I run Adwords campaigns for a customer who's enjoyed top placement in Google Adwords for our chosen keywords for several years. His website was built in straight html with barely any of the newer seo, but still, the site stays on top and continues to generate great revenue for him.
However, it's way, way past time for a re-design. I'm terrified, as past experience has had me watch helplessly as more than a few of my site re-designs have caused them to plunged from high ranking to page 9,000 of the SERPs even after spending weeks optimizing, rewriting and promoting.
I'm really loving WordPress, but need some very practical advice on how to build a site that will keep my client at the top of his game. Can you point me in the direction of some really good, proven seo methods to use in conjunction with Adwords that will do this?
I know I'm in biased territory here and readers of this forum will encourage using WordPress, but to tell the truth, I'm tempted to build a simple, straightforward html site because that's what's working now. Does this make sense? Or am I just a worry-wart?
Basically a redesign shouldn't have a huge impact on SEO. The main thing to watch is that the URL's stay the same. Changing them will mean all the pages have to be reindexed and therefore lose all their weight. So domain.com/about needs to stay as that not change to domain.com/about-us
If this can't be achieved, for instance about.html changing to /about/ then use a 301 redirect to redirect traffic (and search ranking) to the new page. This can be done in a htaccess file or using a plugin. I've used http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-301-redirects/ for many years without problem.
Also make sure the content is the same and that the main content is as high up the markup as possible (as default Genesis is very good at this). You'll also want to check that keywords, descriptions and any custom meta tags used for SEO are copied across and that they're outputting properly too.
It'd be worth using the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin too http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/
Let me know how you get on.
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