How To Keep All Of Your SEO When Redesigning Your Website

How To Keep All Of Your SEO When Redesigning Your Website

Upgrading your website should be a pleasant experience especially when you’re giving your business brand a fresh ‘new’ feel.

Whilst it’s important to upgrade your website to stay up to date with the latest technologies, it’s also important to ensure you keep and maintain any and all of your existing SEO if you would like to keep all of your hard earned authority.

In today’s post we talk about the specific steps to consider when you’re re-creating your site to ensure you hold onto your existing SEO and what to do if you’ve disappeared once your site has gone live.

Time Stamps

Why You Need To Keep The Same URL’s or 301 Redirect – Time: 1:06
How Google Handles Broken Links – Time: 2:10
Carry Your Content Over To The New Site – Time: 3:15
Make Sure Your New Site Can Be Indexed By The Search Engines – Time: 4:22
Add Google Webmaster Tools To Your Website – Time: 4:55
The First 3 Steps When Your Site Is Live – Time: 5:36
In The Next Session – Time: 6:37

Transcript

Hey David Judge here and today we’re going to discuss How to keep all of your SEO when redesigning your website.

Now, I’m making this today as it’s actually really common when businesses launch a new website not to think of the existing website and all of the reputation associated with that website.

We have had this happen with new clients that approach us after they have disappeared from the from the search engines only to discover they launched a new website and didn’t follow a few basic principles to continuing the reputation across to the new site.

This is an important subject especially if you build a site and miss these steps you’re essentially throwing your existing Authority and reputation in the bin and starting from scratch again.

These are intermediate strategies meaning you’ll need a reasonable level of knowledge to understand the principles. With that in mind I’ll explain each step to give you the outline of the basics.

Ok, let’s get into and share what you should keep in mind when designing your new replacement website.

Why You Need To Keep The Same URL’s or 301 Redirect

Number 1 – Keep the same URL structure or 301 redirect your old URL to your new URLs.

Ok, the URL of your website is your web address. For example DavidJudge.com is my homepage URL.

I have subpages on my site for example this post is http://davidjudge.com/how-to-keep-all-of-your-seo-when-redesigning-your-website

So, when I publish this post, Google go through my website and they Index (add this page) to their search engine and as people link back to it, I gain more authority around this subject as I’m creating quality content around it and this URL is now where this post I have made exists.

Now, lets say I redesign my site and I move this post to a new URL… Let’s say this one http://davidjudge.com/how-to-keep-all-of-your-seo

When Google goes back to my site and they look for this first URL and they can’t find it, what do they think?

How Google Handles Broken Links

They could think I’ve removed it? Now, because Google is Algorithmically driven (meaning it’s run by a program on a computer) it will now remove this page and all of the authority associated with this page from my website. So essentially I’m losing a bit of authority. Now imagine you do this same thing with hundreds of pages, what do you think that would do to my websites authority then?

It’s actually similar to watching your website experiencing a stock market crash.

The way you overcome this is to 301 redirect your old URL’s to your new URL’s. A 301 redirect is that is called a ‘Permanent’ redirect. This means when a person or a search engine tries to go to this URL, they are automatically directed to this new URL and they are told this is where this page is now.

If you set this up as I mentioned it will carry a good percentage of authority from your old URL’s to your new URL’s which in turn will make the new site a seamless experience for the search engines.

This leads me onto the second point.

Carry Your Content Over To The New Site

This is one of the biggest no’s no’s I see. A business builds their new website which looks gorgeous, is mobile compatible and has a number of really good conversion funnels in place. The site gets moved and the person responsible thinks they’re starting afresh so there’s no need to copy the 1500 pages of existing quality content that delved in deep on a range of subjects within your industry.

All of the sudden your site goes from an amazing level of visibility to ‘NADDA’. Why? When the search engines rank your pages on your site they look at the individual pages on your site and also look at lots of pages grouped together. I call this collective content as all of your content collected together forms a picture of authority within specific subjects, around your overall website.

If you remove all of this valuable content, the search engines are no longer able to confirm your are an authority on those subjects you have been ranking for.

So, it’s really, really, important to carry your content over.

Make Sure Your New Site Can Be Indexed By The Search Engines

When you build a new website you would often have that site sitting in a development stage. During development stage you don’t really want the search engines to find it so you add a little code that asks the search engines to ‘no index’ so they don’t index these pages.

When the site goes live, it’s really important to make sure you switch this off, in other words encourage the search engines to index and show your pages in their results.

