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How Can I Redesign My Website Without Losing Search Rankings? [Strategy Sitdown]

Posted by Michael Reynolds on 8/13/14 10:30 AM
Michael Reynolds

In this edition of Strategy Sitdown, we answer the question: "My company is redesigning our website and I'm concerned about losing search rankings when we switch over. How can I make sure I don't lose any traffic from SEO?"

If you have a question for us, you can ask it here. We'll answer it in a future edition!


Thanks for joining us for today’s Strategy Sitdown. Today’s, question comes from Chris in Dallas and Chris asks, "my company is redesigning a website and I’m concerned about losing search rankings when we switch over. How can I make sure, I don’t lose any traffic from SEO?"

Excellent question Chris, let’s break it out to couple of perspectives here. First, it is very important to redirect most of your old pages to new URLs. When you redesign your website, you might be switching to new content management system or even if you aren’t, you’re most likely going to have inside map, the different structure, URLs are going to change and that’s normal and that’s okay.

The way you make sure that you don’t lose too much traffic is, you take the old URLs and you redirect them to the new URLs, what’s called a 301 redirect. The way you do that is, there is a file in the server, it’s fairly simple, you take the old URL, the new one and you just tell traffic and visitors and search engines as well where to go to find the new one.

Your agency you’re working with they will know how to do this, they will be able to set this up for you, no problem. It’s not a huge deal. Now, with that in mind here is that caveat you are going to lose some traffic and the reason is your not most likely going to be able to find all of the old URLs you need to redirect, there’s going to be some you miss and that’s okay.

Those URLs are not relevant anymore because you’re going to focus on the primary, most significant pages. There’s going to be things like your about page, your staff profiles, lot of informational stuff, product stuff especially your blog, your press releases. These are all things that you definitely want to redirect because those are the things that are dynamic, they are indexed they’re relevant, the stuff that’s really important as the core set of content you have so you do want to redirect those things with 301 redirect.


Now, again you’re going to see your traffic dip a little bit when you launch the new site, it’s just going to happen, you’re going to miss some stuff, some of the old pages that are not going to redirect that’s okay.

You’re going to see your traffic go from here to probably about here. However, after a few months as long as you’re inbound marketing program is strong, you got a good content strategy and your developing new content, you’re going to see your traffic come back up and most likely exceed previous levels.

Again, as long as you got a good marketing strategy in place, don’t be so concerned about the dip in traffic, after few months you’re going to see it starts to come back up and you’re going to start to exceed those previous levels assuming you’re using your website effectively and your running a good inbound marketing strategy that focus on website traffic.

Great question Chris, I hope that helps. Thanks everyone for joining us, will see you next time.

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