If you’re thinking about redesigning your website or changing to a different content management system, it’s essential to make a strategic plan for completing this task. Working diligently for the search engine listings you received can quickly diminish if you complete your website redesign incorrectly. Following a few essential tips should help you redesign your website without hurting your SEO rankings.

Get Current Website Metrics

Before you make any changes, it’s important to see how your website ranks currently. You can do this by checking Google Analytics and examining how your pages rank and make a list of the keywords providing traffic. Crawling your site will provide you with essential components, such as title tags, meta descriptions and URLs, that you can compare after you’ve completed your redesign. You’ll also want to verify any blocked content you’ve got by using the Google Search Console. After you’ve examined your site, you can create goals for your website redesign.

Utilize a Staging Environment for Creating Your Website Redesign

The second step to take when you’re going to redesign is to set up a staging environment where you can test your new pages without launching them live. Taking this step is essential as you don’t want to change your live site and have something go wrong, showing your site having duplicate content. Building the new site in a staging environment gives you the ability to test for broken links or other errors before launching your new site. Don’t forget to let Google know that your staging environment should not be indexed or followed if it’s connected to the internet in any way.

Create Proper 301 Redirects

When you’re creating new URLs as part of your website redesign and have them finished, it is critical to make sure you have 301 redirects in place for every page. This lets Google know that you have new content and have added to your site’s structure. When possible, it’s best to preserve as much of your overall site architecture as you can. Doing so should provide you with better odds of not affecting the rank of your search engine listings. It’s also important to ensure that you don’t have any 404 error pages. Checking your content in a staging environment should help you avoid this problem.

When you are ready to take your switch redesign live, make sure you have internal links set up to your new content. Doing so will let Google know that you created more value for visitors. It should get these new pages indexed faster and could help improve your search engine rankings. Tracking your website traffic and rankings after you’ve completed all your changes will help you know if you’ve made any mistakes or need to take care of any errors.

Use a Digital Marketing Agency If Needed

Keeping your new content as close as possible to your old site is vital as it will help safeguard against losing your rankings. If you use a digital marketing agency that can give a practical consultant, you greatly increase the probability of correctly completing a switch redesign. Their team will make sure to double-check everything so that you don’t have any duplicate content. Transitioning your website from old information to new is one of their specialties, which should give you peace of mind when you utilize their service.