Even the most efficient and well-made websites need redesigning eventually.
A redesign often coincides with a drop in traffic so it can be tempting to hold off from doing it for as long as possible to avoid losing traffic.
The constantly changing nature of the internet means you must adapt and improve your website regularly.
Luckily, you can avoid drops in traffic after your redesign by following these simple tips.
Before starting your redesign you must first make a comprehensive plan of action.
Analyze your current website and make notes on everything you like and list what aspects of it work and that you would like to keep.
Have your notes on hand when planning your redesign to ensure you stay on track.
Your SEO strategy should be thought out carefully from the start so you can fully incorporate it into the foundations of the redesign.
Hire an SEO expert and consult them on your plans.
SEO is a lot more effective when worked into the redesign from the outset rather than added in at a later date.
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After redesigning, make 100% sure that all of your redirects are set to the correct locations.
Improperly directed URLs are a main contributing factor to traffic decline after redesigns, so double check you’ve done it right.
When troubleshooting traffic issues, the redirects are the first logical place to look.
Permanent 301 redirects should be used in place of impermanent 302s so that your website’s ranking on search engines isn’t negatively impacted.
With the correct redirects in place, any drop in traffic should be temporary and fleeting.
Google and other search engines will use the structure of your website to determine its place on their listings.
After a redesign, if your structure is radically different to what it previously was, Google will struggle to index your site.
Submit a fresh sitemap to Google’s Search Console to ensure they’re working off the newest data possible.
Check out the plugin YOAST if you are using WordPress. Your sitemap can be created dynamically for you.
Search engines also use the total number of internal links to index your site, so make sure you have the same number, if not more, than you had before the redesign.
A website’s structure is an often overlooked factor in influencing traffic levels, so commit serious attention and time to it.
If the copy on your site was redesigned along with everything else, then it may not be optimized as efficiently as before or with the same keywords in mind.
Hire an experienced and talented copywriter and communicate your ideas to them clearly.
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Look back over your plan and inform the copywriter of what keywords the previous design was optimized for and ask them to either replicate it or improve upon it. With clear and reasoned instructions, the right copywriter will be able to boost your traffic levels through their work.
The words that your copy is optimized for will impact the demographics your site attracts, so consider them carefully as it’s crucial to your ongoing success.
Make sure you have access to as much analytical data as possible so you can react to it appropriately.
Along with your own data, check search engines regularly.
We use SEMrush to track our ranking keywords. It’s an incredible tool and you can try it free.
A drop in traffic can sometimes be attributed to something as simple as a change in the way search engines calculate their information, so keep your finger on the pulse and check multiple data sources before reaching a conclusion.
Small drops in traffic are common after major redesigns due to search engines taking time to index your new pages, but if it persists or worsens then you must react appropriately.
Fortunately, the solution is often relatively simple, but time is money so the longer you take to fix the problem the more of an impact it will have.
With careful planning and an ability to react quickly, your new website design will attract more visitors and be more successful than it was before.