Are you planning to revamp your podcast website? Or perhaps you already did? Either way, you may find it valuable to check whether you have done it properly or not. Sometimes, unbeknownst to many, you could have done something that may be killing your discoverability or tanking your website analytics. Before you fret, allow Tom Hazzard to cover for you in this episode. He unveils the secrets no one tells you about when it comes to website revamps. He helps you dot your i’s and cross your t’s, sharing cautionary tales from clients that inform you of the must-dos and don’ts. So tune in to this episode now and save your leads before you have to start again from scratch.

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Unveiling the Secrets: What No One Tells You About Website Revamps – Save Your Leads Now!

In this episode, I’m going to talk about unveiling the secrets that no one tells you about website revamps. I’m very passionate about this. I geek out on it. I’m going to give you a little fair warning, although I’m going to try not to get terribly technical and in the weeds here too much. If you consider this a podcaster public service announcement, and not only for podcasters, anybody reading this who has a website and is considering revamping it or has revamped their website, you want to read this because you probably don’t know if you have already revamped your site.

There are some things that you may not even know to check on and make sure that we are done properly that could be killing your discoverability and tanking your website analytics. If you are considering redoing or revamping your website sometime soon, you need to know about some of these things to ask the right questions of whoever is working on your website.

This is like one of those old TV shows where we have changed the names to protect the innocent and type of thing. I’m going to be a little bit anonymous. I’m not going to out anyone here, but I do have a couple of cautionary tales and examples that motivated me and made me realize I had to share this information with all of our readers and customers because I have seen many people make some big mistakes, some unforced errors they didn’t need to make had they known to ask the right questions of their resource.

Let me take Example A right off the bat, existing podcasters have been done for you and the Podetize customer. When it came to their podcast website, Podetize created it for them. We do that for about 5% of our customers who need that. This is not about us building a website. Their first podcast website had grown over the years, gained a lot of keyword rankings and a lot of organic traffic, and they had, on this particular show, swimming in a neighborhood of 80 or 83 podcast blogs, comprehensive ones on their website.

 

FYB | Website Revamps

 

Their website had a lot of backlinks and keyword rankings and was getting organic traffic from Google searches. This company decided on its own, “We need to update our branding for our business and our podcast.” They didn’t even tell us they were doing it. They figured, “We need some professional branding expert to do this.” They redo their show brand. They hired a website development company. That’s all they do to build them a brand new website along with their new brand for their business and what became a revamp of the brand for the show. It has nothing to do with podcasting.

They told us about it when it was new and, “We need you to post our new blogs for new episodes on this new website.” This web developer told them, “They created a new website and that they would transfer all of their blogs from the old website to the new website.” After the job was done, they paid that other web developer and they had us start doing their new episodes on the new website. We go into their website as we do with every Done for You podcast customer to post new blogs. We are on their website and there were only 4 of their 80 blogs in there.

Even those four were not properly copied over configured for SEO. I’m going to talk about a couple of details without getting into the weeds of every nitty-gritty technical detailer, but an example so you can understand what’s critical about this is that this company sold them on doing it all for them and didn’t do it all for them essentially did not convert all of their blogs from one website to the other. These were both WordPress websites completely compatible. You can export from one and import into the other.

They ended up seeking our support to do that, and we did it. The scary part is not to make sure when you engage with someone to build you a new website, make sure that you are very clear with them and they are clear, understand, and confirm in writing that they are going to transfer all the content from the old site to the new site. It’s very critical, but also that they are going to maintain all of the permalinks. You might say, “What’s a permalink?”

 

 

It’s a URL. If you click on any page of a website or any blog of a website, there’s this long string your Website.com, and then this long usually code, name, dashes in it, and all sorts of things that represent a page on the website. That link or URL is the permalink. You don’t ever want it to change. This is the real fundamental thing because Google gets to know your website over months and years. It has indexed the website. Meaning it has a map of the whole site. It knows all the pages there. It crawled through every page, read all the words, and associated those words with search results in the search bar. If you change the URL of any of those pages, it breaks all that information. Google has to start all over again.

What happened with this podcast customer when all their blogs were not transferred over and the ones that were didn’t have the same URL to Google, “This is a new website. It’s a new blog. It doesn’t trust yet.” This podcaster lost a huge amount of value equity that had been built into their website and domain name within Google. They ended up coming to us. We have to do some triage, pick up the pieces and restore all those blogs.

