Author’s publisher tag
- Google AdWords – Pay particular attention to conversion tracking and re-marketing codes.
Check HTML: At the same time, it is also important to remove unnecessary codes that are still out of development. So please check the source code again… For example: Comments – We have found poems and funny comments during our reviews, which may have brightened up the mood during the development but have nothing to look for on the website.
- Robots Meta Set tag to “index”
- As soon as the website is available online, we recommend checking the pages of the website with the W3C Validator (because you have certainly commissioned a W3C valid HTML code to make sure that your new website works flawlessly.): https://validator.w3.org/
On-page SEO optimization: Your old website was already optimized for the search engines? Then it is important to check whether the meta data have been taken, eg: Title. Description, headings and URL of your website…
Testing the new website: Now your new website is online and now testing begins:
- Display and function tests in all popular browsers
- Display and function tests on all standard devices (display on mobile devices, responsive design settings)
- Fill out forms, send and check receipt
- Check the ordering processes
Log on to the new website: Sign in to your Google Search Console. If you already use these, you can use the function “Change domain address” for a domain change. You can proceed as follows:
- Crawl the pages of the site through Google Search Console / Crawl / Retrieval as Google.
- Submit the Sitemap.xml under “Google Search Console / Crawl / Sitemaps”.
- Test your robots.txt under “Google Search Console / Crawling / robots.txt – Tester”.
Monitoring / control after the redesign or relaunch: Your website has been launched, you have tested it, checked the codes and registered the pages. Then it is time to get an overview of the data.
If you use Google Analytics and Search Console, this is relatively easy. Look at the following:
- The loading speed of the web page.
- How many calls / submitted forms were there after the relaunch?
- Have more visitors been reached?
- Has the ranking in the search engines changed?
- Also check the error logs of the servers.
- In the 14 days after the relaunch, we recommend checking this data daily and then at a longer time. This is of course dependent on the size of the website. A daily check should be carried out for larger websites over a longer period of time.
The goal of a website relaunch or redesign is, besides a more modern web presence:
- Better usability
- Higher ranking
- More customers – more sales
Did you reach your goal with your website? please share your experiences with us…