How to avoid an SEO disaster when redesigning your website

It sounds like a great idea on paper – a brand new website, totally updated and redesigned. What could possibly go wrong, right? Unfortunately, many companies do not take the right precautions when launching their new websites, and discover that they’ve lost a majority of their rankings and organic search traffic after migrating to a new Content Management System. As consultant Glenn Gabe notes, some companies lose as much as 60-70% of their natural search traffic after a redesign or migration.

Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most valuable asset you have, and by taking the following precautions, you can make sure that your redesign does not affect it adversely.

Crawl Your Website
Start by creating a list of all the URLs on your website, and identify any pages that will need to be rerouted with a permanent 301 redirect. Even if you aren’t moving to a new domain it is possible that your page’s URLs may change. This can result in a loss of individual page rankings, which will add up to a loss of overall site visibility in search engines. So inform search engines in advance about these changes. There are a number of online tools, such as Screaming Frog, which will help you generate this list.

Analyze Inbound Links
Inbound links add a lot of authority to your pages. But when the URLs change, links will need to be redirected so that you don’t lose out on the traffic from your inbounds. You can do this by performing an inbound link audit to determine your link profile, creating a list of pages that must be reclaimed, and then ordering them by highest domain authority and relevance.

Conduct An SEO Audit
An SEO audit is absolutely crucial when it comes to identifying the strengths, weaknesses, risks, and opportunities of your current website. This knowledge must be at the heart of your redesign. You should keep an eye out for:

1.Missing page titles
2.Duplicate page titles
3.Page titles over 512 pixels
4.Page titles below 200 pixels
5.Missing H1 tags
6.Duplicate H1 tags
7.Multiple H1 tags
8.Missing meta descriptions
9.Duplicate meta descriptions
10.Meta descriptions over 923 pixels
11.Canonical tags
12.Canonicalisation
13.Broken internal/external links
14.Structured markup usage (correct tagging, applicable page usage)
15.Image alt text
16.XML sitemap
17.txt
18.Duplicate content
19.Pages indexed by Google
20.Site speed and performance
21.URL structure

Analytics: You should be looking for crawl errors, mobile usability, broken links (internal and external), link count (internal and external), top keywords driving traffic and organic search traffic so that you have an accurate idea about where you stand post-redesign.
We at Klientas take pride in assuring you that our team will go above and beyond the brief when it comes to ensuring that your new website brings you more traffic as well as conversions.

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