How to Safely Transfer SEO Value During Website Redesign

One of the most important considerations in rebuilding your website is properly transferring the search engine optimization (SEO) value of your existing site to the new site that you’re building. When not handled properly, this can result in a steep SEO value drop off for your new website, and that value can be very difficult to regain.

Properly transferring the addresses of your web pages is vital to ensuring your new website doesn’t lose a large amount of the traffic that your old website had. Continue reading to learn the best process for transferring your web page addresses and retaining your SEO value when you rebuild and launch a new website for your company.

How a 301 Redirect Plan Works

Transitioning to a new website is much like changing the address of your home. When you change your home address, you need to forward your mail to your new address. When you rebuild a website, you need to change where Google sees the addresses of your web pages (URLs). It is extremely important to make sure that every one of those old URLs is redirected properly through a 301 redirect – a permanent redirect – to your new URLs.

A 301 redirect plan is most important when you’re switching platforms for your new website. For example, let’s say that you have an old Squarespace website that you’re transferring to WordPress for your rebuild. WordPress often structures URLs in a different way than Squarespace does. What you’ll need to do is take a list of URLs from your old website and match them up with the new website that you’re building. This tells Google that even though you’re using a new website on a new platform, your URLs are mapping to each other properly. There are a few different ways to do this but it tends to be rather complicated, so it’s best to hire a web developer to do it for you.

A 301 redirect plan is fairly straightforward if you have a small website with only a dozen or so pages. However, it can be a very complex process if you’re rebuilding a large website with thousands of pages. When you’re transferring so much content from the old website to the new, it can be easy for some of those URLs to get lost in the shuffle, which can be detrimental to your SEO.

If you have a huge website, the best way to sort this out is to organize your web pages in descending order based on the traffic they’re receiving, then plan your 301 redirects accordingly. This will ensure that your most important pages are transferred properly and the SEO value of those pages is retained as you make the transition to a new website. If you don’t handle your 301 redirects this way, a page that’s getting thousands of visits a month might drop out of Google’s index and you’ll have to start from scratch by rebuilding a new page of the same type.

A Well-Managed 301 Redirect Plan is Key to Your Website Rebuild

At NorthWing Digital, we’re well aware of how important a properly-managed 301 redirect is when you’re rebuilding your website. Give us a call today if you have any questions about the process or would like our help.