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TRAFFIC crawl your site and show you how different content elements are re-used across it. Migration and final checks If you have successfully completed the checks listed above, you should now be confident your new design does not violate any key SEO best practice, performs better than the old one, has an improved internal linking structure and does not present any significant case of internal duplication. You are now ready to “migrate” your site, i.e. putting your old site off-line and replacing it with its redesigned version. However, as said in the introduction to this article, redesigning a website also very often involves re-platforming it, which means its URLs tend to change. If this is the case, then the job is not finished yet, as you should make sure each and every old URL redirects via a server-side, permanent (301) redirect towards its corresponding new URL, and that each destination URL correctly answers with a 200 status code and the right content. The safest way to do this is using a crawling tool like ScreamingFrog to crawl all your new and old URLs (you can use historical data from Google Analytics10 if you did not save them before the migration of the site). While conducting this check, special attention should of course be paid to the URLs of your most important pages (see section 1). Once your new design is online and you have correctly redirected old URLs, you should closely monitor any significant changes in Google’s crawling stats via Google Search Console11. If your site’s code and architecture really has improved, you should as a result see more pages getting crawled, more data being downloaded every day and less time being spent by Google to Figure 7: Analysis of organic traffic changes following a website redesign Various page types and site sections old site Daily organic traffic per area 30 download each page (see Figure 6). Apart from crawling stats, you should of course also keep an eye on your rankings and traffic. More specifically, I recommend aggregating your traffic and conversion data before and after the migration at pagetype and site-section level in Excel. In this way you will be able to easily see how the redesign impacted different areas of your site (See Figure 7). As we have seen, changes in the front-end and back-end of a website may be critical in terms of SEO, as they may impact a site’s crawlability, perceived quality and - ultimately - search engine rankings and organic traffic. Since redesigning a website means modifying several front-end (and often back-end) aspects, the SEO risks of even small mistakes in the redesign and migration processes are significant. However, adopting the right strategy and conducting checks like those described in this article can help to safely improve a site’s design also in terms of SEO, hopefully leading to significant ranking and traffic improvements, so do not be too afraid and... fingers crossed for your next redesign! redesign MATTEO MONARI is COO of BizUp, a results-driven Internet marketing agency specialising in competitive segments and international link building. After heading the SEO department of Europe’s leading content-on-demand company, Matteo is now leading BizUp’s link-building team, providing links in ten languages to clients in more than 20 different countries. He has worked for some of the biggest affiliates and operators in the iGaming world. You can follow Matteo on Twitter @matteo_monari or email him at m.monari@bizupmedia.com. 11 iGB Affiliate Issue 55 FEB/MAR 2016 10 https://analytics.google.com https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/