Head SEO Rory Tarplee and SEO Specialist Joe Wheeler explain how to perform an SEO site migration that keeps your traffic flowing and your revenue safe.
When you start thinking about migrating your site, you need to make sure you’re in the right place from the start and don’t let your customers be left without finding your website. Site migration can seem daunting, but planning for impact is key! SEO should be considered from the beginning. Otherwise, you’ll end up revisiting old tasks and fixing errors, potentially doubling your workload (and cost).
So why would you want to migrate your website? There are several main reasons people choose to migrate. They may want to:
- change the domain name,
- Deploy a website redesign
- Or change your CMS.
What are the stages of site migration?
When performing a site migration, there are five phases that should be considered for a smooth transition.
- after launch
Planning is the most important part of the overall migration process. ClickThrough uses his SEO specs for web builds and migrations to ensure everything in your migration plan is consistent, from metadata to URL formatting.I also need a plan Where you want to go at the end of migrationand how to determine if the migration was successful.
When we get to the post-launch section, we need to gather current data to create benchmarks to help with comparisons further down. There may be more data you’d like to collect, but the following list is a good place to start.
- organic session
- Keyword ranking
- top performance page
- Competitor performance
This planning section also encourages you to ask yourself what problems exist with your current site. all There are pages that no longer hold your page or any other value that might be left behind (of course, those URLs will redirect to new content!)
Once you reach the development stage, it’s important for your web development team to have a strong relationship with your SEO team. Because everyone needs to be on the same page. One of the most important parts during the development phase is correctly mapping the URLs as all URLs of the old website. I need a new URL (Yes, even pages that don’t have it). This may not be a direct replica of the current page. The trick here is making sure that any redirects you place on your new website are working. the old URL Optimal URLs Pass power to the right page.
In addition to mapping URLs, you also need to map URLs that you want to target with keywords. Migration is an opportunity to clarify the purpose of each page on your new website and avoid conflicts with multiple pages covering the same terminology.
How do you keep the authority you’ve already built up when you move to a new website? This is addressed by ensuring that the strength of your backlinks is directed towards your new site. Audit backlinks, classify “good” and “bad” links, then create a disavow file of “bad” links and use the “good” links for outreach and retarget them to new URLs. increase. There are also international targeting considerations that may require action during the development phase if you are targeting multiple countries. At this point, make sure your hreflang configuration needs to be fixed to minimize content duplication issues.
If there’s one basic thing to do during the testing phase, it’s to make sure nothing goes wrong at startup. It should be tested before launch. You should allow time for fixes and rechecks to make sure the site is ready to go live. increase. You can also use this stage to check structured data. Implementing this prior to launch will improve your organic performance and ensure that your new site is performing at its best when it goes live.
It’s important to know exactly what you need to do on launch day to keep things running smoothly. It’s a great day but it can be very intense so knowing what you’re going to do will keep everything running smoothly and on launch day we’ll have the following four of his We recommend SEO actions.
- txt check – Do crawlers know how to track robots.txt files?
- 301 redirect check – Do historical URLs lead to new, most relevant pages?
- Google address change notification – Did you use Search Console to let Google know your location?
- finally, Submit your XML sitemap to GSC And wait patiently for the first crawl!
The most important thing after launch is to make sure nothing went wrong during launch.
- Check to see if there are any broken links or if the links to redirects work. If not, please correct me.
- Did you launch with no metadata, or are your main pages missing heading tags?
- Is your website loading correctly or is it slow?
- Make sure no pages are missing and everything is where it should be from the planning stage.
These issues can severely impact performance, so it’s important to identify and fix them early. The longer these issues are left unattended, the longer they will remain in Google’s crawl and affect your site’s performance.
Next, check the XML sitemap audit. To guide the crawler properly, you need to make sure your site is in the best possible position. Make sure crawling is as easy as possible. Otherwise, Google (and other search engines) won’t know where your content is.
Now is also the time to take back your authority! Outreach with the backlinks identified in the backlink audit to ensure that the “good” links point to your new website.
How do you know if the migration was successful?
During the planning stage, you should have created a benchmark to help you compare at this point. New sites aren’t always indexed immediately, but it’s important to monitor performance immediately after launch to see the impact and define actions for improvement. Track key metrics and identify which keywords are driving traffic to your new site. This also helps raise issues quickly so they can be fixed before they escalate.
Other considerations for site migration
To further your site migration, consider user experience and improve conversion rates by maintaining conversion URLs, conducting user testing throughout the design process, and monitoring page experience metrics such as speed and key web vitals. Please keep
Consider letting your customers know you’ve moved by loudly promoting your awesome new website or launch offer through channels like email and social media. Aligning with paid search throughout the launch is key to getting the best results. This makes your budget more efficient, ultimately allowing you to spend less money on irrelevant targeting and branding. Using both paid and organic search will maximize your keyword coverage. Use paid search to fill the gaps you’ve identified in your organic keyword performance.
Whether you want to talk about how to support organic growth and accelerate your performance, or have questions about another aspect of your digital marketing plan, we are here to help.
In summary, for a smooth site migration, you should consider all five phases of migration and keep your organic search strategy in mind from the beginning. Otherwise, the risk of having to redo the procedure is very high and you will lose time and money. Each step is as important as the last. There’s no room for shortcuts when you want the lasting impact your site migration needs.
Want to chat with an expert about site migration, SEO, or other digital marketing? Get in touch!
Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash