The SEO redirection plan before the redesign: an essential.

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

on the theme Technical SEO


Redesigning a site is a crucial stage in the life of an online platform.

It enables us to rethink ergonomics, design and functionality to better satisfy users and search engines, such as Google.

However, this transition entails risks in terms of natural referencing if it is not properly managed.

According to our SEO Agency, one of the key elements to take into account is the redirection plan, which preserves the SEO benefits of your old version while improving the structure of the new site. 

 

SEO redirection plan

Understanding the importance of a redirection plan

A redirection plan is a document that lists all the URLs on your site that need to be redirected to their equivalents on the new site during migration.

This process may seem complex, but it is essential to ensure the continuity of theuser experience and maintain your position in the search results.

When you change CMSstructure or domain nameIt is highly likely that some of the old URLs will no longer be valid in the new version.

Without a proper redirection plan, your visitors will be faced with "404 - Page not found" errors when they try to access these pages, which can compromise their trust and loyalty to your brand.

What's more, if search engines detect too many 404 errors on your site, this can harm your SEO and lead to a drop in traffic.

Setting up a redirection plan will make it easier to migrate your site while protecting its SEO capital.

Drawing up an inventory of URLs

First of all, you need to carry out an exhaustive inventory of all the existing URLs on your current site. There are several possible methods:

  • Use a log analysis tool to identify the most frequently visited pages and optimise their management during migration.
  • Refer to the sitemap XML file to obtain a precise list of URLs indexed by search engines.
  • Use a crawler (indexing robot) as Screaming Frog or Deepcrawl to explore the site in depth.

Once this inventory has been made, it's important to prioritise these URLs according to their importance for your business and their SEO impact. Concentrate on key pages, such as those that generate the most traffic, from conversions or incoming links. This approach will enable you to determine the actions to be taken when setting up redirects.

Defining correspondences between new and old URLs

The second stage involves establishing a link between each URL of the old site and its counterpart on the new version. This can be straightforward if the URL structure remains unchanged, but some cases may require a more exhaustive approach:

  • New domain name Make sure you redirect each URL to its equivalent on the new site, while preserving the structure of the URLs to make it easier to manage the plan.
  • Change of CMS File extensions and URL parameters may vary from one system to another, requiring careful review to avoid compatibility problems.
  • Merging or deleting pages In this case, you need to determine which pages are appropriate to receive traffic from these old URLs.

Set up appropriate redirections

Once the link between the old and new pages has been established, it's time to set up the redirects. There are various types of redirect, but the method recommended in SEO is the "301 redirect", which indicates that the page has been moved permanently.

Setting up these redirects depends on the web server used and your level of technical expertise. Some solutions, such as redirection plugins for WordPress greatly simplify this task, while other environments require manual configuration via the .htaccess file or server-level rules.

Check that redirections are working properly

Before launching the new version of your site, it is important to check that the 301 redirects are working properly, i.e. that they are leading visitors and search engines to the corresponding new pages. Use an online test tool or crawler to detect any 404 errors, redirect loops or other anomalies.

Monitor the development of the site after the redesign

Once the redirects have been put in place and the new site launched, it is crucial to continue monitoring its progress to ensure that the SEO objectives are met. Several actions are possible:

  • Regularly check traffic statistics and positions in search results.
  • Analyse server logs to identify any crawling or performance problems.
  • Frequently audit your site using SEO tools such as Google Search Console, Moz or Semrush.
  • Make adjustments and optimisations based on the results obtained.

In short, implementing a redirection plan before a redesign not only ensures continuity of the user experience, but also preserves and strengthens your SEO capital.

By following these steps and paying particular attention to the technical details, you'll maximise your chances of successfully migrating and making the most of this new stage in the life of your site.

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