It’s a fact that too web developers and agencies aren’t doing their clients many favours when it comes to search engine optimisation. From my observation this can be the result of laziness or ignorance, but often it’s a cynical play to extract additional payment for work that should be included as part and parcel of the job. We’re talking very simple but important stuff – the sort of work that takes literally just a few minutes to execute and requires only junior level technical expertise – usually nothing so complicated or time consuming that could justify inclusion as a separate line cost.
This is the first of a small series that will include 301 redirects, meta, analytics, conversion pages, and in-site search. Basic stuff that any web developer or agency should know about, and should be an assumed part of their service provision.
# 1 – 301 Permanent Redirects
When a website is relaunched the search engines need to know where the previously indexed pages have moved to. A permanent 301 redirect is the instruction that what used to be here, is now sitting over there. Neglecting this process causes inconvenience for web users who click through on search results, web links or bookmarks that go nowhere. For a website owner however it can be disastrous – drying up their organic traffic, and squandering the valuable Page Rank any of the older pages may have built up (a 301 passes along a page’s Page Rank).
Web developers before relaunching any website should be placing 301’s from every old web page, to the appropriate page on the new website. If a client has a larger amount of old pages – maybe more than 20 – they should be offered a time-based quote to have each of them redirected.
Most clients will also need the importance of doing this explained to them. Few website owners would have any issue paying a couple of hundred dollars at most to have all the redirects put in place if they knew the implications of not having it done.
Image by Slaff