Filename and other changes to help with SEO problems since updating

I have been having serious SEO problems since updating my website using new versions of RW, Foundation & Stacks to make it responsive. Tonight, I went into my new site, comparing it with the old one, and changed the page titles, page names, browser titles, descriptions and file names to make them the same.

The old filenames were .html for index but all the others were .htm. For some reason – maybe it was the default – I had all the new filenames except index to be .html. And if you tried to go to any page but home on my new site using .htm, the old filename, you got a 404 error. So, I changed them to match what they used to be. Also, added an H1 header on each new site page with the browser page title in it. (Had not actually had any H1 headers on the old styled text pages.)

I had thought changing the filenames might screw something up. Maybe they had to be .html with the new versions of everything, but apparently not. Everything seems to work.

Any thoughts on this? I am kind of shooting in the dark here.

Changing important page URLs in redesigns/website updates is highly unprofitable. Links to that page/url will be broken and that does harm SEO efforts. My suggestion would be to keep the same URLs as the old website (whatever those may be). If the old website used .htm, then use .htm as the file extension. You should be able to use crustless links if the old file names were index.htm for every page.

There is no true difference in .htm and .html files, except for the obvious lack of l in one. The most important thing here is that you don’t break any links to your website/content, as those are extremely valuable in the world of SEO.

Be sure to resubmit your website/sitemap to Google and search engines again!

Also, see one of my replies to a topic on SEO for one page sites - most of it applies to websites in general.

Hope that makes sense.

It does make sense and those are exactly the mistakes I made. I am now fixing them, hopefully. Whether my website will ever get back to the high level it had previously, I don’t know.

If you are using the same content/meta/URLs and even more SEO than before, you should be fine. I’d make sure to (re)submit the sitemap to Google once you’ve made the filename corrections.