When serving our customers, we test digital marketing and website strategies on hundreds of businesses across the country. So what have we learned? There are a couple issues we’ve run into a lot lately. Without geeking out, here are a couple ‘Be Found Basics’ to help your business succeed online:
Do Not Forward Lightly
Overly forward Earls causing misery and havoc, like Earl Haroldson of The History Channel’s “Vikings”, seem to be pretty rare these days. But forward your website url without understanding the risks and you put your SEO rankings in great peril!
Forwarding one website url, ‘A’, to another website url, ‘B’, is also called a redirect. Redirects may be temporary or permanent; use this link to learn more about them if desired. A permanent redirect means that when your website url ‘A’ is typed, the homepage will redirect, showing as url ‘B’ in the browser search bar. In this scenario, only url ‘B’ is building organic rankings. If the redirect is cancelled, all the traffic and ranking results driven to ‘B’ by ‘A’ stays with ‘B’.
Why would you want to drive your website traffic to another url? Perhaps you’ve rebranded with a new company name and have a matching new url. You want to redirect your ‘old’ url to show up as your ‘new’ url, helping you be found by your new brand. This makes perfect sense — you own both domains so in this scenario you’ll maintain control of your brand and SEO.
If, instead, you are redirecting your domain to an url owned by another entity, we suggest caution. What is your reasoning? Think carefully about your rationale and weigh the risks of building organic rankings for the entity you have redirected to — NOT your own business. What happens if you decide to create a website separate from the entity? You will lost all the organic rankings you have built and will have to start from ground zero again.
Leave No Optimization Behind
Managing a website for years is a real opportunity. Pages are optimized for search, keywords and content are carefully researched, selected and doubled down on to create sites that promote your top products and services while continuing to rank higher and higher. Pages can even be optimized uniquely, directing different product or services pages to focus on separate geographies, for example. If your site has seen increased rankings for a long time, it’s likely that on page optimization is a key part of your strategy.
When you recreate a new website (Mobilegeddon anyone?), it’s important to port the on page optimization that your currently have directly to the new site. Skip this step and you risk watching your visitor traffic — and SEO rank — dwindle dramatically!