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How to Redesign a Website without Damaging your Search Engine Rankings

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When we first started building websites (a mere 20 years ago!) we created them for businesses that were going online for the first time.  These days, almost all of the websites that we create are for clients who have a website already and they want to update it, improve it or add more features.

And the question we get asked most often is

"Will the new website lose my existing google ranking?"

 

If you have a website, even a really old one, and it's working well in Google then this is a real concern.  But it shouldn't be a worry, because with some sensible planning any new website should rank AT LEAST as well as an existing site, and in most cases will perform better.

Google rankings depend on things like

  • whether you're giving your visitors what they are looking for
  • how well your website is structured
  • how easy your website is to use and navigate
  • the quality of the programming of your website code
  • how old your domain name is
  • how many other websites link to your website
  • how often your website is updated
  • the quality of the text on the website
  • how mobile friendly your website is
  • the social media buzz around your website

 This is what we do to make sure a new website doesn't damage your SEO:

We Keep the Same Filenames

As much as possible we try to keep the filenames the same (this doesn't have to include the file extension).  So if your existing website has pages called things like www.mywebsite.co.uk/thispage.html then we'll keep the "thispage" part.  It means any incoming links to existing web pages will be automatically passed through to the new web pages.

We Maintain the Content

If the content is working for you then we'll keep it - that means the headings and the paragraphs.  We'll add in structured data tags, twitter cards or facebook open graph codes to generate the richest search engine results possible. 

We Redirect Retired Pages

If any old content isn't going to be in place on the new website we'll redirect these pages to the appropriate page on the new website.

We Go Responsive

All new websites that we build are responsive, and mobile friendly, which is just what Google wants to see.

We Test, Test and Test Again

We use automated tools as well as good old manual testing to make sure nothing has been overlooked.  

We Do Post Launch Checks

Once the new website is live we'll keep a watchful eye on your analytics and search console accounts, just to make sure.

A new website should look better, work better give better results for your business.  We'll ensure that having a new website doesn't mean you lose any rankings or any sleep.

If you're considering improving or updating your website please get in touch.

web design, design tips, google, seo,

By Graham Miller (Google+), Director, Edward Robertson Limited

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