Updating Your Website?
Avoid a drop in rankings with these tips.
Are you looking to update your current website? There are some basic steps that you should keep in mind to avoid dramatic drop in your rankings. If done properly, updating your website to a better design and more effective layout for your users can be great for your search engine page rankings.
Here are some pitfalls that you will want to avoid.
1. Create or pay for a professional Website Audit
It is important to know and log all the pages of your website. You will want to compile a list of all the pages, if your site has only 10 pages it will be easy. However if your website has hundreds or thousands of pages you will want to have a professional perform a website audit and categorize and account for all your pages. This way you will know what pages to have your 301 redirects pointed to. In a full website audit you can see all areas for improvement and this can be valuable during your update. It’s best to get this complete right from the start so you can format your website to be optimized properly.
2. The best way to migrate and set up 301 Redirections
This step is important to the continued ranking of your website and as such is important to be aware of it. If at all possible you will want to use all the same URL’s for your new pages that you migrate over however if that is not possible you will need to set up your 301 redirections. If the URL is different a 301 redirection is used to pass “Page Rank” from your old webpage to your new webpage. If your URL is not changing then you will not have to worry about redirecting your old page.
3. Inbound Link Audit
It is important to ensure that there are no inbound links pointed to pages that are no longer on your website. If the links are pointing to a page that will have a 301 redirection then there is no need to worry, however if they are pointed to a page that will not be migrated to the new website then you will have to adjust the link and make sure it is pointed to the proper web page.
4. Monitor your Analytics Program
You will want to make sure you are watching your analytics program closely and monitor if you are dropping in traffic and what level the engagement is with your visitors. When improving your website you would hope that your engagement level will increase and your bounce rates decrease. If you are finding that you have a drop in traffic it may be that you are losing keyword ranking on effective keywords for your business.
5. Webmaster Tools
This is a great way to see what the search engines see and if there is a glaring issue with your website. Sometimes in a migration you can miss the little things or even a large issue. Webmaster tools can help you diagnose your website issues and keep you up to date on the health of your domain. You can also inform Google that you are moving your domain to a different address from Webmaster Tools, in the event that your URL is changing altogether.