Website redesigns are a part of business. Whether it’s every couple of years or more frequently, styles change and so should your site. But, when that time comes, you don’t want to lose the traction you’ve gained with your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. The dilemma is, there’s a lot to know to do it right. We’ve helped many clients with new sites and when we’ve been called late to the party sometimes, we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of how SEO changes after a redesign.

Obviously, the best case scenario is to have an SEO specialist as part of the migration team. This will ensure an improvement in the site’s performance. After all, isn’t that a huge part of the point of the redesign of the site?

As part of the redevelopment plan, do an audit of the existing site. Get to know what content is staying and what content is going. What works and what doesn’t. Even if a page is being deleted, it must be redirected – you don’t want to lose customers to a 404 page (a link that goes nowhere), so keep URLs where possible and redirect deleted pages to the most relevant page. A few blogs discuss “crawling” your site as part of the process.

That audit should also include titles, tags, descriptions and links to be sure everything is complete, not duplicated and will still deliver the right result.

Creating a new website is no easy task, but you must always keep SEO a top priority. A great looking site is worthless if no one can find it.