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New Site, Same SEO
One of the keys to carrying forward your SEO “Juice”.
A new website can breathe life into your company’s online presence. With new zest and more energy, the site can help to keep your customers interested and looking for more. Naturally, you’ll want to harness this new energy, but still keep all the SEO (search engine optimization) progress you’ve earned over the years. The last thing you want is to spend money on a new site, just to have it drop in Google’s search results, failing to be noticed by prospective customers. You’ve got to be sure the site not only looks good but also performs well in those rankings.
Over the years, your site has probably gained a number of valuable inbound links. These inbound links help your site’s ranking on search engines, like Google. When pages change location, these links become dead and users will end up staring at what’s called a 404 page (Page Not Found). Not only is this not helpful for your visitors, it can also hurt your rankings and result in a smaller audience for your shiny new website.
Let’s look at an example. Say your new site will have a new “Services” page. Let’s also say that the page used to live at “www.yoursite.com/pages/services.php” and, due to a variety of possible reasons, will now be moved to “www.yoursite.com/services/“. This is an improvement in terms of the URL naming convention, as it’s easier to remember and is better targeted for SEO. But here comes the problem: a chance at an improvement for SEO can also cost, as the old link no longer exists. So how do we have the beauty and performance of the new, while maintaining the value of the old page?
This is where 301 redirects come into play. A 301 page allows us to redirect any traffic from one page to another. Looking back to our example above, a 301 will reroute anyone intending on going to “www.yoursite.com/pages/services.php” and will pass them over to “www.yoursite.com/services/” instead. This is helpful for those who may have bookmarked the old page and for search engines that may still be indexing the old pages, especially in the first few weeks after a site launch. Google crawlers will also follow the redirect and apply any SEO attributes from the old link to the new one.
Another issue that can arise is content being posted in two different places. If old pages are not taken down and replaced with 301 permanent redirects, Google can dock you marks on your SEO. It is the best practice to have original, unique content on each page.
A new website can do great things for your business, but it should be implemented properly or else you may be losing all that SEO juice you’ve worked hard to earn. If you’re looking to add some new life to your business’ online presence, while keeping your current rankings, perhaps even improving upon them, check out our services page or contact us as 604-866-2230 and we’ll help you out.