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SEO: What to Know Before You Switch to Square Online

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is an important topic for any online business. Regardless of what platform you are using to build and manage your website, optimising for search engines is a key part of getting traffic and sales online. It’s a big reason why we make it really easy to manage SEO for Square Online websites. If you’re planning to switch to Square Online from a different platform, then you’ll want to maintain or improve your current SEO.

 

With that in mind, there are several things you will want to consider and plan for when switching from one platform to another.

Page structure

It’s very likely that in moving from one platform to another your page structure will change some. This might mean some pages that were in folders or directories are no longer in them, or that the URL of the page itself may change. You’ll want to account for these changes to avoid getting 404 errors from links that Google has indexed.

 

  1. Before moving your site, make a list of all site pages and include the URL of each page. If you have meta keywords, titles, and descriptions set up, then you may want to add these here as well - it will help you later.
  2. When possible, try to keep page names the same.
  3. Compare each new page to your list, and set up a 301 redirect for any page where the URL changed.

 

With proper redirects, Google will see these when it updates its search cache of your site and use the new URLs.

 

Page content

You’ll want to keep your page content as close to the old site as possible. This means making sure you have the same text, titles, and images on the page that you had before. Depending on how your page content was structured before, you may need to make some adjustments. Don’t worry too much about that, though - what’s important is that the content itself is still there. Fortunately, with Square Online you can take as long as you need to build the new store and only publish it once you are ready. This will give you all the time you need to work on each new page while your old site is still online as a reference.

 

Page meta data

If you set up specific meta keywords, descriptions, and titles for your pages, then you will want to note those with your list of pages. After setting up all of your new pages, add the same information for your pages, items, and categories. This will make sure that they will continue displaying the same descriptions and titles in search results. You can also look at Google search results to see what Google is currently using, then use that information for the new site. 

 

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools

Two of the handiest tools you can have when changing platforms are Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Ideally, you’ll have already been using both, that way you can compare historical analytics with what you see after moving. Don't worry if you didn't, though. Adding Google Analytics and setting your store up with Google Webmaster Tools is easy, and will make it simple to see if you are getting any 404 errors that you'll need to fix.

 

As long as your domain name doesn’t change, Google is pretty smart about making any necessary updates to its index of your site. Just make sure you set up 301 redirects as necessary for 404 errors so it can follow old links to new links.

 

Have any comments or questions? Leave me a comment below!

Tra
Community Manager, Square
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