We all know that fear – the one you get when it’s time to refresh your web site and make that switch to your dream platform…
BUT what will happen to all of the SEO traffic you’ve worked so hard to build?!
Slight setbacks in traffic will always happen when creating a new website, but there are still tips you can follow so that the setback is not so drastic.
Keep these 5 tips in mind when you have precious SEO traffic to save:
- Keep all of the urls the same wherever you can.
For example, if your About page url was www.yourdomain.com/about, avoid changing it to something new like www.yourdomain.com/meetsarah. That small change will confuse Google since it was so used to finding your existing url.
This also goes for blogpost urls. Platforms like ShowIt can usually migrate all of your existing WordPress content while keeping the same urls.
Use a tool like Screaming Frog to gather all of your old site’s urls so that you can match up as much as you can on the new site.
- DO NOT try to recreate an old blog post.
Let’s pretend you have a blogpost that created a lot of traffic over the years. Do not try to use the same text and content over again in a new page.
The duplicate content on the new post/page and the old post will now have to compete for Google’s attention.
- Prepare for 301 Redirects.
I know that sounds really techy. But all it means is that you take note of urls on your old site that will no longer exist on your new site. Create redirects for these urls to lead to a relevant page on your new site so that visitors don’t run into an error page when they find that old url still floating around on Google.
- Keep your old site up while redesigning your new site on a temporary link.
While I do give my clients the option for Coming Soon pages in some instances, it’s always good to keep your current site up and running so there’s no break in SEO traffic during the redesign process.
- When you have launched your new site, use a tool like Google Webmaster to double check for any broken links.
Having broken links can have an affect on traffic to your new site. So catching these is important to your site’s visibility on Google.