Tue

28

Apr

2015

New SEO Features: Custom URLs & Redirects

SEO is probably one of the topics we get asked about most here at Jimdo. This makes sense, of course—who doesn’t want to make sure that everyone can find your website?

New SEO Features: Change your Page Names

1. New custom URLs


(JimdoPro & JimdoBusiness)

 

With the new Custom URL feature, you can specify the exact URL (web address) of a page on your website.

 

Before, the URL was automatically generated from the page’s name in the navigation. For example, if the name of your page was “Get Help,” then the URL would be: mywebsite.com/get-help.

 

Now, JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness users can choose to override the automatically-generated URL and create a different one. So with the example above, you could set your “Get Help” page to have a URL of mywebsite.com/support, without changing the page name.

 

Custom URL example Here's an example of how you can set a custom URL to be different from your page name. Note that the Page Title, used for SEO purposes, is also auto-generated from the page name, but you can set this to something else if you like.

Why is this helpful?

 

  • Keeps URLs short and meaningful. For SEO, it’s best to have short, succinct URLs. Ideally your page names should be short and meaningful as well, but there are some cases where you want your page name to be more descriptive, and creating a shorter, customized url can be helpful (and also easier to share, type out, and use on other marketing materials when necessary).
  • Allows you to preserve a URL when you change a page name. Sometimes you need to change the name of a page, but you don’t want to lose the URL’s search engine ranking. With a custom URL, you can change the name of your page and still keep the original URL.
  • Helps multilingual websites that use non-Latin characters. Languages with non-Latin characters, like Japanese or Russian, often don’t show up well when copy-and-pasted. For example, a website using Japanese characters like this: jp.jimdo.com/プロに依頼/ might transform into a URL that looks like this: http://jp.jimdo.com/%E3%83%97%E3%83%AD%E3%81%AB%E4%BE%9D%E9%A0%BC/. Yuck.
    With custom URLs, you can use a language’s specific character set as your navigation title, but choose a much shorter Latin URL, like jp.jimdo.com/create-website/.

Note: Remember to use custom urls only when they make sense. Ideally your page names and URLs should match pretty closely, and URLs should be relevant to the content someone will find on the page. You also want to be very careful before deleting old URLs that may have already been indexed by search engines. Read our Support Center article for more information.


 

2. New URL redirects


(JimdoBusiness)

 

In the same vein as the Custom URL feature, the new URL redirects allow you more flexibility with how you can use links. With a URL redirect, you literally “redirect” traffic from one page to another—if a user types in one URL, they will be automatically sent to another page of your choosing.

 

JimdoBusiness users can now set up redirects directly from their Site Admin:

 

URL redirects JimdoBusiness users can now set up URL redirects!


  • Click on Settings in the Site Admin
  • Click on URL Redirects under SEO
  • Add the Original URL in the field provided
  • Choose a Target Page from the dropdown menu of pages on your website

Why is this helpful?
  • Set up custom promotional URLs. Let’s say you have an online bike store and you are having a sale on certain items. You don’t want to share a long, unwieldy link (like mywebsite.com/products/bikes/sale), and you don’t want to permanently change the URL to your product pages just for this one sale. In this scenario, you could set up a URL like mywebsite.com/spring-sale and then redirect it to the page you want people to see. Customers type in the shorter URL that’s easier to remember, and they arrive right at the page you want them to.

  • Moving pages or restructuring your website. If you are making changes to your website structure that will change your URLs (like adding new navigation levels), redirects will be your new best friend. Why? Well, if you just change a page’s URL without setting up a redirect, your old URLs will still be indexed by search engines, but they’ll have turned into dead ends with no content. Your search engine ranking will take a hit, because you’ll lose all the link value that you’ve built up over time. By setting up redirects, you’re helping search engines (and people) find your content at the new address. You can redirect old links to new URLs, without disrupting your search engine ranking or losing the value of links that have already been indexed by Google. This is especially valuable if you’re reorganizing your site, or if you’re moving an old site with a different URL structure over to Jimdo.

Note: Remember, with great power comes great responsibility! Changing links can be tricky, and you need to be careful to make sure everything is done correctly. For more information on URL redirects, please review our Support Center.


 

3. A cleaned-up SEO panel


While we’re adding these new SEO features, we’re also giving the SEO Panel in your Site Admin a face-lift. You’ll see a new, cleaner look that’s easier to use.

 

  • We’ve redesigned the way you can check to see if your site is listed on Google—now you can do it with just one click!
  • We’ve kept only the important SEO Settings you need, and removed the “Keywords” box. Google stopped using keywords for their rankings back in 2007, and other search engines have followed suit. In fact, filling in too many keywords can actually hurt your search engine rankings, since they can get you flagged as spam. That’s why we've removed the Keywords box from the SEO settings. From now on, you just need to fill in your page titles and site (meta) description, and make sure that your keywords occur naturally in your website content.
  • We’ve also made it easier to get started with rankingCoach right from your SEO panel. If you’re looking for customized SEO coaching, the rankingCoach add-on is a perfect option.

 

Live long and redirect carefully


These new tools will give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to setting up URLs and preserving your search engine ranking. Just remember to use these powers carefully (and for the right reasons)—you can accidentally hurt your search engine ranking if you start deleting or changing the wrong URLs. So before you dig in, we recommend you read more about these features in our Support Center. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Support Center. Happy SEO-ing!