Don’t lose traffic after a site redesign!
There are concrete steps to keep your audience interested
Maybe you have found through analytics that your website isn’t performing as well as it used to. You want to stay with the times, so you decide to revamp and redesign your website. That’s great (and it’s something Mr. WPress can help with)! But just because you want to make your site better for a newer audience doesn’t mean you want to ignore the base you already have in the website overhaul aftermath. We understand, and agree with the sentiment. That’s why we have some concrete steps on how to help keep your site traffic as high as it was before a redesign.
Sitemaps and redirects
Often times in a redesign, the entire structure of your website will change. New menus will be created, old links will be replaced with streamlined URLs, and the entire sitemap will change. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the rush of new content and attractive appearances, these background changes are crucial in regards to search engines and traffic. They play a large role in what search engines like Google look for when displaying your site in search results. Additionally, in the website overhaul aftermath, many members of your old audience will try to go the a familiar URL. If this isn’t the same, then they’ll be hit with a “404 error,” and potentially be unable to find your site. This negatively affects site traffic.
To fix this, you have to spend the time to update the guts of your website, and not just the outer appearance. Creating a new sitemap may seem tedious, but it’s one of the most effective ways to make sure Google can still find your site. The other fix is to set up redirects – Mr. WPress uses the plugin called Simple 301 Redirects. It’s not exciting work, but it’s easy, and is important so as not to ostracize your current audience.
Content and SEO keywords
With the prospect of a website redesign, it can be tempting to totally rebrand your site and make everything fresh and new. However, search engines (and your audience) has likely come to associate your site with certain keywords already. Adjusting the amount of content or reworking the tone is encouraged, but don’t go overboard changing every crucial keyword. This is a part that takes some planning. However, the end result is that it’s harder for your website traffic to drop: people will still be able to find you!
For some more in depth details, WebpageFX has an article on this same subject. If you need any assistance in your redesign, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mr. WPress. We’re here to help!