Top 5 SEO tips to remember to do to make sure the launch of your new website doesn’t adversely impact your SEO rankings:
The key aim here is to make sure each of the pages in your current site has a suitable “home” in the new site. Ideally each page should map to a page of similar contact. The big no-no here is sending a “404” or page not found message back to your user – particularly if that user is Mr Google or Mrs Bing!
So each page must be re-directed with a “301” redirect which tells your user that page A has permanently been moved to page B.
So we’ve put together these SEO tips to show you how do we make sure all the pages are mapped from the old site to the new site?
- Crawl your old site. Just like the search engines will. Use a reputable crawler app to get a complete list of all the pages in your new site.
- Look at the response code for each page then split your list of URLs into three categories: normal pages that need to be mapped, existing redirects and existing 404s. Getting your arms around the existing 301s is crucial if you are to avoid “chaining” pages – one redirecting to another.
- Understand where each page needs to map to in the new site. There’s no magic wand with this one. You need to eyeball each one.
- Now you have a list of source and destination URLs you need to transform your mappings into a form that can be understood by your web server. This can be a tricky task as each slash and punctuation mark can be critical.
- Test it. Make sure you test before you go live. You can simulate how things will work after the move by changing your hosts file. This “fools” your local device into thinking the move has taken place – giving you a chance to test your redirects. Careful with this bit. Both your operating system and your browser can get a bit confused here – but it’s only temporary. Very worth doing though.
One more thing…You also need be careful with the syntax of your mapping file to avoid creating any loops. Particularly when you can have several files in different folders interacting. Remember test test test.
That’s pretty much it.