How to Maintain Existing Traffic During Site Redesign Process?
A comprehensive website redesign is a complex affair. However, there comes a time, when website redesign is necessary, but there is a risk of losing organic traffic or slowdown of sales. SEO professionals find site redesigning a challenging task. There also are chances of losing the page rankings because small mistakes during the page migration process.
If you are using WordPress for your business, then it is important for you to maintain your existing flow of traffic, even after revamping the site. Here are some things you need to be aware of, if your WordPress site is getting overhauled.
Make sure that you have your web designers, developers, and other SEOs interact regularly, during the site revamp process. SEO professional will perceive elements from a traffic perspective, which the designers or developers can miss out on. Never rush a re-launch, because trying to maintain existing traffic is more crucial, than meeting a deadline.
What to do during the redesign process?
- Never pull your existing site down unless the website is redesigned and ready to go active.
- Review your keyword strategy to retain your organic traffic in the new redesign.
- Optimize all the content, because while redesigning, some Meta descriptions get dropped, or titles get altered.
- Maintain the old URL structure to retain your old inbound links.
If you change the URL structure, then there will be a need to perform a massive 301 WordPress redirect mapping.
How to create a total of 301 URL redirect mapping?
Every site redesign comprises of some pages that may need mapping towards a new URL. Every single revised URL Must have 301 permanent redirects.
Tips to execute mapping strategy
Avoid using 302 redirects – The 302 redirects are temporary, and so are not recommended. They are short term fix, but for a rewritten page, you will need a permanent strategy.
Never delete the pages – If you find the page old and unnecessary, than you may find deleting it an easy solution. However, it is a bad idea. Just change the page’s content, or redirect it to an interesting and relevant page.
404s in rare cases – In some cases, the 301 status code may not be applicable. For example, when a huge amount of very toxic links were targeted to a specific page, it is wise to use a 404 error code. It is not a valuable landing page, so no 301 redirects are needed. When the page gets redirected, both positive and negative link juice gets transferred. If you use 404, the toxic inbound links will show a limited impact on your overall website.
Creative 404 error page is helpful
A new site possibly experiences several 404s, so have a customized 404 error page. It can be an effective marketing tool for keeping the visitors onsite.
Create new sitemaps
When you redesign a site, it is necessary to have an updated sitemap. The sitemap helps search crawlers discover the new URL locations.
Put tracking codes
When you are completed, place an analytics tracking code within a page source. The relevant codes will keep track of conversion or landing pages. The data will be necessary after the re-launch of your revamped site. It will help to analyze the new site’s performance.
Make sure that you adopt a well-planned website redesign strategy before implementing it!