Before you redesign your blog, it’s important to ask some critical questions. Begin by documenting your current performance metrics and start analyzing your existing blog performance across search engines.
Analyze your blogs and redefine your goals: Redesigning your blog just because everyone is doing so is not a solution.
A blog should be redesigned when:
- The current theme seems to be outdated
- Due to server updates, the CMS is no longer viable
- Blogs are incompatible with the visual and technical requirements of the present day
- There is a need for a widespread reach
- Incompatible with existing browser and devices
Also, one of the biggest concerns while redesigning is whether the SEO ranking would be affected or not because of the amount of effort one had already put in to scale the pages in order to rank high on the internet. Climbing up the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is not a walk in the park as many would agree. The good news here is that a blogger can practically redesign the blog without having to worry about the content that would remain intact once the redesign is ready and good to go.
Consider these 3 crucial points when you are on the verge of redesigning your blog site so that all your SEO efforts don’t get compromised.
How to not let the redesign affect your search engine rankings
#1 Checkups and Temporary URL
Never redesign your existing blog site because it can cause some major issues.
When working on a new design, it’s recommended to copy your existing blog site to a temporary URL, so that the moment your redesign is ready, you just have to switch the domain for everything to work hassle-free.
Before copying your existing blog site to a temporary one, an end-to-end optimization of your blog site is recommended which lets you look at the multiple aspects of your blog site including features, CSS, broken links, etc. There are also tools available like XENU, that helps you find all the broken links of your blog site.
#2 Block your new blog site from search engine during staging
Once you have decided on how your new site architecture will look like, it’s time to design and get the new site fall into place. Ensure that your development team initiates the new site on a platform meant for testing purposes that is similar to a live environment or a staging environment without launching the pages. Staging environment doesn’t let you mess with your live site and temporarily sets live blog pages allowing search engines to index duplicate content.
Building your new blog site in a staging environment is a highly sought after practice because it allows one to have a site that replicates the live one so all the issues can be tested critically before launch. Set up and insert “ No Index, No follow”, once you are on your staging environment otherwise search engines can mistake it for duplicate content and it’s something that you’d like to steer clear away from.
Opt for SEO services that take into account effective staging practices for your blog site.
#3 Create 301 redirects
A 301 redirect tells search engines that a page has changed between old and new URLs. 301 redirection also ensures that any social media or bookmark links would still be working when the new blog site goes live. Search engines like Google will not downgrade one’s SEO efforts and would leave the pages as it is that is doing well. In order to inform the search engines about the change, setting up a 301 redirect is necessary. Failure to implement 301 redirects can compromise one’s traffic as close to 90%. The search engine will get 404 web pages for not doing the redirects correctly. There are many redirect plug-ins available, that let you redirect by simply filling a form. Working with plug-ins is a hassle-free process without worrying about losing your search rankings.
You’d certainly find the majority of your blog readers on portable devices, therefore it’s necessary to have a design that is cross-browser compatible and mobile-friendly. Since redesigning is concerned with the blog site architecture, you simply have to optimize your old blogs and not delete any blog content for the sake of new blog site. All posts will add to the credibility of one’s blog site, even if they are not needed anytime soon. Without the volume of blogs, one might lose effective rankings on search engines. Monitor new blog sites regularly to spot issues and check the number of pages indexed on search engines. Tracking rankings, impressions, pages dropped and clicks on a new blog site would highlight deviations if any from the old site. Holding on these parameters is crucial to understand any errors made during the redesign.
Author Bio: Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a progressive Web design & development development company. He loves to craft a web experience that automates business operations. The prospects of future web technology entice him to express his views on subjects that he is affiliated with.