Site relaunch: Minimise impact on organic traffic & rankings

You have all been there. You set up a website and then a couple of years later, you may have a bit more money and decide you want to revamp your site. You get the designers in, you change some of the content and you think by hosting it on the same URL that you won’t see a drop in rankings or traffic.


Why will you see a drop in rankings and traffic? The reason is that you are potentially changing thousands of URLs and all the trust and authority that goes with it. It will take time for Google to come back and index your site.

Here are a few things you can do to help minimise the drop in organic rankings and loss in organic traffic

1. 301 redirects
Make sure you have all the 301 redirects in place, set up a database to show which old URL is directed to the new URL. This will mean all users who have bookmarked the old page will be taken to the new site.
It may take some time for Google to pick up all the 301 redirects. However, submitting a site map to Google webmaster tools would help speed this up.

2. Content
The site relaunch will be better than the original site, otherwise you wouldn’t be going through this process.
Make sure the layout, content and navigation uses the SEO best practices. So have key landing pages that you have optimised with content for your product, make sure there are breadcrumb trails – great for seo and user navigation
If there are pages on your site that already have rankings on targeted keyword phrases, you may want to keep these pages and integrate them into the new site.

3. Paid search
Increase you paid search budget when you relaunch to offset any losses from organic rankings and traffic.

4. Update all of your directory listings after the new site is re-launched, and try to update as many inbound links that point to your old pages as possible.

Don’t worry too much about the rankings and traffic drop if your new site is going to be better and more seo friendly than the previous. What is important is the planning, so you can see what changes you need to do and work through them at a steady pace making sure all tasks are covered. The new site will soon have as much traffic as the old, if not more if seo amendments have been made.

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