A SEO question if someone would be kind enough to help.
A friend has an existing website with plenty of issues and I decided to rebuild it from scratch. Reasons?
- Many URL's don't match the actual title of the post + different languages have the same url almost, except "eng-" in front. What the f*** ? :)
- No H1 tags, no proper title/alt attributes on links/images
- Very slow loading, JS/CSS not compressed/optimised, huge images, no caching; generally designed pretty bad
- plenty of other things approached in a bad way
The question I am having is about this new page now: what exactly happens when the new page will be uploaded and will replace the old one? I wrote down most of the 301 redirects (for each post and archive pages etc.) in htaccess.
If I understand correctly, 301 redirects will help keep the SEO rank somewhat; but, can it get better after a change so big?
Furthermore, what are the proposed steps to take when rebuilding the page from scratch if you keep in mind that most of the content will stay, but URLs will all change (some new content will be added too) ? I read somewhere that it's a good idea to get a new sitemap.xml and send it to google via webmaster tools ?
Is doing 301 redirects the right approach and if so, is that all?
Also, I have concerns about keeping the current SEO rank, since it's probably really bad (because of all the things I mentioned above) - would be lovely if I could somehow start anew for this domain; but that's probably not possible? So how to get Google to "forget" about the old page and just index the new without loosing SEO rank (and improving it even!).
Any push in the right direction appreciated!