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Importing redirects

Redirects are an important step in migrating from your previous web platform to Lightspeed eCom, but not the only one. It is recommended you speak to an SEO expert for more information.

The Import tool provides a faster method of creating redirects, when compared to manually entering them. You can use the Import tool to import new redirects already prepared in a table. You can also use the Import tool to update redirects already inside Lightspeed eCom.

For more information about redirects and setting them up manually, click here.

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This article is divided into two parts:

Instructions

Select one of the following:

A successful import depends on the quality of your data. That's why most of the steps you need to follow when importing to eCom revolve around your worksheet. For more information on why a worksheet is important, click here.

Follow these steps to import new redirects:

  1. Preparing your worksheet
  2. Importing your worksheet
  3. Verifying your import

Preparing your worksheet

Follow these steps to create your worksheet, add your previous platform's landing pages and match them to the new pages in Lightspeed eCom.

It is recommended you redirect only your popular landing pages or for pages that rank highly in search results. For more information about creating only essential redirects, click here.

  1. Click here to login to your Google account and open Google Sheets.
  2. Create a new blank sheet by clicking +. This will be used as your worksheet.
    Click__.png
  3. In column A, row 1, copy the following required column titles and paste them in your worksheet:
    URL Target IsPermanent
    Copy-the-following-required-columns---redirects.png
  4. Open a search engine. Search keywords that describe your website. Make sure to scroll through the results until you locate a search result that links to any other page of your website other than the homepage. You may need to proceed to the next page(s) of the search results. If any search results appear that link to pages other than your homepage, copy the web address without your domain. For example, if you see a search result with: https://www.yourWebAddress.com/kitchen/sinks, copy only: kitchen/sinks.
    Copy-only-kitchen-sinks.png
  5. Open your worksheet and paste the landing page in the URL column.
    paste-the-landing-page.png
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 using other search terms and different search engines that your customers would use to locate your products, categories or other pages on your website and until you are satisfied you've found the most important landing pages.
    Repeat-steps.png
  7. If possible, use Google Analytics to create a list of landing pages for you. If you didn't have Google Analytics installed, skip to step 16.
  8. Login to your Google Analytics account that is connected to your previous website.
  9. Under Reports, click Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages.
    Go-to-landing-pages.png
  10. Set the date range to a large timeframe.
    In these instructions, a time range of 1 year is selected.
    One-year-is-selected.png
  11. To ensure the export contains more than 10 results, scroll to the bottom and click Show rows: 10 and select more results. The amount you select depends on the amount of traffic your website has received.
    Click-show-rows-10.png
  12. Click Export > Google Sheets
    Click-export-Google-sheets.png
    Click Import the data.
    Click-import-the-data.png
  13. Only the content after the top-level domain is required. For example, if your landing page is yourwebsite.com/products/kitchen, only products/kitchen is required. So, to remove the first part of the URL of your landing pages from Google Analytics:
    1. Copy your landing pages.
      Copy-landing-pages.png
    2. Paste your landing pages in a column on the right-side of your spreadsheet, where it is content free to the right of the column and highlight the column.
      Paste-landing-pages-to-the-right-and-highlight.png
    3. Click Data > Split text to columns....
      Click-data-split-text-to-columns.png
    4. For the separator, click Detect automatically. 
      Click-Detect-automatically.png
    5. Select Custom....
      Click-custom.png
    6. Type your top-level domain including the period and the slash. For example, if your web address' top-level domain is .com, type: .com/.
      Type-.com-slash.png
    7. Press Enter on your keyboard.
  14. Copy the modified landing pages.
    Copy-modified-landing-pages.png
  15. Paste the landing pages in your worksheet in the URL column.
    paste-landing-pages-starting-with-bathroom.png
  16. If you located any landing pages in steps 4-8, make sure there are no duplicates with the addition of the Google Analytics landing pages.
  17. In your worksheet, read or visit the first landing page and identify what information is appearing on the webpage, then open Lightspeed eCom and click View store.
    Click-View-store.png
  18. Locate the webpage that will replace the landing page from your previous website. Copy the full web address of this page, including https://.
    Copy-the-full-web-address_-including-https.png
  19. Paste the web address beside the original landing page in the Target column of your worksheet.
    Paste-the-web-address-beside-the-original-landing-page.png
  20. Repeat steps 17-19 until you've matched all essential landing pages with replacements web pages from Lightspeed eCom.
    Repeat-for-all-replacements.png
  21. In the IsPermanent column, enter Yes for all the rows below the title. For more information regarding the IsPermanent column, click here.
    Enter-Yes-for-all-th-erows-below-the-title-isPermanent.png
  22. When all your edits are complete in your worksheet, save it to your computer in CSV format. This can be done by clicking File > Download As > Comma separated values (.CSV).
    Save-in-CSV-format---Redirects.png

