There are many reasons why you may be changing your existing WiX website. Whether you're going through a complete rebrand and you'd like a shiny new website to go with it, or if you're looking to repurpose your platform under a different name, replacing your WiX platform is the easy part. But when it comes to all the time and investment you've put into SEO, you'll want to ensure all that work hasn't gone to waste.
Can you redesign/rebuild your WiX site without losing your pre-existing SEO? Short answer: yes, but it will take a bit of extra work up-front and some clever planning to make sure your new website isn't missing out on all the benefits of mature, well-performing SEO. Read on for why you should consider SEO, how to rebuild your site effectively, and how to keep all that developed SEO in place:
Why do I need to worry about SEO for my new WiX website?
Search Engine Optimisation is a crucial way individuals large and small businesses can find your brand, connect with you, and potentially purchase your products or services. Without a good SEO presence, you may find that your competition beats you to customers far more often than you might expect. So, when you've spent the time and effort to get your SEO on-point, the last thing you want is a clean slate to derail the whole process.
While a shiny new website or even brand-new domain may be your next step, there's no need to start fresh on SEO unless you're completely changing the goals and audience for your brand. By maintaining existing SEO, you benefit from on-point branding without the downsides of having a brand-new website that either isn't information-rich enough or just hasn't shown up on Google's radar yet.
How do I maintain my SEO?
Ready to get to work on keeping all that valuable SEO in place for your upcoming website revamp? Here's what you need to do:
1. Start with your site structure
The structure of your website plays a massive role in how Google views your Wix website, so it's vitally important you know how everything fits together and the overall sitemap of your website. If you have a small website, you can manually go through each page and copy and paste the URLs into a spreadsheet. If however, your website contains hundreds of pages, you might want to speed that process up by using a tool such as Screaming Frog. It is free to use for websites up to 500 URLs.
2. Redesign using noindex and temporary URLs
The last thing you want is Google checking over your website when it's in a half-built state. So it's crucial to rebuild your new website on a temporary, no-index URL to get everything ready and in place for a speedy and easy switchover. This means you can work out any issues you're having without missing out on that valuable indexing once your site is eventually live. Simply, from your site Dashboard browse to Marketing & SEO > SEO Tools > General SEO Settings, then make sure 'Let search engines index your site' is turned off. Just remember to turn it back on when you attach your rebuilt Wix site to the domain.
3. Check your new structure against your existing one
Put your sitemap for your old platform and new design side-by-side and work your way down to match everything up correctly. If al all possible, make sure the URL structure of your old website and new website are identical. In the event that there are specific business reasons that you needed to change the URL structure of a certain page ('about-us' instead of 'about-business-name'), make a note to refer to later when you put your new website in place.
4. Set up 301 redirects for all URLs you have changed
Any changes in URLs we mentioned above, or now-defunct pages on your old platform, are an essential part of maintaining SEO. While a 'dead' page will pull up a 404 error, which Google will attribute as zero SEO, a redirected page gives you all the benefit with none of the problems. Therefore, ensure every URL is redirected to a relevant page and keep all redirect pages live to ensure your SEO remains intact. You can setup the 301 redirects by browsing from your site Dashboard to Marketing & SEO > SEO Tools > URL Redirect Manager, and click the '+ New Redirect' button.
5. What to do on relaunch
Your completed, brand-new website is ready for launch, and it's time to get your brand out there again. But, of course, once you hit the go-live button, there's no going back – but what should you be doing to ensure all the SEO boxes are ticked?
6. Check in with Google Search Console
Keep an eye on your Coverage status within your Google Search Console account. If there are any issues with the website migration (such as broken links), Google will let you know over the next few days after going live with your new website. These can then be quickly fixed, redirected or amended to ensure you aren't losing out on potential SEO. You can also add new URLs for old links to other websites that are no longer available for your outbound SEO.
7. Re-index your website
Make sure Google knows your new website is live by re-indexing, verifying your status via the URL Inspection tool via Google Search Console and ensuring everything is good to go. You can also force Google to re-index your new Wix website through the Wix SEO Wiz tool (Marketing & SEO > Get found on Google). With this done, Google will now be able to trawl your new website to make sure your SEO is all still intact.
8. Ensure all contact details and social platforms are updated
This one should be on your list anyway, but make sure all your business branded social platforms and email addresses are correct and reflect your current brand. So, for example, if you've changed your brand name, make sure your Instagram and Facebook reflect this. Likewise, if you've changed your primary email, you'll also want to make sure that's changed everywhere too.
9. Do I need to do anything after the website migration process?
Once your website is live and everything is ticking over as it should, the next thing to look at is where you're going to go with your SEO in the future. While it's invaluable being able to use existing SEO, it's just as important to keep working towards new, suitable SEO for your audience and Google with blog posts, extended website content on pages and more.
With WiX, redesigning your website over to a shiny new one is an easy task. If you want to keep your SEO on track, our steps above are the ideal place to start. Once you're happy with the past, you can start looking towards the future to help rank your brand, achieve better conversions, and keep those potential customers rolling in.
Want to know more about WiX and SEO?
Get in touch today to find out more about how WiX SEO Guy will help your WiX website to climb those rankings, or if you prefer to take care of the SEO yourself, you might want to check out the Wix SEO Course to make sure you are doing everything the right way.