Deployment: Maintain SEO page ranking / 301 URL page redirects
Some teams with an existing website who are migrating to a TeamUnify SwimOffice website are often concerned about maintaining their ranking on search engine results pages, or SERPs, like those in Google. This is usually not an issue for teams where there are only one or two swimming pools in town, since ranking at or near the top of SERPs requires little or no effort. For example, as of this writing, in our town of Bend, Oregon, the first four results for "bend oregon swim team" are all for Bend Swim Club's TeamUnify website.
But for teams in cities with lots of other pools and teams, or that offer specialized training, using search engine optimization (SEO) to achieve good ranking is vitally important, and they have likely worked hard to achieve this.
Moving to a SwimOffice website means your site map and entire URL structure will change, as URLs in SwimOffice are not customizable, and they all start with teamunify.com for security and PCI compliance reasons. When migrating to your new site, we will offer to host your zone file, such as swimteam.com, as a courtesy. This makes it convenient and less complicated for you. If you are the only game in town, this usually makes sense. But if not, the good news is that there are ways to maintain your SERP ranking after making the switch.
- You will need to continue hosting your zone file to implement the changes below. Make sure to let your Deployment rep know you want to do this.
- Copy the content from existing pages on your old website to the equivalent pages on your new TU site. Our migration team will usually take care of this and provide a list of all the pages they copied over, which can assist with creating all the needed 301 redirects.
- For your home page, such as http://www.swimteam.com, make a 301 redirect to:
https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=alias (substitute alias with your actual team alias). Please contact your domain host for assistance with creating 301s. Note that people will still be able to type http://www.swimteam.com to get to your new site.
- Create a 301 redirect for each page on your old site that points to an equivalent page on your SwimOffice site. For example, if the URL to your coaches page on your old site is http://www.swimteam.com/about/coaches, create a 301 redirect to https://www.teamunify.com/Contact.jsp?team=alias (substitute alias with your actual team alias). There is no limit to the number of 301 redirects you can use.
- For any pages that have no equivalent on your new site, create a 301 for them to the home page on your new site, in the form of https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=alias (again, substitute alias with your actual team alias).
- Don't do blanket 301 wildcard redirects; create one for each specific page.
- If there are any redirect chains or hops (i.e., one page redirects to a page that redirects to another page), keep the number of hops down to three or less (see https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93633?hl=en).
- If anyone is linking to pages on your existing site, ask them to update their links to the equivalent pages on your new site.
- After a year or so, hopefully all of the old links are gone and you can safely have us take over hosting your zone file if you want. This means all of your 301 redirects will go away. However, if anyone still has a link to your old site and tries to use it, they will get a 404 error, page not found, so this step is entirely optional. You can keep the 301s in place forever if you like.
Need to pay for site hosting and domain name hosting
SEO -- Search Engine Optimization to increase site ranking