If your company is renaming or rebranding itself or your website needs to be moved to another server your onsite content will need to be precisely redirected to its new home. If your redirects are not correctly completed, your new website will be riddled with 404 File Not Found errors, which can diminish user experience, leading to an increased bounce rate and therefore a decreased page ranking.
If your business is changing it’s brand name, or relocating from a .co.uk to a .com web address, you will have to transfer the contents of your site from one domain to another.
If you are changing the URL and branding:
• Create a sitemap of the page URLs on your old domain. • Do the exact same for the page URLs on your new domain.
• 301-redirect each URL on your old domain to the most relevant URL on the new domain.
• Use the rel=canonical tag on any pages on the old site that are identical, or near identical, to pages on the new website. This will tell search engines which version of the page should be considered the important version to be displayed in SERPs.
• Make sure to keep hosting your previous version of the website. This way the 301-redirects will continue to pass link juice from the old version to the new. If you completely close down your old site, it will stop passing link juice from any inbound links that it may have received to the new website.
• Make sure that both versions of the site are hosted on a single server, and is not split between multiple servers.
• Perform all relevant SEO and inbound marketing optimisation on the new version of the website.
If you are redesigning your website
With the interest of best SEO practices, your redesign should be done with the Panda update in mind, avoiding dynamic or un-Crawlable technologies wherever possible. You should then devise and carry out an SEO strategy for the new version of the website.