Those permalinks are critical. This customer lost an awful lot of Google traffic and ranking. It did build back up because you can fix these things. It just takes time. It doesn’t happen immediately. If you go too far in making changes to your website and you are rebuilding everything from scratch, it’s important to know that Google understands revamping websites, creating a new website within a 30-day period, and changing from one site to another.

You won’t lose everything. It’s not like every time you revamp a website. You are going to start from zero. No. Hopefully, you don’t lose anything. But you have got to maintain all those pages and links, especially for the blogs. Another thing that happens when you create a new website and you have changed, even if all the contents and pages are there and you have changed those permalinks, you have changed the identity of those pages out on the internet, you also might have a lot of backlinks that get broken. What are backlinks?

 

 

Backlinks are a link from someone else’s website to a page on your website. You can imagine if you are a podcaster, you have been creating and publishing podcasts for years with guests that have their websites and they then might have a media, press, or about page where they have got information about, “I was on this person’s podcast and here’s a link to it from my website to a page on their website.” You revamp your website, and that link changes. Now, you have got a broken link. When somebody clicks it on that guest’s website, it brings up a 404 error. It doesn’t go anywhere if that link is not maintained.

Two ways you can accomplish this. You don’t want to have to rely on communicating with the guest and say, “Here’s a new link. Would you update it on your website?” It is a very low percentage of success and probability of happening. What’s better is you know what the link was to the page on your website because it was a page on your website. I’m sure you have that information. If, for some reason, you cannot maintain all of the permalinks and original URLs for those pages on your website, which is, by the way, the number one recommendation, as I said before, maintain all those links because you revamp a website or you build a whole new one, does not mean any of those links need to change that. They can all be the same.

Let’s say there’s a good reason why they needed to change. You have to make sure your web developer if they are going to do that, creates a complete list of what is called 301 redirects. This would be on your website. It says, “Anybody who comes into my website to this link, that’s the old one. Instead, go to this link,” so they get to the resulting same page.

That’s okay because Google will see that and eventually update their indexing and change what page. That search results go to. A proper 301 redirect will also work in that situation. You need to make sure you maintain this. Otherwise, you are going to lose much value and equity. Your website will become a ghost on the internet and you don’t want that. All of us that are podcasting have our podcast pages on our website and have a blog for every episode, have tremendous value in that.

FYB | Website Revamps

Website Revamps: The guest’s name can be a part of the title. It can also be a part of the permalink if you want it to be, but it shouldn’t be the only part of it.

 

You have read us say this on many episodes. There is a huge value. As a test, go to Google now and type in, “Worst podcast websites.” If you are reading this a year after I published this episode, it’s probably going to be the same because it’s been many years since that episode of Feed Your Brand was published, which is about the best and worst podcast websites. That blog still comes up on the first page of Google searches many years later for that search term.

That’s the kind of value I’m talking about. We get people who come to our website learning about our company who didn’t know us, learning about our podcast, who didn’t know about it, and who weren’t even looking for a podcast but were searching on Google for something about websites and that blog post comes up.

That’s the kind of value I’m talking about. You can lose in an instant when you revamp your website or rebuild your website. You either hire someone to do it who doesn’t know what they are doing or doesn’t care. All they wanted was to get your money and build you a new website without having to worry about all those technical details of making sure all of those permalinks are maintained going forward or properly redirected, which is the second best option. You can hurt yourself tremendously.

The third thing I want to talk about in this episode, we talked about revamping your website and not maintaining permalinks. You want them to do the same. If you can’t do it, you got to do redirects. I encountered another situation. It’s another cautionary tale. This podcaster has been doing a great job for three years at least since they started their show. They made an internal decision with their web developer that they wanted to change a part of the structure of their website.

Just because you revamp a website or build a whole new one does not mean any of those links need to change. They can all be the same. Click To Tweet

Their website had the structure of their DomainName/Podcasts, plural, which is where their podcast page was then all the blogs were underneath that. They wanted to change it to podcast singular. Even though the best permalink for SEO is a long string of text where the title of the episode is a part of that permalink, that is an SEO best practice. They wanted to change it and make it so that people could go to their website, name/podcast/the guest name, first name, last name, that’s one word, and make it easier for them to talk about episodes.

They started to change the permalink to all the stuff and it created a huge hassle. The reason I’m sharing this experience with you is there was a good way to handle that. Now, you want to make the change in the structure of the website from podcasts. You could do that. You need to put in a redirect that is going to catch everything that was under that old name to the new one. You can do that as a global redirect, what they call a wild card type of redirect, “Everything that went here, instead go there.” Basic thing.

