Sometimes our engagement may last 2, 3 or even more years and during this time there will almost certainly be a website redesign. Generally we are able to guide a company through the migration process and help the developers optimise the site from an SEO perspective. We would generally look at how the code is being loaded, for instance is it GET or POST, how secure is the code, how fast does it load, how does the new structure compared to the old structure and will certain pages be demoted by Google. The list goes on.
Unfortunately it’s not always a smooth change to a new site, for example; If you are migrating your site to HTTPS, you are guaranteed to have short slump. There’s nothing you or I can do about that! However If you are getting a complete site overhaul the one thing I ask of you is to make sure your developer has some understanding of SEO or else get an SEO expert to project manage the build.
We’ve seen time and time again people come to us after they’ve had a new site built wondering why their rankings have dropped. More often than not it’s because of the new sites build and the original site they had was just fine from an SEO perspective.
Here is a list of things to do to ensure your developers know what they are doing
- Ask them what database they will be working from?
- Are they using plugins to generate or load content on the page?
- Will images be optimised and css/html minified?
- Will they ensure all URL’s are redirected?
- Have specific reasons relating to SEO for changes to the menu
- Make sure the CMS is the most up to date along with hosting
- Keep it simple, stick to the status quo, it’s easier for Google
- Make sure all titles and descriptions are transfered
If they suggest you move to their hosting make sure it’s secure, fast and reliable.
What else can you do?
- Get a local developer, not a designer but a develop who specifically develops websites.
- Don’t change URL’s if it’s not necessary
- Track you rank positions in search console or else get a ranking tracker
- Get the developers to have the site on a test server and run an audit through automated software like SE Ranking etc
- Bench mark your organic traffic and landing pages
- Don’t view your SEO as a secondary task, it’s the primary task if visitors and sales is your end goal.