Avoiding a common mistake for travel and tourism websites

Night Tiger capturing a MicrobatWe’ve just helped Undara Experience launch their new website. They are our newest OM4Tourism client. This picture shows a Night Tiger (snake) poised to strike at a Microbat emerging from the lava tube. Fantastic image!

One of the first benefits of the site upgrade I have observed is a simple but powerful one – more of their content is now indexed. Their old site had some excellent content – but the Javascript menus made for a great spider trap, so only 23 of their pages were indexed.

Less than a week after going live, almost twice the number of pages were indexed, and in the not too distant future I expect every page and post to be indexed.

If you are going to upgrade your website, it is important that you take into account what the search engines already know about you. If Google has your pages indexed, as the site owner you need to make it your business to ensure that redirects are planned and implemented.

Redirects? Just like setting up postal address redirects if you move office, you need redirects set up for every one of your indexed pages. If you don’t, people may find your page in a search, but not get sent through to the correct page.

If someone has linked to one of your pages, the link will return a ‘Page Not Found’ result, and the link might be removed.

There are a few ways redirects can be established. The best way is to use an Apache 301 redirect that tells search engines the page has been permanently moved.

When a site upgrade is involved that will change the URL of any indexed page:

  • get a list of every page indexed by the search engines (e.g. site:youraddress.com in the search box of Google and Yahoo will find their indexed pages)
  • for each page indexed, record the old URL and the new URL
  • when you upgrade your site, make sure a redirect from the old page to the new page is setup
  • when your site changes over, test each of the old page URLs to test the redirects are working

Implementing 301 redirects is quite technical, and I’m not going to try and explain the detail here.

Working with Undara has been rewarding. They appreciate the strategy behind our platform, and are really excited about implementing it.

It was impressive to see Marcus reel off his first post, welcoming Tim Flannery and John Doyle to Undara. Undara have incredible images to work with, and are now starting to prepare video for their site (including coverage of David Attenborough and other famous people visiting Undara).

OM4 Logo RGB

About OM4

OM4 is an Australian based web agency that helps you find customers and convert online. We specialise in creating custom designed WordPress and WooCommerce websites that our clients can update themselves. So you get to express your brand without being tied down to the constraints of a template, but you can still update your own content using a state of the art page builder. We develop plugins, so we know our way around code. Interested? We'd love you to get in touch.