When it comes to that permalink of doing the guest name, a guest name is a bad permalink to have for your episode because for a number of reasons. Do they have a funny spelling of the name? Are people going to understand that? It’s also short. It doesn’t have anything to do with the title of the episode. Rarely do we title an episode as a podcaster, only the guest name. There are some longer titles that are better for SEO. It’s more about what’s in it for the listener, what are they going to get when they listen to this episode? They are searching for the guest’s name.

The guest’s name can be a part of the title. It can also be a part of the permalink if you want it to be, but it shouldn’t be the only part of it. We came up with a strategy to help this customer out where, it’s easier for you, the host as you are talking about an episode, as you are emailing someone about an episode, as you are maybe speaking from the stage as this customer did at an event and said, “You need to listen to this episode. Go to my Website.com/GuestName.” They wanted to be able to say that.

FYB | Website Revamps

Website Revamps: Make sure you take care not to really kill all this great equity and value that you are building in your website through your podcast.

 

That’s wonderful. You can do that. You can create a 301 redirect for anything you want. You can make up anything. You can make it MyWebsite.com/Episode1, 2, or 3 if that’s easy for you, or the guest name as one word or the guest name, first name, and last name. Whatever convention you want, you can do that. You create a short URL that is easier for people to remember that will forward, and redirect people to the existing long permalink, the existing URL that’s better for SEO that has what the title of that blog article episode is. You can accomplish all these things and make it easy for you as a host to remember and say, “You are interested in this. Go listen to that episode.”

You can text them a link. It’s easy for you to remember that whole long, crazy string. Wonderful. Do it in the right way. Don’t trip on an unintended landmine that’s going to blow up your website, SEO, rankings, and traffic. That’s the overall point that I want to share with you and try to save you some headaches, unlike these other two Podetize customers ad where they were trying to improve their businesses and websites for good reasons.

If you want to update or revamp your website, wonderful, please do. I’m all in support of that and anybody should be who supports you, but you got to make sure you know what you are getting into that you are doing it the right way, and the resource that you hire, if you are not doing it yourself, knows what they are doing and asks the right questions, “You are going to build this website. You are going to revamp my website. Are all the permalinks going to be the same as they are for every page and every blog?” Make sure every blog. Make sure the answer to that is yes. If they don’t do it at the end of the day, they are responsible for doing it so you don’t have to hire someone else to pick up the pieces as a couple of our customers did.

If there’s a good reason why they are not going to maintain all those permalinks, then are they going to, as a part of their service, take the time to create all those proper redirects, especially all those backlinks that have been built up from other websites are the same. People don’t click links from someone else’s website and end up with a 404 page, “Sorry, file not found on your website.” No one wants that. People are going to say, “Great. Bad link. Forget it. Next? Onto the next thing.” Got to make sure you think about these things and probably more.

A key part of your platform as a podcaster is your website. Click To Tweet

Remember, there were three things, maintaining all the blogs from the start, 2nd thing is maintaining the permalinks and 3rd thing is if that is maintaining the backlinks. For both of those permalinks and backlinks, if they can’t be completely maintained, you got to have them redirected. That’s my cautionary tale podcaster public service announcement. I hope we find it useful. I know this is a show that’s true, but if you have read this blog for many episodes at all, you know that a key part of your platform as a podcaster is your website.

If you don’t have one, then I highly recommend you get one on WordPress if you have the opportunity to choose that platform only because, in our experience, it’s the most in alignment with Google and easiest to get ranked on and get traffic coming to your website. One other thing I will share is that Podetize does offer a website maintenance subscription to our customers as an option. You have to be a podcaster. If you are reading this and you are not yet a podcaster, we don’t do that for anybody off the street. You have to be a podcaster. We only provide website maintenance on WordPress websites because it’s a very good system.

We know what we are doing and we do an excellent job of it, but you can get anything fixed on your website with a good website maintenance subscription. You can reach out to us at Podetize.com if you are interested in that or have any questions about it. It’s not meant to be a shameless plug, but I want to let you know there are resources to help you if you need them. If you don’t have a good resource, you can get one. Regardless of how you do it, please make sure you take care not to kill all this great equity and value that you are building in your website through your podcast. Thank you so much, everyone. Hope you find value in that. We will be back next time with another great episode. Until then, I’m signing off.

 

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