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New Site Launch Tip #4: Transfer Optimized Content

Transfer optimized content
Ensuring optimized content is properly transferred to a new website is just one of the reasons you want to get an SEO involved in the development stage of a new site. Web designers are typically just focused on the new site and don’t think about what is necessary to maintain previous optimization efforts. In most cases, the new designers will transfer over raw content, but what may be missing is the HTML markup of that content, along with title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, etc., that should accompany it.

If you’ve spent any amount of time optimizing your website, specifically content and meta tags, you need that information to transfer, intact, to your new site. The only exception to this rule is if you’re generating all new content for the new site. Typically, that won’t be the case. You’ll write some new content for new pages, but rarely will all the old content need to be discarded.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to change as little content as possible between the old site and the new site. Many things can go wrong with the development of a new website. If your content stays the same and you see rankings or conversions come crashing down, you have already narrowed down the culprit. It’s something with the site itself. However, if you redo the content throughout the site, you won’t know if the problem is the coding or the content. And it can take months to narrow it down.

Keeping the content the same from the old site to the new allows you to rule out any possibility that the content is the issue. That alone can save you a lot of time having to re-optimize. Instead you can start looking to site architecture to find and fix whatever caused the problem.

If you do feel that the new site requires new content, I recommend doing it slowly over a period of time after the new site rolls out. That way you can track the metrics to see first how the new site does and then how the new content performs. This will allow for quicker changes should something go wrong.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

2 Responses to New Site Launch Tip #4: Transfer Optimized Content

  1. Eric Ward says:

    Stoney – I posted this over at LinkedIn but wanted to share it here as well.
    This is such an under-discussed topic and kudos to you for bringing it up. I have horror stories from back in the day (and still now) where a client took a internal gateway URL containing tremendously high performing pieces of content and moved the content, and killed the URL, without thinking through all the possible ramifications. No 301, no custom 404, nothing but the standard apache “file not found” page. It took months to recover from the damage, repatriate links, and get things back to where they were before the move. Sadly, it all could have been avoided if they’d just gotten the IT guys, the marketing guys,and the PR guys in a room together beforehand for a half hour. They actually made me sign a 10 year NDA about the blunder, because they didn’t want it known or have me using it as an example when speaking at conferences. That NDA runs out in March 🙂

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney G deGeyter says:

    Thanks Eric. Unfortunately we still see this kind of stuff all the time. One of the hotels I frequently use changed their domain name and they set up a redirect for a few months and then it was gone. I can’t ever remember the new URL so I continued to use the URL I did know, but now thta doesn’t work. So every time I have to do a Google search looking for the site that I visit almost weekly to check rates. Foolish, foolish marketing teams!