– Before doing any site redesign, ensure that you have carefully backed-up all of your website files, content and databases.
– During your redesign, don’t bury any content that was previously bringing targeted search engine traffic too deeply within the site . Ensure that any important content that will be focused on the more competitive keyword phrases is high up in the site hierarchy.
– Be sure that all top-level pages answer the potential visitors’ questions, and make it clear that your products and services can solve their problem. In addition, you also have to ensure that regardless of how someone found any piece of content on your site, they always end up at the same URL to avoid PageRank bleeding and duplicate content issues.
– Run a crawler on your old website before doing any site redesign. The purpose of the crawler is to grab the old URLs. Make sure these are the active and canonical URLs of your website content. Do not include the URLs with session ID as they are not considered canonical URLs by Google.
– If there is any URL structure change, it’s so critical to 301-redirect all old URLs to their relative counterpart within the newly designed website. This will pass the link juice of the old URLs to the new ones quickly, as well as ensure that site visitors don’t receive 404-not-found errors.
– Make sure the content management system has fields for custom title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, etc. There should be no limit to the number of characters allowed in these fields either, because every page may need a different number of words and characters.