A quick note to schools moving to new websites, or simply moving some pages to new locations: Redirect your key pages to their new locations.
Here are the steps you want to follow:
1) Identify critical pages (giving pages, admission pages, etc.)
2) Identify top entry pages (see your site stats to find your top 25 or 50 entry pages averaged over a year)
3) Place 301 redirects for those pages pointing to their new locations.
Why? Two reasons:
Your website users will be thankful that their bookmarks continue to get them where they want to go.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engines will pass on the “link juice” from the old pages to the new ones, which should keep your site being found at the same rate it was being found before in the search engines. Failing to do this can seriously affect your site rankings.
If you don’t know how to do these things, or even what they mean, don’t fret. Ask your web solutions provider. If they don’t seem to understand – well, I’d like to say I’d be shocked, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be. If you need help getting them to do what needs to be done, contact me.
Here’s a tool you can use to test redirects once they are set up: http://www.webrankinfo.com/english/tools/server-header.php