Your website needs to be changed from one design to another, based on the requirements of the targeted audience. It is really important to learn more about the ways in which you can re-design the website without making it degrade its quality. A lot of your website redesign depends on your ranking. No matter how many times you are planning to redesign your website, you should always try to do it on your own only after creating an SEO checklist. This list will provide you with all kinds of mandatory information to keep in mind while trying to redesign the website with keeping a note perfect for the SEO changes. So, without wasting your time, if you ever thought of changing the design of the website, you might have to create a checklist first. Let’s get started with the checklist option in here.
Auditing and crawling the main website:
It is mandatory for you to use crawl tool like the Screaming Frog, to help you get index of the pages and some major important pieces of Meta data that you might want to refer back when needed, and throughout the entire process.
- Always try to save the crawl you are working on. You might need this information to ensure that continuity between the new and the original e-commerce site.
- Once you have completed the crawl, make sure to identify some of the major issues from within crawl tool. It helps in creating spread for different stages of your content.
- Those stages are duplicate page titles, H1 tags, image alts or Meta descriptions. Then you have separate spreadsheets for missing page titles, H1 tags, image alts and Meta descriptions.
- Other spreadsheets are designed for those page titles which are under 150 pixels or more than 512 pixels. There are other noted spreadsheets for the Meta descriptions of more than 923 pixels and links to 404 pages.
- Other spreadsheets are for links to the 301 pages, links to other 3xx, 4xx or the 5xx status code URLs and any inconsistent use of the http vs. https or the www vs. non-www.
Mapping out the structure of the redesigned site:
Whenever you are aiming for the website redesign SEO checklist, you might be asked to map out the current structure of your redesigned website in here. Site migration is mainly one opportunity to optimize everything possible, which will include the URL structure of your website.
- You can always use the migration as major help to reorganize the URL folder in one logical way. It is also that time to consider some URL formal changes like www or the non-www and even that of trailing slash or the non-trailing slash.
- The new URL structures mean you need to set up redirects from old URLs to the new ones. Lucky enough, not every possible URL needed any change. So, you did not have to work on setting redirects for almost everything on your website.
- With some changes in the architecture of the website, it is important for the search engines to relearn on how the website is structured. Naturally, it might take time to update the index of the site with every possible detail of the architecture of the website. However, the result will be worth the hard works.
Some of the major points added:
Apart from the information mentioned already, there are some other necessary points to be included in the checklist while trying to restructure or redesign your old website. Don’t forget to keep a tab of all these points beforehand and don’t end up forgetting one.
- You need to have temporary dev URL. This temporary development URL is the one to save you during pre-launch stage. If you don’t want the site to be indexed, you can always develop one site on another URL called subdomain. You have to protect it with a password. In case, the site is already indexed, there is no reason for you to block it!
- Always try to create new robots.txt file. This file is mandatory during the pre-launch case as it provides instructions to the web robots about the website. You need to place this code in top-level directory of web server for blocking robots from getting information.
- Make sure to benchmark some of the present search engine metrics. Loads of SEO experts will make website audits before going around with minor changes. It is always highly recommended to benchmark the present performance process for not losing out the SEO efforts. You can try comparing your engine metric with data before and after you launched the site.
SEO redesign checklist:
It is always your duty to try removing the development or staging site crawler access. You can use the password to protect the staging the site. Make sure to also try in determining the redesign variables. There might be some new URL creations through new CMS or domain switch. It is up to you to determine where the allotted pages might fit into the current redesigned or restructured site.
Furthermore, you have to determine if you want to bring over all the content. With potential to lose pages which are driving traffic to site, a proper form of 301 redirect strategy is always in need. If you are planning for new site architecture, then you have to ensure that key internal pages do not lose link juice while changing main navigation, removing key links or footers from home page.
Make sure to research before deleting pages:
Always do your necessary researches before you try to delete pages or change the URLs. If you can then you must not try to change the structure of the website. If you ever need to delete a page absolutely, then dig right into the analytics of the site first using tool to ensure that the page is not responsible for the significant part of the site’s overall traffic. If the answer is yes, then you might want to revamp other than deleting the page completely. So, learn these points first before starting the redesign phase of the website.