Now, there is a really easy way you can do this which leads me into number 4

Add Google Webmaster Tools To Your Website

When you add WMT (as the cool people call it) you are allowing Google to tell you how they see your site, any issues they may have, and most importantly, if they have indexed your site.

If there are any issues this should always be your point of reference as they will tell you if a bunch of pages that used to be there are now GONE. They’ll tell you if you’re not allowing them to visit your site. They’ll tell you if there are any other areas of concern you should look at. So yes, WMT should be added to every website already and is very important to have when you move sites.

Ok last are… Number 5

The First 3 Steps When Your Site Is Live

When you do set up your new site, in Webmaster Tools you should:

1 – Fetch your site as Google
2- Get Google to Re-crawl your site
3- Re-submit your sitemap

These are all pretty easy to do as you can see and only take a couple of minutes.

By completing this last step you’re basically saying ’HEY GOOGLE, I’ve changed my site and I want you to check it out again for me!’.

Ok, that’s basically it and you know what, do yourself and if you are working with an SEO agency please do them a favour, and ensure you look at these steps.

It is not enough to think your web design company will sort it out, you really DO need to ask them, check it out yourself or notify your SEO agency.

Ok, nuff said…

In The Next Session

Ok, great. in the next session we’re going to discuss Using external agencies to do your online marketing and how much involvement you should have in the process. I’m going to explain the importance of working together rather than just giving the whole lot to them and praying they get the result.

If you have a question you would like me to answer make sure you get in contact and I love to hear from you.

As always this is David Judge talking online marketing and showing you how to grow your business online.

 

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How To Future Proof Your SEO

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In the last couple of years Google have knocked SEO’ers around more than the last decade.

And here’s the thing … all of these nasty little updates they are doing are designed to bring their Search Engine in line with their original goal –

“Presenting the end user with the most relevant results as quickly as possible”.

All of those people out there that have always thought of SEO as a simple keyword stuffing and link building exercise are going to cease to exist.

It’s about time too! I am sick of my offline clients being bombarded by overseas companies that offer the SEO services for the price of a postage stamp without truly understanding what they need to do to assist a clients SEO success.

Not only are they making a bad name for the industry, they’re getting their clients slapped in the SERP’s every time Google do another Roll Out or update.

This translates to an industry that thinks SEO is crap!

It’s SEO Jim But Not As We Know It

ItsSEOJim

We need to get back to the basics and understand what SEO actually is… SEO (or search engine optimisation) is essentially basically setting your website and your online profile up in such a way where your fully compliant to what the Search Engines want. And what do they want???

More about that later.

First I want to share how Matt Cutts (head of webspam at Google) explains SEO:

As Matt says, the job of an SEO is to look at Search Engine Optimisation more as Search Experience Optimisation where you are creating (or helping clients) create memorable sites that users want to come back to and would like to share.

This idea is waaaayyyyy different than the ideas and concepts of old school SEO (which is dying a slow painful death).

Old School SEO

Just a few years ago by using old school SEO techniques you could easily rank a site by simply doing you good old fashioned keyword stuffing and by pointing a bunch of links back to the site you wanted to rank.

Due to spammers, scammers and the changing internet Google understood this original model was not sustainable, especially if they wanted to remain the dominant leader in marketplace.

This would also mean they would need to find a way to integrate other trends like Social Buzz into account to better measure a good vs’ not so good website, hence the stronger focus on user experience.

[Insert Social] – the Facebook Billion

Sidenote…

A couple of months ago Facebook hit it’s billionth user.

Think about that for a minute.

1 / 7th of the worlds population has a Facebook account. Sure they wouldn’t all be active users, but that still a lot of people using one website.

If I were Google I would’ve been shaking in my boots, especially with Mark Zuckerberg looking at launching their own search engine in the very near future.

And what do people do when they are using Facebook? They’re interacting, they’re sharing opinions on what they like and don’t like which in turn is creating trends (also known as Social Buzz).

I love numbers and if I had access to that sort of data I would be like a pig in you know what.

Larry Page (you know the guy that started Google and is currently running it) said in an interview with CNN MONEY: “We’d like to have more of a social component in what we do.”

Welcome Google +

Many people thought Google + was designed to take on Facebook. WRONG!

Google were simply developing a way of measuring social buzz with no intention of trying to compete with Facebook. If anything what Google are doing is soooo much bigger than Facebook could ever be(for now anyway).

They are effectively buying up as many properties (online and offline) to not only future proof their business, but to capture data and trends so they can better understand what the end user wants.

Not only does this give them additional data streams to dominate, it also gave them extra ways to make money (But that in itself is another article I’ll write in the future).

