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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!

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First thing that you need to consider is make up a proper plan that what do you want to archive. what will be the outcome of your work and how much work you need to do.

I have been working on the similar kind of website which is on travel and when I started working its on the same condition you mentioned here. But, now the site is having another story to tell and results are speaking at their own. I have been ranking for top spot in search engine for 4-5 keywords and in top 20 with most of the keywords. Here is the outlined what I did to improve it. 1. First you need to check out the Analytics and Webmasters to see where the site is standing right now, what are the posts which receives traffic and what are the errors on the site. Make a note of that. 2. Now, You need to scan the site with proper on page error that what are the areas you need to improve like titles, meta and all. 3. Make a plan for the content that what is your strategy to get the relevant content, is the old content is enough or you need to add the new content. 4. you have to make a plan that how you are going to promote the site via SEO and what will be the tasks you will perform for this. 5. When you complete with all the things, let's start working on it by removing the errors from site, make the changes on the posts with on page optimization and create your optimized urls. Add the content which need to be added or update the old content. 6. Start promoting your new content. 7. You can either use redirection plugin to add the redirection to old pages or either use .htaccess for redirection. Both will work fine for you. 8. If you are using wordpress add broken links plugins to see which urls you need to fix or you can use webmasters to keep track of it. 9. now create your new sitemap with your updated content and submit it webmaster. you can your cache function as well if you want to index pages fast. 10. within a couple of days your urls will start index and you are done. :)

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First of all, you should check Google Search Console and Analytics to know which pages are receiving most of the organic traffic and which pages are converting better.

You need to understand your organic rankings and conversion before starting rebuilding the website, so you can focus on keywords that are already converting and work them better to rank higher. It's impossible to build an optimized website without knowing the keywords you want to rank for.

About the URL changes, use 301 redirections and you should be fine.

After migrating to the new design, the website rankings will fluctuate a bit, but if you focus on creating a better user experience on the new pages, you will eventually rank better than you ranked before.

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