AskPat 782 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 782 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.
Now here is today's question from Denise.
Denise: Hi, Pat. This is Denise. My question is about SEO and website redesign. When you redesigned your site recently, what precautions did you take to make sure you didn't lose ground in terms of your search ranking? I've got a site that ranks pretty well that needs a major overhaul in terms of how the content is organized. The site is enormous but confusing, but I'm afraid what might happen to its searchability and ranking, if I change the navigation strategy in some of the URLs, not just for blog posts but for products and services and other information too. I was wondering, did you hire experts in this area to help you, or did you follow any specific process, or did you just not worry about it? Is it something you can do something about, or is it completely out of your control anyway? Any insights you can provide will go a long way to making me less anxious about this. Thank you. I want to end by saying you are awesome and thank you for all that you do.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Denise. Thank you so much. I appreciate this question because as you know I recently redesigned my website, and SEO was an important thing to think about. I didn't want to, as I've heard before, switch the design and have everything crash or have Google not be able to find things any more. Now I do know that you're a little bit more at risk, if you switch domain names because there's a little bit more involved with that. Even if you don't switch domain names, there's some things you have to look out for. The one thing I did to make sure everything was going to go well was to make sure that I had experts onboard to make sure everything was going to be passing through the way it should. We did change a little bit of the URL structures when we began to reorganize some stuff, and start to begin to create more categories and things like that. Again, the experts were able to make sure that everything in terms of links that were being forwarded and redirected were being done so through what's called a permanent 301 redirect, which basically tells Google that hey, this is where the site used to be, and here's where it is now. Let's pass the Google link juice and SEO strength onto that new page.
Now the interesting thing is that every time I talk to people about site redesign and SEO specifically, they worry about what would happen if I switch over and things go wrong? We don't want to lose our rankings. We don't want to lose the organic traffic that we have coming in. Nobody ever says, what if this increases my search engine rankings? What if I switch over, and all of a sudden a whole influx of people are now able to find me? This is what can happen depending on how your website is set up right now. A lot of times you're going to see weird patterns happening in Google after you switch over. It's them trying to figure out what's going on. Don't be alarmed if you all of a sudden start to see some drops in your traffic and rankings right away. Give it a week after you switch over, if you do Denise, to settle. You're going to find that in most cases that if it's done right, even if it drops a little bit, it's going to come back and come back even higher.
You may potentially get more traffic, and more long-tail keywords being found and higher rankings for certain keywords that are important to you. You may even start ranking for keywords that you never knew even that were important to you. The best advice I can give you is if you have an established website, you really want to make sure that in the site redesign that things are going to straight up continue to work for you. You want to make sure that the URLs are all passing through, if you are changing the URLs. If the URLs stay the same, there's really nothing else you have to worry about. Just the other things is navigation through the site. There are other indicators for Google in terms of search engine optimization that are obviously playing a role when it comes to the design of your website and the usability of it. The navigation through it is important because that affects the number of pages people go through after they land on your site which affects the bounce rate.
Speed is also an issue. If you get something highly customized, but it's a very slow experience, then it's also going to affect search engine optimization likely in a negative fashion. Then there's the mobile optimization. You want to make sure your site is mobile friendly too because if it's not, you want to make sure that with whoever you work with for redesigning your website, you really want to make sure that is going to be a mobile friendly website. That's going to have an effect on your search engine optimization as well. There's a lot of things at play here, but I would definitely hire somebody who's done this kind of thing before or at least get consultation on this to make sure it's done correctly. Denise, thank you so much for the question. I want to wish you all the best of luck. 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 as well, head on over to www.AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and here is a quote to finish off the day by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. He says, “Every calling is great when greatly pursued.”
Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye for now