This is an actual traffic graph of a real website that supports a real business, that employs real people. Can you tell when their new website went live? Yup, but why did this happen? Unfortunately for these guys, they have yet to recover from this Brexit style cliff edge but it was so easy to avoid it.
Is Your New Site Not Performing?
There are many reasons a new website might not perform and generate leads from Google™. However, if you've got a website with decent search rankings, even if it doesn't generate enquiries, it's vital you don't lose those rankings when you create a new website. Unfortunately, it's all too common for enthusiastic web designers to push a new website live without any thought to the damage they're doing to the old website's rankings.
This can be devastating for the business the website's working for and it does not have to be this way. By following some well established and documented rules all the content Google loves on your current site can be put to work on your new site, even when the page address has changed.
The 301 Redirect Is Your Friend
I know this might sound a bit geeky but in simple terms, a 301 Redirect is a way of saying to Google, "I've moved my pages, please update your index." I guess the opposite would be, "Hey Google, I've moved my pages so remove them from your index and I'll start over from scratch trying to rank these new pages I've just created." Madness eh!
In short, DO NOT redesign your website without going through a structured 301 exercise, it's as important as any other aspect of the project.
Furthermore, if you're following Google's latest guidelines and making your website more secure for users with an SSL certificate, THE SAME APPLIES.
Moving To SSL Without Losing Rankings?
If you're on the ball you'll be in the process of moving your website from non-SSL to SSL. Once again in simple terms, this means your website will change from http://www.yoursite.com to https://www.yoursite.com. Note the https instead of
If you don't do this Google may not "like" your site quite as much, so for that reason alone, you need to do it. As with changing your website, changing from
If this all seems too complicated, I'm sure your web development or website management company will have all the resources to sort it for you, so don't sweat it, just know it's important.
Ranking Is Hard, Don't Make It Harder
Creating a powerful web resource that generates enquiries is hard, as a successful inbound marketing agency we know this all too well. If your website is working and generating traffic from Google, by all means, work hard to make it better but don't, whatever you do make the schoolboy error of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Work with someone who knows what they are doing and protect the progress you've made while you work even harder to make it even better.
- If you're redeveloping your website a 301 redirect exercise will prevent any serious loss of rankings.
- If you're moving from non-SSL to SSL again a 301 exercise is a must.
If you're concerned about any of the above feel free to contact us for a no obligation chat about how we can help you avoid the mistakes many others make.