Will a website redesign hurt my rank?
When I am working with a client that already has a website, one of the first questions I am asked is “How will redesigning my website affect my rank?” Here’s what to expect when launching your new website:
Your website will take a hit in the SERPs for 20-30 days
Without fail, I’ve found that when I launch a new website, move a website to a new domain, redesign or make significant structural changes to a site, the website will drop in rank for 3-4 weeks. Aaron Wall noticed the same thing:
1 month later Yahoo traffic is about the same as what it was before the site moved…
Aaron Wall, SEOBook.com
It’s a terrifying time, but don’t stand still: when launching a redesign, I make sure to submit a new sitemap, check broken links, and very important: build new links to the updated pages or the new domain. This will help convince Google to dig deeper faster, and it will also help restore confidence in the changed website.
Website Redesign SEO Articles:
There are already many posts about how to make sure you have a solid transition (301 redirects are your best friend), so here are a few helpful articles.
- Best practices when moving your site – Official Google recommendations
- SEO Checklist for website redesigns – and oldie but a goodie
- How to Move a Website – SEOBook speaks, people listen
Are you using WordPress?
If you’re using WordPress and changing your website’s structure, I strongly recommend the Redirection plugin. It’s the best plugin for 301 redirects in WordPress. There are plugins that are supposed to work for changing permalink structure (like the Permalinks Migration Plugin) but they don’t work at all. Until WordPress adds a management system for this, use Redirection.
What are your experiences?
How long is your “white knuckle period”? Any helpful tips?