Many times it may be possible that a company decides to redesign its website due to number of reasons like rebranding the business, a marketing makeover etc. During a redesign any number of things may change on the site. For example:
- Content might be eliminated.
- Content may be changed.
- Content moved to new URLs.
- New functionalities are added.
- New sections may be added.
- Navigation/internal links structure may be changed.
These all changes to your site may lead to invisibility of your site to search engine. Hence precautions are to be taken to prevent the invisibility while website redesign.
1) Change in URL
When you redesign your website there is a lot of possibility for the change in URL, if the URLs of your website changes then you have to inform search engine for the change. Otherwise you suffer a lot of SEO disaster. Crawl your own site for the URLs and its importance. There are number of tools available to crawl the site. Of course you should not forget your sub domains, also audit the sub domains for the inbound links.
2) Inbound link analysis
Inbound links are very important in building SEO powerful website. There is a lot of risk in losing some powerful inbound links. Know the pages linking to you, and where they are linking. Hence the audit for inbound links is necessary. There are several tools through which you can check out the links.
3) 301 redirect
This is the main thing you need to follow correctly, redirect all your old pages using 301 redirect. 301 redirect will pass PageRank from old pages to new pages safely.
4) Site architecture
Site architecture of any website refers to how the pages are organized and linked together. When there are changes in the architecture of the website there is also change in the number of internal links which in turn may result in decrease in the value of each page.
5) Maintain your optimization
Many times it might be possible due to redesign you lose your site optimization, make sure your new copy of site contains on page optimization factors along with all the SEO issues done correctly.
6) Update sitemaps
Now this is an obvious step. Once your new site is ready update your sitemap to include new URLs and new navigation structure through which you will inform Google about the changes.