Follow these steps to import edits to redirects:

  1. Creating a data backup
  2. Preparing your worksheet
  3. Importing your worksheet
  4. Verifying your import

Creating a data backup

In order to begin editing your redirects and importing changes, create a data backup of the current redirect data you have in Lightspeed eCom. If you have redirect data from another platform, create a safe backup.

  1. The left menu of the Back Office click Tools.
    Click_Tools.png
  2. Click Exports.
    Click_Exports.png
  3. At the top right-hand side of the page, click New Export.
    Click_New_Export.png
  4. Beside Choose what you want to export, click Products to view the dropdown list.
    Choose_what_you_want_to_export_-_Click_products.png
  5. Click Redirects.
    Click-Redirects.png
  6. Click Export.
    Click-export---redirects.png
  7. In the Status column see that the status is PROCESSING. When the status becomes FINISHED, processing is complete. On the right-hand side of the screen, click Download.
    Click-download---redirects.png
  8. Locate a location on your computer that is easy to locate and click Save.

    In this example, we are naming the file Backup Redirect Data File and will be saving it on the Desktop.
    Save-to-desktop---redirects.png

Preparing your worksheet

In order to edit redirects, these steps instruct you to create a new table that will become your worksheet.

  1. Click here to login to your Google account and open Google Sheets.
  2. Create a new blank sheet by clicking +. This will be used as your worksheet.
    Click__.png
  3. In column A, row 1: copy the following required column titles and paste them in your worksheet:
    URL Target IsPermanent
    Copy-the-following-required-columns---redirects.png
  4. Open your data backup. In these instructions, the data is located in the Backup Customer Data File we saved to our desktop in  1. Creating a data backup. Open it using Google sheets by following these directions:
    1. To go back to the Sheets Home, in the top left-hand corner of the screen, click the Sheets icon while pressing command (Mac) or CTRL (PC) on your keyboard. This should open the link in a second tab.
      Click-the-sheets-icon---redirects.png
    2. Create a new blank sheet by clicking +.
      Click__.png
    3. Click FileOpen.
      Click_file_open.png
    4. Click Upload.
      Click_upload.png
    5. Click Select a file from your computer.
      Click_select_a_file_form_your_computer.png
    6. Locate and select your backup file and click Open.
      locateSelect-and-click-Open---Redirects.png
  5. Highlight all the original URLs and copy them.
    Copy-higlighted-original-urls.png
  6. Open the first tab in your browser to access your worksheet and in column A, row 2, paste the original URLs into the URL column.
    Paste-the-original-URLs-into-the-URL-column.png
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for your Target and and IsPermanent columns.
    Repeat-steps-and-paste-Target-and-IsPermanent.png
  8. To prevent any unintended edits from occurring, sort your data and delete any rows your not planning on editing.
    In this example, the redirects that have already been set to permanent were deleted from the worksheet by:
    1. Selecting all 3 columns and clicking Data > Create a filter.
      Clicking-Data-Create-a-filter.png
    2. Sorting by the IsPermanent column:
      Sorting-by-the-IS-Permanent-column-z-a.png
    3. Then deleting any rows with Yes in the IsPermanent column:
      Deleting-any-rows-with-Yes.png
  9. Confirm the format for the contents of each column by searching the Column group or column title in the table located here. Then enter your edits into your worksheet.
    In this example, research has determined the format for the IsPermanent column is either Yes or No. So, Yes is entered into each row of the IsPermanent:
    Enter-Yesin-the-IsPermanent-column.png
  10. When all your edits are complete in your worksheet, save it to your computer in CSV format. This can be done by clicking File > Download As > Comma separated values (.CSV).
    Save-as-comma-seperated-values---redirects.png

