Is your ecommerce site in need of a makeover? Don’t let your authority or search traffic slip away. This checklist will assist you in avoiding the most typical SEO blunders when redesigning your website traffic.
Redesigning an ecommerce site is a natural element of the branding process. Redesigns keep your brand relevant and your message clear, can improve the user experience substantially, and may be require to keep up with changing online standards. Simultaneously, redesigns might result in the loss of SEO authority and search traffic. The level of communication between SEO experts and ecommerce website designing & developers is high.
1. Auditing and crawling the original site
To gather an index of your pages and different critical pieces of meta data that you will want to refer to throughout the process, use a crawl tool like Screaming Frog.
Make a point of saving the crawl. You’ll need this information to ensure that your old and new ecommerce sites work together seamlessly.
After you’ve finished your crawl, use your crawl tool to identify any of the following issues, and make a spreadsheet for each:
Page names, picture alts, H1 tags, or meta descriptions that are duplicate
Page titles, picture alts, H1 tags, and meta descriptions are all missing.
Page titles of less than 150 pixels or more than 512 pixels
Meta descriptions with a width of more than 923 pixels
2. Constructing the Test Site
If feasible, suggest to the developers that they bear the following in mind while setting up the test site:
The original site crawl should, in theory, serve as a blueprint for the rebuilt site. Put a copy of the original crawl and make notes on it about any modifications you’ll be making to the new site, especially any URLs you’ll be changing or removing.
Address any problems you found when auditing the old site, then map the modifications to the new site and record them in the original site crawl copy.
Make sure the new site is marked as no-index in the robots.txt file. You don’t want your test pages to start showing up in Google’s search results.
Make no changes to the URL folders or filenames that aren’t absolutely necessary. They should be nearly similar, with the exception of inconsistencies and pages you don’t wish to bring over.
3. Auditing and crawling the test site
Crawl your test site with Screaming Frog or your preferr crawler, as you did with the actual site. This should be saved as your initial test site crawl. Begin by ensuring that none of the flaws found while crawling the original site are present in the test site crawl.
Make a new duplicate of the initial site crawl that includes all of the change notes, and search and replace the URLs so that they match the test site’s structure. (For instance, http://example.com/folder/page may be replace with http://test.example.com/folder/page.) This is your crawling text file for testing.
To reiterate, you should have at this point:
A crawl of the original site and a copy of it that you’ve edited to remedy any issues.
A crawl of the test site, as well as a copy that you can alter to make any necessary changes.
A text file containing your original site crawl, updated to fit the URL structure of the test site.
4. Organizing Your Content
To confirm that the old site and the test site are align correctly, complete the following steps:
In your final test web crawl, take care of any 404 pages first. Nothing has to be done if you notice that these pages were being removed totally. If you notice that these pages were being relocate or consolidate, you’ll need to use .htaccess to set up redirects. Add these to the mix.
In your final test web crawl, make a copy of any 301 pages. While the redirection should make the site functional, you’ll still need to make sure that links to these sites are change later.
Verify that none of the pages in your final test site crawl have duplicate or missing title tags, Meta description tags, image alts, or H1 tags.
5. Create redirects for all URLs that have changed.
You’ll need to figure out which URLs have change and for which you haven’t yet put up a redirect:
Open the 404 page list you got from the last test site crawl.
On your initial test site crawl, look for the title of the 404 page. Set up a redirect in .htaccess from the old URL to the new UR if there is a match.
If you come across a 404 that does not have a matching title tag during your final test site scan, look for keywords or Meta descriptions that match.
If the test site doesn’t have any good matching pages, make a note of it in your spreadsheet and leave the 404 in place. In step 6, you’ll make sure there aren’t any links referring to the page that’s gone missing.
Internal Link Architecture That Is Consistent
It’s now time to double-check that all of the links on the new site lead to the correct page.
After updating .htaccess in step 5, you may find it easier to perform another scan of your test site to confirm that all pages have either status 200 or 301.
Export all of the links on the site in bulk from your crawler.
If there are any 404 links left, start there. All remaining links to 404 pages should simply be erased if .htaccess was appropriately applie.
You’ll need to change the links on your 301 pages to point to the correct page rather than the redirect URL.
7. Finalization & Publication
All concerns should have been resolve by now, and the site should be ready to go up, but you should perform a final crawl before doing so.
During the launch process, there are a few things you should double-check:
During the migration, completely remove no-index from the test site.
Make sure .htaccess is acting on the correct URL structure, not the test site’s URL structure.
After the launch, do a last scan to make sure there were no problems transferring the test site to its new location.