It’s a scary scenario: your website is an aging relic with performance and security issues—but despite this, over the years you’ve still managed to attract a loyal user base and your website has secured a lofty position in Google’s search results.
Now you’re quickly approaching a crossroad where your website is a headache-inducing liability and desperately needs to be redesigned and redeveloped for a myriad of reasons, but…you’re afraid that relaunching your website comes at the cost of pageviews and your premium position in the search engine results.
If your old website is already indexed in Google, with several ranking keywords and a nice flow of traffic being sent your way—launching a new site can cause some major problems:
1) Newly changed URLs can make pages disappear from Google, or display error messages to visitors and negate any benefit from existing backlinks to your website.
2) Altered content can hurt the ranking of an old page already ranked for important keywords.
3) Fresh content can hurt SEO and confuse search engines if it throws keyword density out of balance and makes your site appear "spammy."
4) Too many new pages without unique content can hurt performance by adding dozens of worthless pages to your site.
5) Changes to navigation can also confuse Google and result in you losing coveted Google site links.
It’s little things like this that can kill a website’s rank upon a relaunch. Even if your new website includes all the latest SEO tricks and hacks, you still risk disappearing from search engines if you don’t plan ahead.
But it doesn’t have to be this way—with the help of the right content management system and the right development team, there are several simple ways you can relaunch your high-ranking website without missing a beat.
And the right CMS for the job is most likely Drupal.
It isn’t an argument without differing opinions, but many experts in the area of web development agree that as a CMS, Drupal is the best when it comes to search engine optimization. And when it comes to relaunching a high-ranking website, having a site with the right framework for search engine optimization is critical to making sure that you retain and improve upon your rank.
So if you need to relaunch your high-ranked website without sacrificing or alienating users, you should seriously consider doing so with Drupal as your CMS. Here’s what you’ll get if you opt to relaunch your website with an experienced Drupal development team guiding the process:
Vardot will find pages that are already ranking—They have immense SEO value
If you already have a website with steady traffic and an enviable search engine rank, chances are this means it’s because you have pages that already have authority and SEO value. And it would be a major gaffe—and a costly one too—to relaunch your website having neglected to include the most valuable resource at your disposal.
Pages already getting traffic from searches or with valuable backlinks need to be migrated to your new website—you might want to even consider restructuring your new website around these SEO-commodities.
Before even beginning the development phase, a Drupal development team like Vardot will actively seek out these pages, and migrate and integrate them when redeveloping your website.
Not only will we migrate content—We’ll upgrade it with Drupal
Having found the quality content from your old website, the next logical step is migrating it to your new site. But that shouldn’t be the end of the story.
It’s easy—and lazy— to simply move the old pages to the new site; a relaunch is an opportunity to upgrade your content.
If a page was ranking for a phrase, make the new version of the page indicate relevance for the phrase even more. And add more detail and examples—search engines like long-form content. For example, the average high-ranking page is 1,500 words long.
Which leads to videos and images. One of Drupal’s strengths is its ability to handle heavy content loads, which means adding multimedia won’t hinder performance. Because after all, the amount of time a visitor spends on a page correlates to its eventual rank—and videos and images help keep viewers on your site.
With Drupal, you can enhance your content editing abilities, which means you can upgrade your content more easily, meaning that not only can you maintain your rank, you can improve upon it.
Additionally, if your URL structure is a mess, we'll clean them all up and ensure you're squeezing every last drop of SEO juice out of your quality content. And we'll map your old URL's to the new ones with 301 redirects, guaranteeing that your ranking pages don't get lost in the shuffle.
Vardot will develop your new website structure around your most important SEO landing pages
As we said before, during the relaunch of a high-ranking website, some of the most important SEO commodities were right at your fingertips all along…so ignoring them would be foolish.
We won’t. We’ll build your new website structure around your old site’s most important SEO landing pages.
Using Google Analytics, we’ll look closely at your traffic data and pinpoint which pages will help maintain your high rank. Typically, 90% of traffic is actually driven by only 40% of the content on your site. Vardot’s team will work with you to pinpoint which pages are driving the majority of traffic. Then we’ll develop the framework of your new site around these SEO landing pages so that the entire user-experience is optimized for navigating seamlessly between your most important content.
Drupal has the ability to maintain and improve your SEO during and after a relaunch:
Today, all relevant content management systems are practicing in-depth SEO optimization—but Drupal's SEO capabilities put it far ahead of the pack. Here's a list of just a handful of the Drupal modules created and implemented expressly to ensure a website is reaching the SEO benchmarks necessary for success:
Page Title, Metatag, Content Optimizer, Custom Breadcrumbs, Global Redirect, HTML Purifier, Link Checker, Menu Attributes, Mollom, Pathauto, Path Redirect, Read More Link, SEO Checklist, SEO Compliance Checker, Scheduler, Taxonomy Title, URL List, Site Map, XML Sitemap, Google Analytics, and many more.
Curious to know more about how we can ensure your website maintains its high rank during a relaunch? Feel free to drop us an email and speak directly with a member of our tech team.