Don’t damage your existing SEO when you launch a new website. Once you have changed page URLs, all inbound links pointing to your website (that helped you garner your old website’s placement) will be broken and the SEO juice gone.
I recommend taking time to do an .htaccess file redirect in the root of your server; list your old URLs and then redirect to the new page that is the best match. If you have a very large blog, consider leaving the old blog up and then starting a new blog site on the server, having multiple incidents of WordPress so you do not lose thousands on inbound links if you have been a very active blogger.
This is of particular importance when you are moving from a PHP or HTML site to WordPress as the format of your website links will be different.
For many well-placed websites, setting up a new domain and leaving the old site untouched may be the best solution. In fact, if the old site is well placed organically you can point your pages to your new website (not with a domain forward, but rather with links in the footer and content). This may pass some of your SEO capital to your new site to help it get established.
When you want a new site and build one, but do not come up with a plan to address your historical inbound links, you break what you had and literally have to start all over again building SEO placement. Don’t damage your existing SEO out of ignorance.
Overwriting your existing website with new URLs without a well-thought out process can really damage your online placement and may be very hard to recover from, so move thoughtfully and carefully.
Errors, they may your heart beat faster and stomach clench especially when they impact your website. But, not all errors that are reported in plugins such as Yoast or even WordFence are real errors.
For example, today the Yoast SEO plugin flagged my site as not having a home page that was visible to search engines. But on additional testing and review of files; both the robots.txt and .htaccess file there was not issue. Additionally, on testing in the Google fetch feature in the Google Search Console – no errors were triggered. The Google bot was fully allowed even though Yoast said it was not.
Sometimes errors you see are false positives. But, that does not mean you can simply mark them as ignored or disregard them all together.
All website errors should be reviewed and corrected if found to be true. Don’t guess make sure that you do not have a problem each time one is brought to your attention.
Once you use AMP on WordPress, and if you want to use AMP pages on your regular HTML site, you’ll need to do a little research. There are lots of sites and information from Google on how to set up and how to validate your new AMP pages.
This is what I have learned in the process of working on my own website pages.
The original and new AMP page need to be pointed to each other. The AMP page points to the original page using a canonical reference telling Google that the non-AMP page is the original. The non-AMP page then points to the AMP page so that Google can discover it using a special meta tag amp reference.
There are specialized AMP image references and specialized CSS references. Additionally, Google will require that the viewport be set in the page head section to validate the page.
It is not complicated to set up these static AMP pages, but it is complicated to get them to validate. That being said, the future for Google is all about AMP and mobile. With a little effort you can make your blog and website more attractive for Google to index (and cache) in this new “Mobile First” world.
I’ve found that validation of AMP is still quirky and questionable even with these plugins, meaning you will still see errors in the Google Search Console when you implement this, but the technology is getting better over time.
AMP pages will be striped down versions and nearly only text or in some cases, typically when you hard code them, use images that are responsive based on device.
Google is even testing AdWords and AMP as a beta right now and taking names for early implementation.
Are you moving your law website away from FindLaw.com due to high monthly payments; sometimes over $2,800? You are not the only law firm that is planning ahead to move out!
As a professional internet marketing consultant, I find it very hard to believe that a $2,800 a month charge is not “bringing home the bacon” in regards to leads. Although FindLaw.com may be the perfect place for some law firms, I have one firm I am working with right now that does not feel that way and has complained about the high costs and low lead numbers.
We are moving this firm away from FindLaw.com and here are some tips to consider if you are considering moving out as well.
Do not wait until the last minute.
FindLaw.com requires a 90 day notice that you are leaving. Don’t miss this deadline or you will be forced to renew another year. That’s what happened to our client. He was so aggravated, that he made a note on his calendar for the next year and contacted us to move.
When you decide to move get started on a new website.
Don’t wait to get started on a new site. You may need 90 days to get your new site up. Although FindLaw says that the site you paid for and “own” (minus all their scripting that makes it work and images that makes your site beautiful) is yours to move, I can tell you that the static site is nearly worthless and you may pay more to try to fix it than to simply start over.
Consider the static site they give you as a temporary “Band-Aid”
The static site we got has missing scripts, missing images, the code is one huge glob, not even readable, navigation elements are missing or in our client’s case weirdly commented out to not show in the source code. Consider this a site you can use only after significant cleanup for one to max. two years.
Push hard and early to get your static site sent to you.
We had to push the FindLaw rep to give us the static site 70 days out from stopping services to allow us time to try to fix anything we could. What we got I would call marginal. Don’t let them give you the static site a few days before you leave. Your webmaster will need a minimum of 30 days to work it over for it to work and look “good”.
Make sure to check back Wednesday for more on moving your site out of FindLaw.