If a new website is on your project plan, there is no shortage of details to consider. From navigation, content, and design to functionality, user experience, and testing, the checklist can be exhaustive.
Avoid This Critical Mistake
I have seen it time and again. The client builds healthy search traffic on their website over several years and then decides it’s time for an update. It’s a smart decision to refresh a website periodically with the ever-evolving technology and aesthetic trends. But then they hire a friend of a friend or have one of their employees tackle the project using a DIY tool and shortly after launching, their site’s rankings plummet and traffic tanks. They feel helpless and mad when they discover that their site’s search equity is lost.
Please do not abandon your old website when you create a new one without a plan. And that plan should include redirecting URLs.
Why Redirects Are Important for New Website
Landing on a page with an error message isn’t a good user experience and is likely to cause them to leave the site. When someone clicks on a link, they expect to reach a page with relevant content, and not an error because the page no longer exists. Redirecting your old website URLs to pages on your new site forwards traffic to avoid errors. When a URL returns a page with an error, search engines drop it from the index and it will no longer hold search rankings.
Not Just a New Website
Whether you are redeveloping your website and your URL structure is changing, moving to a new domain, or even when cleaning up old content with backlinks, it is important to use redirects.
While there are many details to consider when creating your website, neglecting redirects is a critical error. It is difficult, if not impossible to recover from this mistake. So please remember to include redirects in your detailed plan.
If you are tackling a website or marketing project and need help or just have a few questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.