This is going to be an obvious one to many of you, but it is amazing how pure play design/dev shops are not planning website transitions with SEO in mind. In the last several months I have seen several very large brands launch new websites only to instantly discover that the tens of thousands of SEO visits they were getting daily were gone. The following are the 2 most important things one needs to prepare for when re-designing or re-platforming a website:
- 301 Redirects – it’s a very simply command you put on the server that tells Google the URL of the legacy page, and the location of the new one. Without this, every link in Google will be broken and you will eventually be completely de-indexed.
- Title / Meta Data – with all the new page locations, its best to use the existing Title/Meta data structure on the new site when launching. Once Google has re-indexed these new page URLs, you can have go back about your business with optimizing the titles and meta data. The thought process here is to transition your site with the least amount of changes possible.