After 11 years of building websites we have yet another challenge for our team. How do you build a new website without loosing good rankings for your old one? It's not difficult, but it is a lot of work in some cases. Mostly, it is imperative that you take the steps not to loose rankings, because once you do it is very difficult to establish them again with out a tremendous amount of work and in some cases you need to pay for advertising.
If your web site has established good visibility for your keywords that is valuable and you don't want to loose it.First, we would like to explain how this happens. If you have an html website that has existed for a number of years likely you have good search ranking position. Your URLs are likely indexed Google or other search engines. Since you have had a website for a number of years that has value and it's not likely you will be bumped from your position unless the URL's that have been indexed disappear.
The challenge most people are facing today is, how do you create a new modern CMS website that automatically has different URL structure and not loose rankings? Below are some measures to assist you.
- If you can ask a company to run a current rank report on your top keywords. You can do this manually by using a computer that has never searched for your site before. Don't use your computer because it will give you a false report.
- Be sure to make a list of all your existing URL's
- CMS frameworks such as Joomla have plugins or extensions that can modify the URL structure by entering in the exact URL you currently have. They override the URL structure of CMS sites.
- 301 redirects - These are handy if you have a new website and you create an entirely new page or you no longer want a page, but want the ranking. A 301 URL redirect will temporarily redirect the old URL to the new one. This technique can be tricky because there is no telling how long or when a search engine will update their directory.
- Create a Google, Bing or Yahoo webmasters account. When you do this you have established an official account with Google, for example. Google has a great webmaster dashboard. You can see all your URL's, run URL checks, See broken links and so much more. You can also request Google bots to crawl your website in an attempt to get your new URL's established.
- Begin to contribute and add new content to your website on a regular basis. When search spiders crawl your website they are aware of new content and if you establish a consistent pattern of adding content then the chances of them crawling your website more often is likely.
Last but not least, after you launch your new website ask your regular visitors to Google +1 your site, or Facebook "Like" your website. Do your best to generate increased traffic to your website.
We hope this helps some of you as you consider building a new website. With all the new websites popping up don't make a foolish mistake by abandoning your indexed URL's. You will pay a dear price if you do!