Import your data file

Now that you've prepared your data file and have it saved to your computer, you can now upload the file to eCom through the Import tool.

  1. Login to your eCom store's Back Office and click Tools.
    Click_Tools.png
  2. Click New Import.
    Click_New_import2.png
  3. Click Browse computer.
    Click-browse-computer2.png
  4. Locate your worksheet and click Open.
    OpenWorkingDataArtboard2.png
  5. Click Choose what you want to import and select Redirects.
    Click-choose-what-you-want-to-import2.png
  6. The page will continue automatically.
  7. The fields in the section SET FIELD TYPES will be automatically mapped to the correct fields as long as the column headers were not modified in your worksheet. If some columns are not mapped, click here to find the appropriate matches. On the top right-hand side of the screen, click Continue.
    Click-continue---redirects.png
  8. Click Start the import. The import tool will begin processing your import. You do not have to remain on page and may come back to it later.
    Start_the_import2.png

Verify your changes

It is necessary to verify if your edits were successful after starting an import. After checking the import tool for errors, it is important to test some customers from your worksheet at random and confirming your edits took place.

Confirm no errors occurred during the import:

  1. Log in to your eCom store's Back Office and click Tools.
    Click_Tools.png
  2. Locate your import by the date or the filename and click View report beside the status.
    Click-view-report---redirects.png
  3. If any errors are visible, make corrections to your worksheet and import your edits again. To see frequently asked questions and ask your own questions about errors, visit the Lightspeed Community article, here.
    If-any-errors-are-visible.png

Confirm edits took place

  1. In Google Sheets, open the worksheet that you uploaded to Lightspeed eCom.
    Open_Working_data_file__For_3_articles_.png
  2. Select any row at random and make note of the target.

    In these instructions, we are making note of the hardware/discounts target.
    Make-Note-of-Discounts.png
  3. Login to your eCom store's Back Office and select Settings.
    Click-settings.png
  4. In the Website Settings column, click Redirects.
    Click-redirects---settings-screen.png
  5. Sort the table by the Target column by clicking the Target column header.
    Click-Target-column-header.png
  6. Locate the target URL. You may need to change the pages, depending on the number of redirects. Compare the Redirect in eCom with your worksheet to ensure the changes you made are reflected correctly. 
    Compare-redirect-to-your-import-file---Permanent-is-changed.png
  7. Repeat steps 1-7 for a couple customers until you're certain all your changes have been correctly imported.

Reference

Review the following information to assist you with importing redirects:

Building your table of essential redirects

Before you transfer to a new platform on the same domain, it is not necessary to create a redirect for all of your pages. Instead, create redirects for the page if it's a popular landing page or a page that ranks highly in search results.

If you don't create a redirect, the traffic will be linked to the homepage of your new website instead of the intended destination. This can increase the percentage of traffic that navigates away from your website because the destination was not found.

To know which web pages are essential to redirect, it is recommended you use data retrieved from Google Analytics. You can determine a page is essential if the landing page sessions occurred frequently in a given timeframe. For example, after exporting a list of landing page sessions over the past year you find:

  • 100 sessions for your shoes category
  • 10 sessions for your boots category
  • 1 session for your hats category

In this example, depending on the your business and the time you have to create redirects, the decision is yours to to create one, two or three redirects for those categories.

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