What Traffic and Ranking Changes a Website Redesign Can Affect? And How to Prevent Ranking Drops?

Alekh VermaBlog0 Comments

So, you are looking to give a makeover to your virtual presence (this could be for many reasons – moving to a more responsive site, including a new theme, launching a new product/service).

A new architecture will definitely help you give your site a refreshing presence – and it certainly is a splendid decision, as Search Giant Google definitely loves new experiments.

But, have you thought about the transition risk it will bring on Ranking and Traffic?

he biggest concern is redesigning the site can lose you Google search engine ranking you are enjoying right now. But this concern should not dissuade you from going for a constructive change which has the potential to impress customers as well as Google and improve your business visibility prospects.

In what measures the site redesign will affect your Google ranking?

This primarily depends on the changes you are making. Are you changing primary content? The way the site looks? The navigation structure of the site? Or going for a change from scratch?

A carefully worked-upon site redesign with a well-designed layout and refreshing modification has all the potential to hold on the current traffic, as well as attract new customers.

What are the factors which can damage a site’s ranking when undergoing re-design?

  • Not including keywords in the content, or over-stuffing the keywords
  • Long site load times negatively affects ranking, so you should not use such web design tactics.
  • Forgetting to optimize the images
  • Not informing search engines if the URL structure has been changed
  • Not retaining the current social integration functionalities
  • The web pages are not cross-linked
  • Multiple number of pages in the result shows same content, leading to duplicate content
  • Creation of content gap due to removal of web pages

What site owner should do so that the site does not get negatively affected?

The best thing you can do to have a high quality redesigned-site is to go through a comprehensive SEO Audit. Understand what needs to be improved; don’t drop Optimization during redesign or Migration, as preparing redesigns and CMS migration is critically important.

Long gone are the days where a site could look and feel same for decades. In today’s marketing age it’s not about why and how you redesign your website, but it’s about when you’re going to re-design it to keep your virtual business space look contemporary and stimulating always.

5 Things You Must Consider and Implement While Redesigning Your Site:-

1. Find Which Pages on Your Site are Ranking:

Make use of Google analytics, and check which of your web pages are ranking in Google search engine results. Create an account to help show the pages that receive the most visit.

2. Make Use of the Spreadsheets:

Creating new sitemaps (HTML and XML) makes sure you always have an up-to-date sitemap, which is highly necessary. And add new URLs to a master spreadsheet to make sure that the indexed URLs are easily redirected to a new page after the site has been redesigned.

3. Keep a Backup:

Keep a backup of the database for old and new sites and then download the files for both the websites. Create an effective customized 404 error page to keep users online. Also, put relevant tracking codes as you will need the data once the site is launched.

4. Redirect the Web Pages to Particular New Addresses:

You should always redirect your old pages to new pages with 301 redirects, which must be particular web pages, similar to the old architecture; not that every old page is redirected to the new site home page.

5. Allow Your Re-Designed Site to Go Live:

Don’t rush the launch, meet the deadline only after maintaining search traffic and avoid placing unreasonable deadlines upon a site launch.

The Aftermath: How you must go through the performance analysis of the site you have re-built?

Once the launch is over, you can watch your traffic and rankings. Keep a careful eye on your analytics during this time and find unusual traffic drops, sudden 404 spikes and accomplish all the tasks implementing the following:

  • By Bounce Rate – It is the rate which tells if the visitor came and gave a look to your site.
  • By Pages Per Session – It is the rate which tells how many times the visitor scrolled through different pages at a specific time interval.
  • By Goal Conversion Rate – It is an important task at which you specify the visitor’s actions of phone calls, submissions or transactions.

Whether it means having better prices or a better looking/performing website, site restructure is necessary after a certain time period so that you always have an edge over your competitors.

Alekh Verma

Alekh Verma

Alekh Verma is the Founder and CEO of eSearch Logix Technologies, a leading SEO Company in India based at Noida (Delhi/NCR). A leading Online Marketing expert and strategist, Alekh helps businesses to improve their Online presence by help of Search Engines and other Digital Sources like Paid Advertising and Affiliate Marketing.
Alekh Verma