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Afraid Of Launching My New Website Redesign Because Of Seo


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9 replies to this topic

#1 MangoSango

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:16 AM

I'm working hard on my new website redesign. I could have it ready within a month or so but I'm too afraid of what it will do to my rankings. It is so unpredictable. I readed a lot of articles on what to take into consideration but there just seems to be a lot of contradictions out there.

If I would launch my new layout and I would notice a significant drop in rankings, would switching back to my old website get me my rankings back or is there no way back once the harm is done?

Just some side info:
  • HTML file names and structure will mainly remain the same
  • Most of the text content, title tags, meta tags, etc will also remain the same


#2 Jill

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE
HTML file names and structure will mainly remain the same
Most of the text content, title tags, meta tags, etc will also remain the same


You probably have nothing to worry about then. Take a look at jill whalen seo redesign articles to see if there's anything you're missing.

#3 MangoSango

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:58 AM

Hi Jill, thanks for the support. I think you are right but our business is depending on our good ranking, so I cannot be sure enough.

If thing do go wrong, do you think restoring the previous website can get us back our ranking?

#4 Jill

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:50 AM

QUOTE
If thing do go wrong, do you think restoring the previous website can get us back our ranking?


You're changing your site for a reason. It doesn't seem like a good idea to go back to an old site once you've committed to a new site.

Instead of worrying what MIGHT happen (and is unlikely to happen) just make sure you've covered all your bases and haven't made any mistakes. You'll likely be fine. I've seen tons of website redesigns that were done with careful consideration to SEO that have all gone smoothly. Traffic isn't lost at all and in fact typically goes up since the new website is so much better than the old one.

#5 qwerty

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:01 PM

What are your reasons for the redesign and what sort of changes are you making in order to realize your goals? If it's about users -- making things easier to find and to read, moving important information into more logical locations -- then you're probably not doing anything that could hurt you (but of course go through the material Jill linked to and make sure you're covering all your bases).

If, on the other hand, the redesign's purpose is to move content out of the way so you can stick more ads in front of the user the moment they open the page, you might want to rethink things.

#6 MangoSango

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 02:28 AM

The layout we now have is outdated but it still generates enough orders, we just want to improve our layout. It will also improve user experience.

I understand going back to my old website, wouldnt be an improvement but if it would turn out that it gets me a better ranking, then I must, right?

#7 Jill

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:12 AM

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I understand going back to my old website, wouldnt be an improvement but if it would turn out that it gets me a better ranking, then I must, right?


It won't. But if you don't like the way the new site is performing (after a couple of months) then fix it to do better.

#8 qwerty

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:21 PM

Keep in mind that even if your rankings tank shortly after the redesign goes live, that doesn't necessarily mean that the redesign caused your rankings to tank. There are always other things going on, and changes you experience may not be related directly to changes you've made. After the redesign is published, keep an eye on the number of pages from your domain in Google's index (use the site: operator) and make sure you're verified in Webmaster Tools so you can track your crawl rate, the average time it takes Googlebot to crawl a page, and any other issues that might pop up, like an increase in 404s, soft 404s, duplicate content issues, etc. It's possible your new design is great but something in the code is causing issues with search engines. That's not a reason to go back to the old design, it's a reason to fix the code on the new design.

Also remember that rankings aren't your real goal. You want to increase sales. If the new design is more user-friendly, it should accomplish that. And if your sales go up but your rankings happen to go down at the same time (whatever the cause may be), are you really going to consider the project a failure and go back to what you had before?

#9 Catz

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:33 PM

You could run into trouble if this were redesigned as a flash site with no actual text on the pages.

Putting the exact same content into flash could end up performing worse than the original site in which case having an html alternative or even the old site back could be to your benefit.

#10 Michael Martinez

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:01 PM

You want to keep the ability to revert to an old site design in the event that the new design simply breaks. Don't throw the old code away, but as Jill says if you're not satisfied with the results of the new design in terms of SEO, then moving forward will be better in the long run than moving backward. A revert should be at most a temporary fix while you resolve some technical issue with a new design.




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