Are you going through the process of a website rebuild? There are some very important points to take note of during this process, to make sure that your site:
- does not lose any search engine rankings, or
- have any broken links, be they within your website, or through anyone who has bookmarked your website.
So what are the things that could affect my website?
Each page in your website will very often have an associated rank, especially with Google. If your page is named www.website.com.au/page.html, and in the new site this exact page is now called www.website.com.au/new-page.html then Google will view this as a new page, and your rankings could start from scratch. Of course, wherever possible keep the old page names exactly the same as the original names.
How do you minimise the risk of a loss in rankings?
A 301 redirect in a .htaccess file on the server is the best way of doing this. The 301 redirect is a command that shows you have moved that page permanently. You may still find a temporary drop in rankings of pages within your site, but from experience, I have found that this generally ranges between no time at all, and a two to three weeks. Please note, the above reference to a 301 redirect will not work on a windows server. Refer to your Windows hosting support for this reference. Other important elements to think of, that can also affect your search engine rankings, as well as lost traffic/business.
- Bookmarking - When people have bookmarked your website in the Internet Browser a 301 redirect will fix this.
- RSS feeds - Internal and External.
- Social Media/Networking/Bookmarking sites, and Directories - Try to updates your links on all of these sites.
- Internal links - Internal links within your website carry SEO value from one page to the next.
- External Websites that link to you - These can be very important, as Google places high value in some external links that point to a website. Changing your pages, could result in a large drop in rankings. Try to updates your links on all of these sites.
- HTML structure - Is it the same as it was, or improved? Consult your SEO expert on this to be sure.
- Meta tags are these the same as they were or improved? Consult your SEO expert on this to be sure.
Please note, that using the 301 redirect method will certainly ensure there are no broken links, however, it will not pass on the same SEO value associated with each site link, so it is important to update as many of these links as possible, to ensure minimal impact to your site. If you need help with your site move, contact us today for a quote.