A 2013 study calculated that over 500 websites are created each minute.
That is a HUGE number.
Let’s be conservative and say that today in 2016, 75 of those new websites are being created and are scheduled to replace an existing website every single day.
That is a very large number of sites putting themselves at risk!
How are they putting themselves at risk you say?
Well, let us give you an example.
Imagine you have a website that looks so 2005.
You want to update the look, the copy and make it responsive.
All with the goal of turning more visitors into customers.
These are Awesome goals!
Let’s say your site has an average conversion rate compared to the industry and 75% of your site traffic comes from Organic Search.
HERE IS THE THREAT!
When migrating your website in most cases, your URL structure will change.
This will make all of your old URL’s or links to your site break and generate either a 404 error or some other server error.
If that happens:
Visitors are very unhappy and will leave your site
Google will penalize you for a bad user experience
Your rankings will drop
You could be dropped from the search engines completely for a while
What can you do to FIX This?
Map your current website URLs to your new website URLs
Create 301 redirects (using .htaccess or a plugin or whatever you use choose to create this)
Test the redirects to make sure they are correct
Submit a new Sitemap to the search engines
This is the Number 1, Most Critical Step in Preserving Your Website’s Current Authority, Visibility and Integrity.
If you don’t, then you will most definitely use the acronym FML in a tweet, text, post, etc. soon after.