This is part 2 of a 3-part series.
In part one of this series we explained why it is important to look at a website redesign from an SEO perspective. If the content on the site is changing or if keyword research needs to be revisited, it means that an SEO Specialist should be brought into the process.
Here are a few more questions to ask yourself when undergoing a website redesign in order to save SEO efforts:
Is the URL structure changing?
If you have a site that is performing well on the organic search side of things, the best case scenario is that the URL structure is staying the same. If the URL structure is not staying the same, it is imperative to implement 301 redirects. A 301 redirect code will be implemented on the old URL and it ensures that both search engine spiders and website visitors are redirected to an active page. From an SEO perspective, a 301 redirect is important because it helps to preserve the link trust of the “old” page. If the “old” page has a significant number of inbound links and then gets eliminated without a 301 redirect, all of that valuable link trust is gone.
What is the load time of the site?
Page load time is one of many things that the search engines pay attention to when ranking a website. The search engines want to provide users with the best possible experience by providing them with the best possible search results. The search engines take the usability of a site into account. If the page load time of a site is high, that website isn’t providing a very good user experience and therefore won’t be viewed as favorably by the search engines. Take a careful look at the load time of your current website. If you’re performing well in the search engines, it’s likely a very low figure. While the new site is still in testing mode, be sure to examine its page load speed. You don’t want the page load time to suffer when transferring from the old site to the new site.
Is the testing site “no followed”?
Typically a website design/development firm will launch a testing environment site before the official launch of the actual site. This is beneficial because it allows them to test out different content and design layouts to find the perfect one. It’s extremely important that the testing site isn’t crawled and indexed by the search engines. This could result in people finding your new website before it’s actually ready for visitors. It also causes a duplicate content issue if the content is staying the same from the old site to the new site. Make sure to keep the site “no followed” while it is still in testing, but then remove the code as soon as it is officially launched to ensure that the search engines can crawl and index the new site as soon as possible.
Stay tuned for the final installment in this series in which we include the final questions that you should ask yourself when redesigning a website in Part 3 of this series.