So you want to redesign your website?

There may be a number of reasons why you would want to redesign your website, however, the general aim is for improvement. Improvement for your users, improvement for search engines or maybe improvement for your own peace of mind. So, the question is, how do you go about it?

butterfly.jpgPeople have posted their concerns in online SEO forums about what would happen if they redesigned their sites. Mainly, would it affect their search engine rankings in a negative way?

Well, the answer to this is, not if it is done correctly, infact, quite the opposite.

There have been a couple of occasions when LandingNet have been involved in website redesigns, and in all of these occasions, search engine rankings have improved.

Generally the reason for redesign was either due to rebranding or because the site was old and needed a facelift. Redesigning a website can prove to be an advantage because it gives you the opportunity to implement improved usability as well as search engine optimisation.

The main issues that can cause you to loose rankings in the search engines are:

Changing the names of your URLs

If you have a page on your site that is currently ranking called ranked.php, and change that URL to ranking.php, then ranked.php becomes obsolete. This means that eventually this page will no longer rank in the search engines for search phrases that were bringing traffic to your site.

Not redirecting currently indexed pages

If ranked.php was changed to ranking.php then it is important to 301 (permanent) redirect ranked.php to ranking.php, this then will tell the search engines that ranked.php has permanently been moved to ranking.php, therefore, as long as the page is optimised for the same search terms, search engines will rank the new page in place of the old one. Infact, if you have the opportunity to optimise the newer page better than the older one, then the rankings will infact improve.

Not optimising your pages

If you have a well optimised webpage and change the content on that page and do not optimise it, then this page will cause you to loose rankings, which means traffic driven to your site via this page will cease.

An important thing to remember when redirecting old URLs to new URLs is not to redirect all the old URLs to your homepage. If you have created a new page on “baskets” to replace an old page and you have renamed this page, then you need to 301 redirect the old page to the new page rather than the index page. The same would apply to all old pages, which have been replaced and renamed. Of course, the simpler answer is not to rename the page in the first place and just let the new content naturally replace the old page.

Redesigning your website is your opportunity to build your site in a way that will benefit your site visitors as well as your business. It is your opportunity to clean up navigation around your site and to implement new trends of search that search engines are currently using to enable you to increase your web presence.