A website redesign can feel like jumping off a cliff when it comes to your SEO. Will all your rankings disappear? Will your traffic plunge into a crater? It’s a scary prospect for sure.
But here’s the good news – with strategic tracking and monitoring, you can overhaul your website design without destroying your hard-earned search presence.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to understand your existing SEO, maintain visibility during the transition, and evaluate the impact after launch. By tracking key metrics across all stages of the redesign, you can retain your organic search traffic and avoid falling off the SERP cliff!
Tracking Performance Before a Redesign
Here are some tips on tracking SEO performance prior to a website redesign:
- Use Google Analytics to get a clear picture of your existing traffic sources. Look at metrics for organic search, direct, referral, social, etc. This establishes a baseline before changes are made.
- Review rankings and index status for key target keywords. Know where you currently stand for terms that are priorities.
- Audit page speed and mobile-friendliness using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. Speed is a ranking factor you’ll want to maintain.
- Check indexed pages and identify any existing crawl errors in Google Search Console. Get your technical SEO house in order before relaunch.
- Look at link equity and backlink profiles using a tool like Ahrefs. This helps you monitor changes in links during the transition.
Having this baseline SEO performance data will allow you to accurately evaluate the impact of the redesign. You’ll know exactly how your site stacked up pre-launch so you can aim to meet or exceed those metrics after.
Monitoring Progress During the Redesign
Here are some tips for monitoring SEO progress during the actual website redesign process:
- Set up Google Analytics tracking on both the old and new website to enable continuity in data collection. Use tags like gaid to connect them.
- Submit the new domain to Google Search Console and use the Change of Address tool to seamlessly transfer any indexing.
- As assets like pages and images migrate, frequently check the Search Console for potential crawl errors. Stay on top of issues.
- Create and submit a sitemap of the new site to Search Console. Monitor how quickly new pages area getting indexed.
- Use a site crawler like Screaming Frog to identify any 4xx/5xx errors as the site is redesigned.
- Build 301 redirects to pass link equity from old URLs to new ones. Test them frequently during the transition.
- Monitor user behavior flow in Analytics to catch any on-site navigation issues early.
Staying vigilant during the actual redesign process enables you to address technical problems in real-time vs. after launch. This helps avoid major indexing and ranking fluctuations.
Evaluating SEO After Launch
Here are some best practices for evaluating your SEO success after a website redesign and launch:
- Compare Google Analytics traffic metrics from before the redesign to after. Look at metrics for organic, paid search, social, referral, etc.
- Check rankings in Google for your target keywords. How do they compare to pre-launch? Look for ranking fluctuations.
- Review user behavior flow in Analytics. Check bounce rate, time on site, and goal completions. How is on-site engagement?
- Monitor how quickly new pages are getting indexed in Google Search Console. Are there major changes in index status?
- Fix any lingering technical issues like duplicate content pages or crawl errors. Redirect non-migrated pages.
- Audit page speed and mobile-friendliness. Were gains made versus the old site?
- Check backlinks and domain authority metrics using a tool like Moz or Ahrefs.
- Dive into Analytics to identify any changes in traffic sources. Adjust search, social, email marketing as needed.
Continuously evaluating real data is crucial to determining if your redesigned website achieved its SEO objectives. By comparing key metrics pre- and post-launch, you’ll gain clear insights.
Key Metrics to Track
Here are some of the key SEO metrics we recommend tracking before, during, and after a website redesign:
- Search rankings for target keywords – Where you rank in Google before and after for terms that matter most to the business.
- Organic search traffic – Volume of visits from Google and other search engines. Watch for impacts from the redesign.
- Pageviews and bounce rate – Engagement metrics to monitor post-launch user experience.
- Indexing status in Search Console – How quickly new pages get crawled, indexed, and pass mobile usability.
- Link equity and new backlinks – Monitor links pointing to the site pre/post launch using Ahrefs, Moz, etc.
- Load speed – Page speed tests and improvements from redesign using PageSpeed Insights.
- Traffic by source – Changes in direct, social, referral, email, and other channels.
- Conversions from organic – Goal completions from search to gauge SEO ROI.
Closely tracking these metrics provides tangible insights into how the website redesign impacts search visibility and performance. You get data to inform smart SEO decisions.
Tracking and monitoring your SEO performance is critical when redesigning your website. By understanding your baseline metrics pre-launch, watching for issues during the transition, and evaluating success post-launch, you can maintain your hard-earned search visibility.
As we’ve covered, key metrics to monitor include rankings, organic traffic, site speed, indexing status, and user engagement. Useful tools include Google Analytics, Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog.
With the right SEO tracking plan, you can catch problems early and ensure your redesigned website meets both your design and search goals. A strategic redesign will retain and expand your search presence, driving more qualified traffic to your brand.
If undertaking a website redesign for your business soon, the SEO experts at NovoVision Agency can help. Our customized website redesign services incorporate ongoing search optimization guidance before, during, and after launch. Don’t leave visibility to chance – partner with our team for SEO success.