For businesses, to create and publish a new site to nail your new business image or sell more items can really give a big boost to your online business. However, a new website for your existing online business could impact on your SEO efforts you earned hard, if there is anything wrong when you are launching new website.
There is a research figure that when a website is redesigning, it will lose its traffic average 5% to 7% roughly, and improper redirection executions are the one of the most common reasons of losing traffic. It means when you move pages to your new sites, you have to be very careful to make everything correct for your SEO efforts.
Fortunately, there is good news as well. Even though you have moved your pages to new website, if you have done everything right, then your traffic will come back and your SEO effort will recover in a few weeks. It manes that you don’t have to worry about to start a new website, redesign it, or move existing page on it for your business and just make sure all things in rich place. After a certain period, you will get value in return.
To make it, you will need a very careful strategy for protecting your SEO integrity. With the purpose of helping you complete it smoothly, we will offer you the guide on how to move your pages on your site without losing your hard-earned SEO effort step by step.
1. Clean Up Broken Images and Links
Before you take any action to move things to your new site, you need to spend time in figure out the pages you plan to and should be moved. And when you go through your site, you could find there are broken links or images as well as 404 errors to those dead pages which should not be transferred at first.
When you are checking out your pages for broken links, you do have to click on them one by one, but using right plugins which can help a lot. If you create site based on CMS, then you can get many useful and free tools for broken link checkers. With those plugins, you can save a lot of time.
Broken Link Checker is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin for monitoring your blog and looking for those broken links or missing images; if found out, it will let you know to delete or edit them directly from the plugin’s page.
There are also services free of charge such as Atomseo which can assist locate the 404 error pages as well as the dead links to your site. Or, you can even install Shopify app or their Chrome extension to help check out the dead or outdated links that can finally impact on your SEO and lose sales as a result.
2. Audit Your Best/Worst Performing Content
When transferring pages, one of the most difficult things is to dump those low-performing blog posts and pages that you ever meticulously built up for months or even years. However, you have to understand that it is helpful to improve your site rankings by deleting a certain percentage of your site. For moving pages to a new site, the action can save you a lot of time as well effort.
Actually, just several years ago, it was quite normal to compose 500-word posts which will came out with pretty okay page rankings on Google. However, it is not today, and it is always that the posts with around 2,400 words have the higher rankings and better performance.
Therefore, as a matter of fact, you can improve your SEO effort when moving your page over to a new site. It is o ditch your low-performing blog posts and content, and pay much attention to a website on which the majority of your SEO rich blog posts and pages drive quality traffic.
When doing this, you can take advantage of an easy-to-use plugin, such as Panguin, making it hoot into your Google Analytics account, use it to scan through the traffic history, and then flag those drops. It can help you quickly figure the high-performing content and the almost dead ones.
3. Noindex Your New Website
If you start your page moving without blocking any search engine from indexing your new website in the first place, you are absolutely silly. Because if you do like that, Google and other search engines could begin to index your new site as well as make your SEO and page transferring complicated. So, don’t take any action before you complete the step of noindexing your test new website.
Well, Google has already offered an easy way to block the search indexing via meta tags so as to prevent the test new site from crawling. There is a noindex meta tag included in a page’s HTML code, and Googlebot will see it and then drop that page from its search results. How to noindex your new site?
- Put <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”> into your page’s <head>
- Request Google to recrawl your page by utlizing the Fetch as Google tool. Also, it is more likely that you do not have to complete this step because Google may haven’t crawled your new site yet. Nevertheless, to avoid the possibility of crawling your both existing site and new site and get rid of complicated SEO issues, you should complete the step with Fetch for sake of safety.
- Besides, if you are using robots.txt, then you need to utilize robots.txt Tester plugin to unblock your pages from Google. It is very useful especially when you are not sure if you have robots.txt to block Google web crawlers. The tool will display you if you have the robot files that are blocking their attempts in fact.
The step is to prevent the most current search engine web crawlers from indexing your test pages causing related SEO issues.
4. Focus on 3xx
Now, you can begin to focus on 3xx which stands from 301 as well as 302 redirects. And in your case, it is not so complex, but just means your site is asking search engines to redirect the your current links to new links. People should not worry about your 3xx redirects disagreed by Google which could dilute your page ranking. Actually, in 2013, Google has officially announced that 301 redirects do no lose value at all.
To fulfill this step, you can make use of come convenient URL Redirection plugins, which many good WordPress hosting providers offers, such as iPage and Bluehost. Here we introduce one tool from iPage and show you how to use it:
- Login .htaccess Editor and click on URL Redirect. You will find the current settings for selected directory in Current Redirect Settings
- Type into your URL for redirect, and the URL should be relative to your site’s root, such as: /olddir/oldfile.html = http://yoursite.com/olddir/oldfile.html.
- Type full URL where your redirected URL will go.
- Click on Save to store your settings. Or, click on Reset to start all again.
- For deleting those redirect entries, you use the delete icon which you can find in Current Redirect Settings part as well.
Note always make the best practices and completely move your current content to a blog post or a page with the same content, and it is more than redirecting links. Keep in mind there’s more to think about than just redirecting your links, because if there is any mini error, you SEO will have navigate negative impact.
5. Test New Pages
After you transferred pages and images you need to new site and fix all 3xx issues, you need to focus on testing. It is a significant step in the whole page move process and it has to be performed carefully to test out any possible mistakes or hiccups, before you start to index your new website.
The testing should cover pages, posts and broken links on your new website. If you done the test well and fix all the incorrect images, post content or broken link, and start the redirect, then you can move to remove the noindex request on the new site.
Or you could use a temporary noindex request on old website until you are sure that you are ready to take the old website offline. But note that the noindex request cannot be set up for a very long period, which could lead to the negative impact on your SEO and that Google may end up crawling your sites.
6. Remember Meta Tags & Site Map
Do not forget to move the content in your Meta Description fields and tile tags, especially when you are working with an SEO service provider in this area. Besides, you should execute a sitemap which will crawl as well as spider your new website, and then submit it to Google so as to accelerate your website index.
7. Review Your Backlinks
Theoretically, your audience should be sent to your new website via your redirects, if you make it correctly. Meanwhile, backlinks should also be considered and you need to make them cleanly transferred to your new website, too. For this, we recommend a popular WordPress plugin named WebMeUp which can review your backlinks quickly and figure out who is linking to you, but we think it is too really overcautious.
In fact, each backlink is not created equal. So, when you are checking them out, you can choose to abandon the backlinks linking to those low-quality and spammy websites, by contacting their webmaster about changing their links. Then, the rest are all very valuable and high quality to your site, and you should focus on these and connect to those site owners as well.
8. Monitor & Refine Your Results
Once you have done every step above, you need to maintain closely monitoring on your results, which cannot be replaced by those best practices as well as being excessively cautious and thorough, because algorithms and search engines are fickle and unforeseen problems or human errors always happen. Take time to monitor and refine your results to check how your moved pages’ rankings are impacted. It will help you know your moved pages’ performance and solve issues when it just comes out to prevent them from impacting your SEO efforts.
For beginners, we have other rich tutorials and tips available by clicking on WordPress Tutorials.