Our Omaha web design team has always put a priority on serving its customers; and in an effort to provide continued cutting-edge services and excellent customer service, JM has welcomed a new team member – Eric Wallace.
Eric brings vast diversity and experience to JM’s team. As the web marketing account strategist, Eric works directly with JM’s web marketing and SEO customers to gain an understanding of their goals, then draws up a methodical plan for a successful web marketing campaign, monitors results and keeps clients updated on progress.
Eric’s previous work experience includes construction, bartending, private investigations, digital forensics consulting and debate coaching. Having drawn some valuable information from each experience, his eclectic background brings versatility, strategy development knowledge and effective communication skills. But, what Eric enjoys most is working with data and developing strategies – making every unique piece fit together in surprising and effective ways.
Eric is a California native, having grown up only an hour away from the set of Back to the Future III, who now lives in Nebraska with his wife and two children. When he’s not digging into website data, Eric enjoys reading (about anything and everything), playing the cello and working at a local radio station.
Rebuilding and relaunching a website brings much anticipation and excitement. And while significant effort usually goes into designing, layout and population, the critical steps of launch preparation and post-launch support are often overlooked – causing catastrophic results in lost SEO value.
As we began to discuss last week, in preparation for launching a new website our Omaha web design team implements many strategies and methods for retaining a website’s credibility in the search engines. A website should not only keep its rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines with a new website launch, but it should also incorporate new SEO opportunities – which were either not utilized in a previous website build, or not yet known.
Best-practices are often overlooked, because they can be laborious. It takes preparation, thoughtful execution and continued monitoring to ensure SEO value is retained. Let’s, first, hit one major checklist item in preserving SEO rankings in a new website launch.
If possible, try to keep the URL structure and page names the same. Less can go wrong this way. When your URL’s change, search engines can still serve the old pages they’ve indexed. When this happens, redirects must be implemented to avoid to serving your users the wrong content and to prevent old URL’s from displaying errors.
The 301 redirect is for both users and search engines and indicates to both browsers and search engine bots that the page has moved. For instance, www.examplesite.com/contact is now www.examplesite.com/contact-us on a new website. These will be considered two separate pages to the search engines until a redirect is in place.
Search engines take a 301 redirect to mean that not only has the page changed location, but that the content can be found at the new URL. It could take some time for the search engines to recognize this URL redirect and credit the new page with the ranking from the old URL.
Prior to launching you will want a spreadsheet of all URLs on the old and new sites, so you can implement and test 301 redirects. When the new site is live, you will want to crawl the old list of URLs to ensure everything 301 redirects correctly. Additionally, keeping the old website as a backup will aid in knowing how to implement unforeseen redirects.
Wait… there’s more
301 redirects are critical for ensuring success in the search engines after a new website launch. But this is just one piece in the larger picture.
A credible Omaha web design company will be able to execute these redirects, but it’s also possible for anyone – if you have the foresight and time.
Follow us in the weeks to come for more new website launch tips for preserving SEO rankings.
Our Omaha web design and web marketing team is celebrating it’s 20th year in business, and over the 20 years we’ve designed and redesigned our own website, and of our client’s websites, countless times. The life of a website varies – depending on when it was built, the technology/platform used and the branding needs of your own company. Platforms and design trends are constantly changing, so reevaluating your website’s performance and design every few years is always recommended.
But when you do decide it’s time to redesign and launch a brand-new website, the process and execution are critical to your online credibility.
Preserving Online Credibility & SEO
Credibility is achieved through a professional, creative and functional design – of course. But also, don’t forget about the potential credibility you’ve built with Google for years, which you don’t want to lose. Building a new website should not only be about gaining a new website design, but also about gaining access to new SEO opportunities (not just retaining current search engine credibility).
Among countless things that can be problematic in retaining organic SEO with a new website launch are:
New, edited or removed content
Page-level optimization changes
New sections or pages added to the website
Internal link structure changes
Domain name change
We’ll hit on the items above in more detail in future posts. But, before launching a new website it’s important to identify a strategy to preserve SEO rankings and improve ranking and traffic moving forward. Carefully planning a new website launch and then monitoring results are critical in refining SEO strategy and refining your website for maximum success.
A website redesign is an opportunity for more traffic and more revenue, so don’t let a botched website launch hurt your credibility with Google.