We have a bespoke site with a management company which has been live for three years, we still own our domain name.
We are moving to Shopify to have full control and to avoid the horrendous charges for minimal changes.
We are approaching the end of the rebuild and starting to plan for the transition and in need of some advice for a smooth transition and to avoid disrupting our SEO.
This is our first in house site so we would be glad of any advice to avoid any obvious pitfalls!
303 URL/internal/external links - can we add these before the domain name is changed over to the shopify site?
Do we do one for each product/collection/page etc?
Many thanks in advance
You mean 301's not 303's. Permanent redirects are 301's and those are what shopify uses.
Within shopify, you'd set up a redirect which is coming 'from' an old url and pointing 'to' a new shopify url. Ideally you want a redirect for EVERY page that you had on your old site. Only exceptions might be junk pages, stuff you don't want to transition, or stuff that was getting next to zero traffic/value. You can set these up in shopify prior to going live, they won't do anything until the site is live and the domain name is switched over.
You WILL experience a google hit for the transition and your rankings will fluctuate a lot for weeks/months usually. You might also take a temporary hit. At least that's what we experienced.
Pay attention also to inbound links. If people, bloggers, other websites, even google in their index, is linking to urls which you are not going to make a 301 for, they're going to register as broken links and you'll lose traffic and ranking value for those links.
On the safe side, 301 everything if you can.
If you are also doing content changes, changing the value of pages, it may positively or negatively affect things. Keeping some things the same can be helpful at least short term to 'anchor' things and retain value.
You'll probably want to focus on some promotion and content building soon after to help re-boost the site and create signals that it's gaining in popularity and trust etc.
Apologies for lateness of my reply, yes typo re the 303/301s...that's great and thank you for your help.
Another thing I'm struggling with, if you could possibly help.
We would like to add a "read more" section to each product page to reduce the amount of visible descriptive text especially on mobile.
Do I have to create a page for each listing and add it this way? Struggling as it seems all would all have to be called "Read More"
I have done this with one product and now this same page is appearing throughout all our products.
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