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How do you mitigate lost website traffic due to a website upgrade?

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Hi,

I'm looking for information and recommendations on mitigating the effects on SEO from upgrading a website?

Essentially we are looking to decrease the amount of lost traffic and lost SEO results for our websites when we make upgrades.

Any insights and experience in these types of situations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:SysAdmin1030
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by:
freshcontent earned 1800 total points
ID: 35217169
Most important, in order:

1. Don't change your domain name if you can avoid it.  Keep it the same.  Never change it.

2. Don't change your URL structure.  If you have pages in secondary subdirectories, keep them there, and keep the individual page names the exact same.   If you have links out on the internet pointing back to your website, you can still get some credit for them with a 301 redirect, but if you can avoid changing any of our URLs, that is the best plan.

3. Use HTML & CSS.  If you use FLASH .swf files, or if you use AJAX javascript calls, make sure that they don't contain critical information that you want indexed.  Google & Bing will index HTML & CSS far more easily than other forms of content.

4. Make sure your pages are not too "heavy" in the sense that they are larger in size than your previous site.  Smaller size means faster delivery to all users, even those users that don't have fast broadband connections.

5. In the same way, make sure that your pages load at least as fast, if not faster than your previous version of the website.

If you have more specific questions about any of these 5 items, let me know and I will elaborate more.
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 35217221
What exactly do you mean by upgrade? Changing the server? Changing hosts? Changing programming languages?  Or just new content.
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Author Comment

by:SysAdmin1030
ID: 35219368
We are keep everything the same except the website structure, design, and content.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:freshcontent
ID: 35219910
SysAdmin1030 - If most things are the same, I would still emphasize numbers 2-5 above that I posted.

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Assisted Solution

by:kuzmanovicb
kuzmanovicb earned 200 total points
ID: 35221879
Q: Essentially we are looking to decrease the amount of lost traffic and lost SEO results for our websites when we make upgrades.
A: There is only 1 essential thing You need to keep in mind when making upgrades to the website structure, design and content. Site is just group of pages and sites are rated in google on page bases. If any page change its URL than You need to keep track of the old page URL's and do 301 redirect from old to new page URL's

My answer tells what You need to do when you already have upgrades and want to apply them on live site and assume that when You are making changes to website structure and content You have SEO work done on them.  

Best Regards
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