AskPat 766 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 766 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Okay, now here is Jan.
Jan: Hi Pat. My name is Jan, and I have a brick and mortar business called ColoradoLash.com. I started it a few years ago as a side business in addition to my regular job. I was working at night and on the weekends. I developed a website from Vistaprint, and it worked really well. It has continued to work well for the past several years. Fast forward, here we are in 2016 four years after I started my small little side business, and it has become my full-time business. I also have a couple of independent contractors that work with me under my main website.
I want to upgrade my website, something more professional, something more modern. I'm really worried about changing websites because I've heard of something called the 301 redirect. Currently, my website is on the first page of Google. Depending on what day or time of day, it is in the top three, and I don't want to lose that as most of my business referrals come either from referral from my other customers but a big portion of them and for the girls that work with me come from Google. I don't know what a 301 redirect is or if it's something that I can do myself or if I need a professional. If I go to another template website service will I be able to do this? And will it affect my ranking on Google? Thanks so much Pat, I appreciate all your time, all your wisdom and your help. It's really helped me in my brick and mortar business. Thanks so much. Have a great day.
Pat: Hey Jan. Thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate it. First of all, congratulations on your side business turned full-time business. That is awesome, and I think that's an amazing story. I'd love to learn about that actually and see if we can maybe feature you on the show, on Smart Passive Income. So talk about that. I think starting on a site like VistaPrint is great because it's sort of already there and set up for you and low barrier entry and you just got started, right? I think a lot of people can learn from that because a lot of people worry so much about creating that perfect website or having everything lined up perfectly at first when they're starting out and when you approach it that way, you usually don't start because nothing will ever be perfectly in alignment.
Now, I think it's smart of you to want to start your own brand on your own website where you can have more control over it, you can have more professional look. It's going to help you all around for sure, but I am definitely with you on the concern because of the 301 redirect. What the heck is that? I don't even know. I didn't know what that meant until I had to do this myself.
Now my story is back when I started my LEED examine website. It was at a domain name called www.IntheLeed.com, L.E.E.D., which was an acronym for this examine that I was helping people pass in the architecture industry, and it went very well. It was like sort of this thing that I started when I got laid off that turned into my full time thing and it was awesome and then all of the sudden I get a cease and desist letter from the United States Green Building Council who owned LEED, that trademark, and I wasn't allowed to use it in my domain name. Now, like you, Jan, I had all the top spots in Google, and it freaked me out because at first I thought I just had to shut down all my work and that was terrible. But then I realized, okay, well I just needed a new website but then I was worried that my ranking would change. But the 301 redirect is there to help you.
Now what a 301 redirect is, is essentially a way for you to make sure that all links that go to your old site get pushed onto your new site. That is everybody who manually tries to get to your old site, it'll automatically push that new site. So that's good. So traffic will kind of forward its way to the new site which is great. But what about Google? How will they know what's happening? Well that's the purpose of a 301 redirect. This also tells the little spiders in Google that crawl through the websites that, “Hey, Jan is changing from this VistaPrint website to this brand new site. Let's make sure to try and keep all the Google ranking juice that we've built over time on this old site and pass it through on to the new one.” And that's what I did with the www.IntheLeed.com that eventually became GreenExamAcademy.com so by the time I had to get rid of www.intheleed.com after a few weeks with the 301 redirect. It's going take time for it to kind of populate, if you will. Then it's like everything is normal except you have a new site and a new location. So that's cool.
Sometimes when people do the 301 redirect, Google freaks out and they're like, “Wow, what's happening here? Let's take some time to figure out what's going on.” I've seen people drop in the rankings initially just for a day or two because Google's weird like that but then come back as even higher as a result. So some of your other keywords are going to be ranking, maybe you're not going to drop off like you say you sometimes do. But you'll be ranking even higher and that will likely be the case because you will have that authority from the old site passing into the new one. It'll just be a much better brand experience, and when people have a better brand experience, that often raises the search engine optimization for your website.
Can you do this yourself? I would say and this is no offense to you, Jan, cause I don't know your technical background or anything like that, but I would say just don't try to do this yourself. I didn't do it myself. I hired somebody to do it for me so it was done right because it is kind of scary if it's not all connected correctly. I mean, it's not very difficult to somebody who understands it, but for us, if we don't get it done correctly, it's not going to work. Because we don't even know what it means and how it all works. It's a really scary thing, so I totally get ya.
Your ranking may change for the better so it would be something I would pursue. Obviously because this is your brand now, you want to establish your own home and start building your email list, if you haven't done so already, and all those things that you should be doing anyway but having it on your own site, on your own brand, your own templates, customized website if you wanted it or you can just use a theme of some kind.
Whether you use a WordPress website on a hosting platform or something like Square that might be for a store like you, a brick and mortar store. Like that it might be even better to do something like Square or Wix.com. Something that's a little bit easier to set up, and they also have teams of people there who can help you if you go with their businesses. So actually for you, I would look at SquareSpace. I think, it's not Square. Square is the thing that food trucks use to accept payments or, you know, mobile payments acceptance. SquareSpace is the one I would check out first, Jan, and then I would actually reach out to them and tell them exactly what you told me and see if they can help you with the 301 redirect because they know what they are doing. They have people and teams of people in there and they would probably be happy to host you. Yeah, hopefully that helps. I want to wish you all the best. Thank you so much for all the love and keep me posted. I wanna see how it goes. www.ColoradoLash.com. Sounds awesome.
Thank you so much. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show too, just run on over to askpat.com, and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you, and here's a quote from Maya Angelou to finish the day and that is: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”
Keep enjoying the process guys. Take care and I'll see ya in the next episode. Bye.