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MOD Rewrite For New Website SEO

Well, I tell them you can do it fast and easy or your can do it right.

The problem with having knowledge of what is the right way to do SEO is that is always means way more work for me on things the client will never know I did.

It’s hrd to tell a client that I just spent my entire afternoon doing 301 redirects from the old URL’s to the new and imporved URL with a better site structure. But guess what, I just did.

My client’s old site had keyword URL’s (I helped build it in 2005) but the urls were

 

/likethisspquishedtogether.html

 

And not only do I wsih to improve on this less than perfect url slug, but I also wat to set up a better virtual folder structure. The new urls will be the same pages and content redeisgned much nicer and will have these URL’s:

 

/like-this-and-nicely-unsmushed.php

 

I like the format for being cleaner, better to rank perhaps, better for the surfer who sees the URL in the search results as they can read it faster, and also makes it easier for e to pass the name of a page as a variable. So If I have to pass it as a variable I can:

Use php to get the page name, strip out hyphens and other characters and replace it with spaces and lastly convert to capital letters or one capital letter. Then I can take any page that is PHP or database generated and make it say.

Like this and nicely unshushed.

I also am planning on better folder structures. The old site has page titles for books and newsletters like:

someonesmushedmybooktitle.html
theyalsosmushedthistitleaboutadifferentsubject.html
andthisotherbookisabouta3rdsubjectmatter.html

Smushed together, impossible to pass as a variable and different subject matters in the same root folder and not divided by topics. They will look like this avfter the redesign:

widgets/someone-smushed-my-book-title.php
not-widgets/they-also-smushed-this-different-title.php
othertopic/and-this-book-is-in-a-different-folder-too.php

We want the folder to be themed for the books within it. We do all this in a “virtual” site structure using MOD rewrite and a .htaccess file.

But since his site is a ranking machine that I built years ago we also need to make sure we pass ALL the link juice from the old pages to the new pages. We are:

1. redesigning the site, but keeping the content the same and using css with MANY of the same tags so this page will appear very similar to the old one to googlebot. We will cause very little change to a spider but a complete different look to humans. Same content though with better SEO.

2. Renaming the URL’s to better looking and easier to work with ones as well as buiding a virtual folder structure that makes sense and groups similar pages and items into similar branches on the tree.

3. Making sure all the old pages (150 total pages) get 301 redirects to the new page name to keep the high rank they have and likely improve due to more modern SEO redesign for 2012.

This is how I redesign a site and keep the rankings in place.

If the client had approched a differnet SEO company in Charlotte or anywhere they may have gotten the same best SEO practices from those who know, or perhaps just got the on page redesign and not the extra 5 hours of work it takes to make sre all the link juice and rankings are passed to the new pages.

There is a right way to do SEO and it takes alot of work that clients will never hear about of see.

About author

Todd Kron

of Sellaholics is a veteran of Analytics, PPC, Display, video, UX, conversion optimization, affiliate programs, web design and web programming since 2002. My background includes affiliate sales to 6 figures, director of a web design agency, and currently the digital manager for a leading energy company located in Huntersville, NC. From search to sale 1000 different ways is my background. Sellaholics is a Google Partner Agency.

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