How to Prevent Website Redesign from Affecting SEO Ranking of a Website
If you are planning to redesign your website so as to include all the latest features and make the site look a lot more appealing then you need to be aware of the fact that such redesign may well have a negative effect over SEO of your site. The reason is that many times during a redesign digital marketing agencies often miss or do not include the SEO features that were present on the previous website.
Our aim here will be to analyze SEO issues a website can face during a redesign and steps digital marketing firms can take to prevent website's ranking from going down.
Averting Negative SEO Effects of a Website Redesign
In following sections, we will examine two common issues that occur and how these issues can be avoided.
Issue #1: Indexing of Development Website
This is a common issue faced during site redesign and you will find that your site will go out of Google's index. This happens due to the fact that during redesign your web development company will block content of development version of your site so that it is not indexed by search engines.
This step is taken to ensure that in case some links from development site remain in your main website after redesign work completes, those links will not be indexed by search engines.
Can Indexing of a Development Site be Prevented?
Digital marketing agencies can do the following to prevent development website from getting indexed.
- Block all the pages of the development website using robots directive.
- Add the "noindex" tag for pages in your development website.
How Can Deindexing of a Site be Prevented?
Developers also need to ensure that main website's content will not get blocked during the redesign process. This issue occurs when pages are moved from your development website onto the main website.
To prevent this from happening what developers will have to do is remove the “nofollow” tag from pages of the development site before the pages are transferred to the main site.
Issue #2: Modifications in Link and URL Structures
This can be a concerning issue for any website and this type of problem occurs when:
- The content of a website is transferred from any sub-domain onto a sub-folder or opposite of the same happens. Let us look at an example to understand how this works. Suppose the URL structure of your site is like website.com/subfolder and during redesign, it is changed to subdomain.website.com
- Name of any subfolder is modified, as for instance, the subfolder was named website.com/subfolder/webpage and it is changed to website.com/new-subfolder/webpage.
- URL of a page is modified, as for instance, website.com/page32 is renamed to be website.com/contactus.html
How to solve these problems
Certain things your digital marketing agency can do in this respect would consist of:
- Carry out old to new webpage redirection (301 permanent).
- Create customized 404 pages so that visitors can continue to browse your site.
As we can see site redesign can be a complex task and by keeping note of the above details you will be able to retain its SEO value after redesign finishes.