You’ve had a website for decades now but it’s time for an upgrade. One that compliments your financial planning business better, incorporates a clean look, is user-friendly, and ultimately generates more leads. But are you worried that a redesign and migration will have a negative effect on your ranking within search engines? After all, you’ve worked long and hard for that ranking.
It’s a valid concern. But we’re here to tell you that giving your site a facelift and moving content management systems (CMS) doesn’t have to effect your search ranking at all. Updating your website and moving CMS can actually help to improve your site’s ranking in search engines.
By simply making the switch over to Twenty Over Ten‘s platform, you can fire up your SEO power more than ever before. Especially if you just traded in an outdated website for your new Twenty Over Ten website, you’re gaining so much – mobile responsiveness, an SSL certificate, on-page SEO tools and features, and more! All of these things contribute to a higher ranking within top search engines like Google. Not to mention a sleek design and platform tailored specifically to financial advisors is always beneficial to optimizing your site!
Although it should never keep you from finding the right platform for your business, migrating between any two website providers can cause a dip in your ranking. We have developed a list of best practices so you can revamp your marketing and website without hesitation. These five tips will help mitigate any SEO issues during migration, cut down on the impact and set you up for long term SEO success.
1. Keep Domain Name
Sadly sometimes domain names can just not be saved. Maybe you changed your firm’s name or your last domain was irrelevant. Only in these dire situations does changing your domain name add more value than keeping it the same.
If possible, always try to stay consistent – this is a theme you’ll see throughout this blog post. By keeping your domain the same throughout this transition, prospects, clients, and search engines will be able to find your site easily.
Connecting to your domain name is the final step before publishing and going live on the web. If you’ve chosen our website conversion or tailored design packages, we’ll take care of this step for you. However, if you’re using our self builder package to create your own website, the steps to connect your domain are simple and easy.
To connect your domain, navigate to your Edit dashboard click the Site Settings button from the bottom of your sidebar and then click Domains. Once you have added your domain and published the site, head over to your domain provider account and update your nameservers. If you need any help firing the process, check out our support article for connecting your DNS.
2. Match URL Slugs
One of the biggest reasons migrating to a new website platform can affect your SEO ranking is the new sitemap and URL changes. Search engines have referenced your old website to find content. Other sites, including your social media channels, may also reference your old URL slugs. When they abruptly change, your ranking can suffer.
To alleviate the issue all together, you can keep your URLs consistent from your previous website to your new one. If possible, take note of your old site’s URL structure before leaving it behind. By crawling your old website and collecting information on URL slugs, metadata, and page structure, so you can reference back and understand the changes between the two sites. You can use a free tool like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider to fetch all of the elements for you.
Let’s say your past website’s URL slug for your contact page was /contact-us and your new website’s URL is /contact. This is a simple fix, as you can change your new website URL to match. If you are unable to match URLs because it no longer makes sense on your new website, we have some other ways to keep it from hurting your SEO below.
3. Use 301 Redirects
If you’re unable or simply don’t want to match URL slugs between your previous and new website, 301 redirects are your new best friend and they are here to save your SEO ranking.
What is a 301 Redirect? 301 redirects are a permanent way to forward both users and search engines from the original URL they are used to seeing to the new one you’d like them to be sent to. There are multiple types of redirects, but 301, for a permanently moved URL, is the best option for SEO having 90-99% ranking power.
The 301 redirect will carry over SEO ranking power to the new page, but be aware it will take some time for search engines to become aware of the new URL, trust it, and credit the new site with the ranking.
By utilizing 301 redirects, you can ensure that anyone or anything using your old domain or URL slug will be brought through to your new website while capturing SEO benefits. This also makes sure your visitors don’t end up on the dreaded 404 page, the land of broken links! At least we have a little fun with ours:
4. Use SEO Tools and Features
1. Use Google Search Console to learn more about your site’s SEO and request to index to find any technical errors you may have missed. It’s also important that once you migrate your site to another content management system you login to your Google Search Console and ensure your new site gets re-indexed and you submit your new sitemap.
2. Use Google Analytics to understand the activity on your site and various SEO ranking factors.
3. Add a Google My Business page to rank higher locally.
4. Develop a strong website structure that benefits your SEO.
5. Utilize keywords and headers throughout your website to rank higher for firm-related words.
7. Include alternative text for all images to describe to search engines what the image portrays.
8. Customize your browser page titles to give site visitors and search engines more information.
9. Check out our ultimate list of SEO resources so you don’t miss out on any tips or tricks for SEO success.
5. Ensure a Seamless User Experience
You may not think it but user experience plays a large role in your search engine ranking as well. There are a few items under the user experience category that will be critical to implement when moving your CMS to maintain your search ranking, such as:
1. SSL Certificates: There are an incredible amount of benefits in using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates on your financial planning website. In addition to data integrity, authentication and encryption, having an SSL certificate on your site helps with SEO. As of 2014, Google started providing a slight ranking boost to websites using HTTPS. Since Google has announced SSL certificates as a ranking factor, sites that have SSL certificates may appear higher in search than those that do not. Unsure if your site is secure? You can easily tell if any website is secure if the website address is preceded by a https instead of an http.
At Twenty Over Ten, all of our websites are built with free SSL certificates. You heard that right! We firmly believe that added security and better SEO is our responsibility to our clients. Advisors on our platform will not be required to incur the added costs or technical challenges required to implement SSL security for their website.
2. Responsiveness: According to Google more than 50% of searches globally now come from mobile devices. Having a website that is responsive is now a necessity. Just think about how often you pick up your phone to search for something. It’s more often then not, right? Developing a website that can be viewed and easily explored on any device is crucial to increase your conversion rate and improve your client experience. Not to mention that since 2015, mobile responsive sites have been favored by Google’s ranking algorithms.
At Twenty Over Ten, all of our frameworks are created with a mobile-first approach. When developing our frameworks, our designers held priority on a seamless experience regardless of the device a user was viewing the website on. Through our platform, advisors can choose the framework that best fits their business and leverage it on a desktop, mobile phone, tablet, and any device.
Need More SEO Help?
Our team is here to help you make sense of it all! Our SEO Kickstarter Package delivers maximum impact by completing the most important SEO tasks in regards to how your website is setup and registered with Google.