A website redesign can really help your business if it’s done right. When done wrong, however, it can hurt your traffic and reduce the amount of people who can find you online.

We recently redesigned the website for a pediatric dentist in Overland Park. After the redesign back in April, not only did the website look better, but their traffic has steadily increased since we launched the website. Not only did it increase, but it increased to the highest amount it’s ever been in the history of their website.

This is only two months into the redesign and there’s still so much traffic potential left to go.

sweet tooth dentistry stats

We were able to achieve this in such a short amount of time by following the fundamentals of redesigning a website with SEO in mind.

In a previous article, we talked about 10 Signs It’s Time to Redesign Your Website and in this article, we’re going to go over questions that you should ask to an agency or freelancer to make sure they understand how to go about the redesign process the right way.

This will help you ensure that they will not only be able to maintain your traffic, but grow it as well. So without delay, let’s get to the first question that you should ask to save your SEO after a website redesign.

Which URLs do you believe I should bring to the new website?

The reason why this question is important to ask is because each individual page on your website has a different potential and some could likely already be ranking. For instance, with the dentist client in our example above, the Pediatric Dentistry page was their strongest page. It was even stronger than their homepage was!

sweet tooth url page example

A page’s URL is essentially its address. If you change it, then it’s going to confuse everybody. So the Pediatric Dentistry page here had the URL of:

“sweettoothpdo.com/pediatric-dentistry”

We had to make sure that when doing the redesign, this page was also on the new website with the same URL. If this URL happened to change on our redesign, it would result in a 404 error for the old address, meaning that nothing can be found there anymore because we changed it!

Google and other websites that have linked to it would end up sending their users to a page that no longer exists, resulting in them ultimately taking your web site out of their search engine results.

As you could imagine, this could result in a big drop in traffic, especially depending on how well that page was doing before. To see a list of all of the pages that Google has seen on your website, you can come to a regular Google search and type in site colon, and then your domain.

site search indexed pages

What you’ll see here is a full list of every page and URL that Google currently sees on your website.

All in all, what you’re listening for when asking this question is that the agency you’re choosing to work with has a strategy for moving over your best performing URLs while being considerate when it comes to what pages should be brought over in the first place.

Your goal is to prevent people from expecting to get to a destination based on the old website, and then arriving at a “Page Not Found” when trying to get to that destination on the new website. Too many of these errors will hurt your traffic, and it’ll take a while to build it back up.

Do you suggest any improvements to the structure of my best performing pages?

Using the Pediatric Dentistry page as an example again, what we’re looking at here is just how the content presented on the page. How is the page built and what elements are included?

If we look at the image below, we have our headings, paragraphs, video, lists, buttons, links to other pages and more. The structure is very important because it guides the user along the service offering and includes different words that a search engine can crawl to know what your website should rank for.

We kept the same general idea in place when designing the new page, but expanded on its content to be more appealing. When making the new version of the page, we:

  • Added more headings
  • Added a video
  • Added links to other pages
  • Increased overall number of words on the page

website structure on sweet tooth pediatric dentistry page

What we’re really looking for here is that whoever is going to engage the redesign understands that they have to keep some familiarity with what the page is about, while also adding more valuable information to that page.

There wasn’t as much content on the older page. It had just enough to get picked up by Google, but not enough to rank high on the first page. It’s always important to add more content and not less, especially if you’re looking to increase your traffic (which should be your primary goal).

So what you’re listening for here is just some sort of game plan as to what will happen to some of the best performing pages and how they will be treated on your new site.

Where will the redesign be developed?

All you’re listening for here is that they’re not going to redesign your new website on the live website while it’s accessible. The reason why is that you don’t want to affect any of the existing traffic or the SEO that’s currently going there by introducing new or unfinished pages.

When developing your new website, some sort of development environment should be used. If a website builder is being used, they typically keep the live site and development site separate, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Google and other search engines have a tendency to find unfinished pages that you don’t want showing up yet. You also don’t want any design changes interfering with your live website. By performing a migration from old to new all at once, you’ll keep things nice and clean. Don’t forget to ask them how the migration is going to happen and when.

Generally, what we do at Tekkii is to try and do all of the migrations overnight when traffic is at its lowest. That way, if there happen to be any mistakes or any bugs that need to be fixed, they can be fixed before normal business hours resume and the bulk of traffic returns during the day.

website redesign under construction image

What are the steps after the redesign?

So when the website redesign is over what happens next? You should ask if they have a strategy or plan for after the website redesign is completed.

For all of our clients and the client in our example above, we immediately submitted their new website to Google Search Console using their sitemap. The sitemap is a file that contains all of the different pages that are on the website along with their URLs.

Google and other search engines use this file to crawl each page quickly and gather keywords to ultimately give your website impressions for. Within Google Search Console, you can submit your brand new sitemap to Google manually. This is just a way of telling Google that you have a brand new website and you’d like them to visit.

google search console report

When Google comes and visits your brand new website and sees all of the new pages and all of the new content that you’ve added, that’s when the magic starts.

When done correctly, Google is going to visit your new site and all of the really cool changes that you’ve made to it. This means all of your new texts, pictures, video content and more. A well done website redesign should result in keeping your existing traffic, and even boosting it over the next few months.

This is something that we’ve done dozens of times for our clients in and outside of the Kansas City metro area. If you have any questions about this or if you have questions about how to do this the right way for your clients, please reach out to us.

Thank you for reading and take care!

Published On: July 19th, 2021 / Categories: Analysis /

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