Future Proofing Your SEO

What does all of this mean and how do you future proof your SEO?

Option 1 – If you think SEO is just about link building and keyword stuffing, then either shift your way of thinking or get out of the game.

Option 2 – You can approach SEO from a broader perspective, focussing more on a number of factors that come together to form the bigger picture. Not only is this an opportunity for you to future proof your SEO, but if you have offline clients it’s an opportunity for you to help them to grow a stronger overall online presence.

Breaking It Down

In my mind SEO has always been about a number of many areas that come together to form the big picture. There are certain areas that need more work than others.

To show you I’ve put together a little graphic that displays the different areas and the importance of each area.

FutureProofSEOYeah-300x224

By David Judge
Future Proof SEO.

This puts a totally different slant of what I believe old schooled SEO’ers think they should approach SEO.

What Should You Focus On?

Although Google are totally against it, I would still say to do link building, but make sure you don’t do JUST link building.

My main point here is that SEO is (and has always been) more than link building and keyword stuffing.

For your SEO campaign to succeed you should really be focusing on:

Your On Page Optimisation (this is a big one)

Google+ and Authorship

Creating Quality Content

Engaging in Social Media

Consider User Experience (via analytics and webmaster tools)

Growing Your Reputation Management

Involvement Your Client – encourage them to be involved

 

If you want to succeed in SEO in the 2013 and if you haven’t already made the change then you better hurry up or you’ll be left behind.

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Google Disavows Links – Handle With Care!

fragile-300x177
Ok… Google have made another update and this is a doozey!

No I’m not talking about the latest Panda or Penguin refresh, or the EMD (exact match domains) update.

Today we’re talking about the ability to ‘Disavow’ your existing links, especially if you think they are affecting your online footprint and causing your ranking in the Search Engines to bomb.

Yes, this means you could potentially get rid of any ‘Bad Links’ pointing toward your website.

Here’s The Facts

On the 16th October at PubCon, Matt Cutts (head of spam for Google) announced the release of a tool that will allow you to Ignore Bad Links that come through to your site.

This is specifically designed for those individuals that received notification within Google Webmaster Tools (or those that know they have been engaging in bad links schemes) letting you know that they had detected un-natural link building patterns.

Although this sounds like a big win for Google and SEO’s alike, Matt warns you should only use this tool if you are experienced in SEO and if you really believe you (or another SEO company) has been engaging in negative activities, based on their Quality Guidelines.

Here’s a Video Matt released where he talks you through it (it’s 9 Mins and 20 Seconds in length)

A Quick Low Down on What Matt Covers:

Matt is really specific in mentioning ‘Most People Will Not Need To Use This Tool’

The tools lets you tell Google which links you would like them to ignore

You can use the tool to clean up various link building schemes or if Google have sent you a notification to clean up your link patterns (see an example letter of this here)

Before you use the tool, they encourage you to try to get them removed manually by contacting the source of the link

By going through Google Webmaster tools (and looking at recent links) you can potentially identify the source of the links to remove

If you do choose to use the tool it will take a couple of weeks before you see an impact as Google re-index the requested sites

What’s My Take On It All?

The ‘Disavow Link Tool’ is another feather in Google’s cap.

It’s yet another acknowledgement that they can’t simply use their in house algorithm, ignore shady SEO’ers and hope the issues go away.

Google have said they are looking ways of implementing more social methods into their algorithm and isn’t this in itself an example by involving the wider webmaster community?

I think they’re going to have a number of teething issues implementing this new strategy (I can already think of a number of ways of abusing the process off the top of my head), but at least they’re giving it a go.

No, I’m not a Google lover, but I do run an SEO business and believe if I were to run to the hills every time Google releases something new, blowing my trumpet over the negatives, that I would lose whatever hair I have left.

Like any real SEO will tell you, slow and steady wins the race.

Should I Use The Tool?

Let’s ask a couple of questions:

Have you used any link building (or hired a company) that you know are using techniques that go against Google’s Guidelines or received a notification from Google (in Webmaster Tools)?

If you’ve experienced a drop in traffic to your site do you know it’s as a result of link building or is it as a result of poor on-page structure?

If you’re answering yes to both then I would look at using the tool but HANDLE WITH CARE!

Personally, I have a few clients that I can confidently answer yes on both counts, but I see it as a last resort.

in-case-of-emergency-break-glass1

I’m first going to re-explore if I’m able to add more good quality links, rebuild the site structure, or add more quality content to re-channel the theme of the site.

That will give enough time for the dust to settle and make a more informed decision.