Often when you do a website redesign it can affect your website’s rankings in search engines negatively. This is why with every redesign, you need an SEO migration plan. I recently spent some time doing research on how to prepare for a new launch. Here are a few tips to help you with your migration. [caption id="attachment_157" align="alignright" width="300"]seo migration plan seo migration plan[/caption] Try to keep your URL’s the same. Pay special attention to your top ranking urls, and try to use the exact url if possible

 Use 301 redirects

Use 301's for URL’s that have to change . I can’t stress the importance of mapping out a 301 redirect strategy enough. 301's are THE most important step in the entire redesign process in terms of retaining traffic and rankings.

 Titles and meta data

Your page title is the most important element for SEO and is also important so that users know what’s on the page. Make sure it makes it over to the migration

 Keep your internal link structure in mind

When doing a redesign. Internal link juice is important as it tells search engine spiders which pages on your site are important. Don’t forget to update your internal linking when migrating content.

 Clean up exsiting 404's

These need to be updated and addressed for your visitors. Hopefully there’s a new, great content your site that has similar information and content on it that you can direct the user to instead of the broken page. Update AdWords and other PPC campaigns, you don't want to kill your quality score by sending people to broken pages. Before the website goes live, check and make sure you have allowed all robots access to crawl your website. Sometimes content management systems automatically disallow all robots when the site is first installed and in development mode. Make sure you check the robots.txt file before sending your website live.

 Google Webmaster Tools

Communicate with google, sign up with webmaster tools, and monitor after launch. Google helps you see how Google is or isn’t indexing your website and offers information on which search terms were used to discover your website. This is an easy way for google to communicate and website issues after launch.

 non-www version of my website to the www version or vise versa

Sitemap be sure it's up to date with any new or updated URLs and dates, then resubmit it to google webmaster tools and make sure it's error free. After the engines have reindexed the site, check to see how it looks in the search results. New menu structures can change Google Site Breadcrumbs in the search results. You may need to re-evaluate menu link and site links tafter Google has reindexed the site.      
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