How to Keep your Rankings
You mentioned that your going to keep the same URLS, the same metas and the same title tags while this is a good start the content is the KEY element which can effect your rankings. The Title Tags, Metas and URLS are only siginals that Google uses to estiblish more about your page so effectly changing the content you will change your rankings.
If your going to change your design, change it.. but don't change the content you will want to do this in small steps and not all at once. Freshing up page content in steps is a great way of actually INCREASING your authorithy with Google while your rankings will change it should be a positive over a negative if you do it in small steps as I said.
Whenever I redesign a site that RANKS well (I say ranks well because if it doesn't then there's little point and you might as well do a mass overhaul in one big bang while GOOD RANKINGS you should do slowly.
- Keep the same URLS
- Keep the same Title Tags
- Keep the same Meta Description
- Keep the same ALT tags on Images
- Keep the same Pictures
- Keep the same H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6 Headers
- Keep the same content i.e the text in spans, divs and paragraphs
- Ensure your new design is just as well coded and fast as the first.
As I said earlier and I'll repeat many people say I'm redesigning my site and when in fact changing the inner content is more than redesigning and can be very confusing when asking and you might get mixed answers. Changing content with a new design can have good effects and bad, while its impossible to know which way it will swing if in your favor or not, it is confirmed by Google and every keen SEO'er that regular freshening up of the pages is POSITIVE SEO. So while the new design can be some life into your pages if you plan to change TEXT then do it slowly to improve your rankings and ensure that your given more credit. Freshening pages all at once isn't as good as slow updates since you Google loves sites that regularly update their content... if you do it all at once yes you updated it, but Google will class this update the same as ONE update and not many.