Whether your law firm’s website is outdated or you simply want to add a fresh look to it, you will need to redesign it at some point. However, redesigning comes with a few challenges of its own. One of the biggest concerns after revamping your website is the likelihood of losing your SEO mojo.
If you are aware of the intricacies involved in creating and implementing lawyer SEO, you know that it takes months to build excellent SEO authority for a website. If proper care is not taken when redesigning your site, it could turn into an SEO disaster, forcing you to rebuild your SEO authority from scratch.
Make sure to consider the following five things to avoid losing your SEO authority.
1. Audit Your Old Site
The first thing you need to do is to perform a thorough SEO audit of your old website before starting work on the new law firm web design. This audit will tell you where your website currently stands in terms of search engine visibility.
Thus, you will be able to keep the areas with excellent SEO authority intact, and improve the kinks in the areas that require your attention. You can use website crawling tools such as Moz, DeepCrawl, SEMrush, or Screaming Frog to check your site.
Make sure to understand issues such as duplicate page titles, 404 and 302 errors, and missing titles and meta descriptions, among other things. You should also copy your XML map as well as the robot.txt file.
2. Audit Your New Test Site
Just like you have crawled and audited your old site thoroughly, make sure to check your new test site before making it live. The purpose of this is to see if the lawyer SEO mistakes discovered in the audit of old website have been addressed, and if the positive SEO factors have been carried forward correctly.
You can use the same tool to crawl your test site. Make sure to address SEO discrepancies if any. One way to ensure successful testing of both old and new (test) sites is to allow your SEOs and web developers to work together from the beginning.
3. Don’t Delete Old Content
In the process of creating a fresh look, many developers often end up deleting the old content. However, that’s a huge mistake from your lawyer SEO point of view. It will not only negatively affect your SEO, but you will also lose all the important backlinks.
If the content is outdated, whether it is a blog post or an infographic, you should try to improve or repurpose it. In fact, repurposing content is one of the most efficient law firm marketing strategies that allows you to increase the reach of your old content.
Most importantly, you can increase the reach without affecting your existing SEO authority. The process usually involves transforming one form of content into another. For example, you can turn a blog post into an infographic and vice versa. It is a time-saving and affordable way to get the most out of your old content.
4. Redirect Modified URLs
During the redesigning process, you will need to change some of the URLs. It is one of the most critical steps in lawyer SEO when revamping your website. Without redirects, your users will end up on broken URLs, affecting your SEO authority in no time.
You can use 301 redirect to allow users to go from the old URLs to the new ones. According to Moz, it passes between 90-99% of link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. Double check the changes you have made to ensure redirects are functional.
Also, you will need to prioritize your URLs. The URLs with maximum Web traffic will obviously take precedence over those that have little or no traffic. You can see the list of the most accessed URLs (high-traffic links) in Google Analytics.
5. Check New Content and Links
The content and the respective URLs from the old and new sites need to match exactly. Even the smallest discrepancy could lead to a potential SEO disaster. First, you should check the content and links with 404 redirects.
If you have deleted the old page, no further action is required. However, if the content is not removed, you will need to set up a redirect immediately. Make sure there are no duplicate titles, meta tags or meta descriptions, H1 tags, and Alt texts.
You should also proofread your old content before copying it to the new site. Silly grammatical errors and poor content structure not only affects your site’s readability and lawyer SEO, but also your brand image. Would you think of hiring a lawyer whose content is full of silly grammatical errors?
Redesigning your website is an important step in improving the performance and security of your law firm’s site. You do, however, need to consider the SEO-related implications of redesigning your site. Hopefully, taking these five precautions will help you avoid a potential SEO disaster after redesigning. Gorilla Webtactics, a leading law firm marketing and SEO agency, can help redesign your website without affecting its SEO authority. Call us on (612) 400-8253 or contact us online today to find out how we can help you.