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Htaccess Hell - BrightonSEO 2016

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If you're looking for a large site migration to go without a hitch you're going to need a robust and methodical way of working through your redirects - no matter how big the site.

Migrations are the make of break point of any site process because you have, in theory, everything to lose if it is done wrong.

In this presentation Chris will run through the framework with which to approach redirect mapping of a new site process.

Rest of the blog writeup can be found here - https://strategiqmarketing.co.uk/blog/htaccess-hell-brightonseo-2016/

Published in: Marketing
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Htaccess Hell - BrightonSEO 2016

  1. 1. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ .htaccess Hell Managing a Migration When There’s No Easy Answer
  2. 2. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 A site migration Possibly the most important moment in a website’s life-cycle
  3. 3. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 A site migration Possibly the most important moment in a website’s life-cycle
  4. 4. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Done well, a new site can launch without hitch
  5. 5. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Done badly, all your hard work will go down the
  6. 6. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016
  7. 7. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 On small sites this can be really easy
  8. 8. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 On small sites this can be really easy On large sites... ?
  9. 9. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016
  10. 10. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 That doesn’t mean you can just shrug it off (don’t be lazy)
  11. 11. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 It’s make or break for your new website (I really mean it, don’t be lazy)
  12. 12. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 In this presentation I’ll show you
  13. 13. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 How to scope the size of the redirect challenge
  14. 14. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 How to prioritise redirects
  15. 15. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Tactics to help map them (less painfully - at least)
  16. 16. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 “Best-case” matching when there’s no exact
  17. 17. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Testing redirects pre & post launch
  18. 18. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Keeping organised
  19. 19. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Scoping the size of the redirect trouble
  20. 20. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Crawl your website
  21. 21. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Crawl your website
  22. 22. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 2) Crawl any sitemaps
  23. 23. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 3) Export landing page URLs from GA
  24. 24. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 If the 5,000 row limit is too much of a pain - try http://bit.ly/analytics-edge
  25. 25. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 4) Extract URLs from logs
  26. 26. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 4) Extract URLs from logs
  27. 27. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Or maybe you can be adventurous and use command line This resource rocks, thanks Oliver Mason!-> http://bit.ly/log-command-line
  28. 28. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 5) Scrape Google (but be nice)
  29. 29. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 “But wait, this sounds a right faff!” (I thought I told you not to be lazy)
  30. 30. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Prioritising redirects
  31. 31. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Common-sense - top level pages
  32. 32. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 2) Top-ranking pages
  33. 33. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 3) Top trafficked pages
  34. 34. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 4) Most crawled pages (from log files)
  35. 35. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 5) … and if possible everything else
  36. 36. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Mapping redirects
  37. 37. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Directory rewrites
  38. 38. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 In .htaccess for example: RewriteRule ^old-blog/(.*)$ /new-blog/$1 [R=301,NC,L] www.domain.com/old-blog/best-post-evar 301s to www.domain.com/new-blog/best-post-evar
  39. 39. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Some more handy .htaccess rules? http://bit.ly/aleyda-htaccess
  40. 40. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 That’s the easy part over and done with!
  41. 41. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 2) Old-to-new post/ product matching
  42. 42. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Can be done in many different ways - depends on commonalities: - Post/Product ID - Post/Product Name - Post/Product Title - URL Key Matching etc...
  43. 43. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 For example: http://bit.ly/ecom-redirect-drive
  44. 44. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Make friends with a developer (Seriously - buy them a drink and everything!)
  45. 45. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 But that’s not a get out of jail free card!
  46. 46. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 3) Manually match them
  47. 47. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016
  48. 48. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 This is up to you to do the hard work… Filters are your friend too
  49. 49. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Filter your URLs, look for: - Specific keywords - Directories - Parameters
  50. 50. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 “Best case” matching
  51. 51. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Don’t just over-redirect to the homepage or top-level categories (This leads into soft 404s!)
  52. 52. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Don’t just take my word for it Ask Glenn Gabe http://bit.ly/soft-404s
  53. 53. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 2) Match to the closest available example
  54. 54. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 3) If there’s no suitable alternative, don’t be afraid to let it drop (if it’s important and there’s no alternative, you’re doing it wrong!)
  55. 55. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Redirect implementation? Assuming that you’re using apache - http://bit.ly/htaccess-for-seos
  56. 56. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Redirect testing
  57. 57. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Modify redirects to “work” on staging/dev
  58. 58. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Change the hostname to dev/staging (change back before launch though!)
  59. 59. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 2) Crawl, crawl & crawl again!
  60. 60. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Change host on your old list of redirects & crawl
  61. 61. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Pro tip: Just because there’s a 301 response, doesn’t mean it’s the right destination!
  62. 62. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 3) Test again after launch
  63. 63. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Make sure nothing breaks after!
  64. 64. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Keeping organised
  65. 65. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 1) Excel/google docs is your friend
  66. 66. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 2) Include 301 mapping into your sitemap - start early! http://bit.ly/sitemap-redirect-template
  67. 67. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 3) Learn to Vlookup! http://bit.ly/vlookup-beginners
  68. 68. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 4) Save often, split your workbook if things get too heavy
  69. 69. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 To recap...
  70. 70. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 It takes time but it’s worth it!
  71. 71. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Properly scope the size of the problem
  72. 72. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Prioritise - more is better, but it has to stop somewhere
  73. 73. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Map redirects intelligently - pattern or directory match where you can
  74. 74. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Make friends with a developer!
  75. 75. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Test, test & test again
  76. 76. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Download this, it’ll help http://bit.ly/sitemap-redirect-template
  77. 77. @chrisgreen87 @StrategiQ #BrightonSEO 2nd September 2016 Thank you. @chrisgreen87 http://bit.ly/htaccess-hell

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