You wouldn’t perform surgery without a surgeon, right? So, why would you undertake a website migration without the support of an experienced SEO specialist?
With mergers and acquisition deals on the rise and companies continually looking to grow, adapt and evolve, website migrations have become a hot topic.
But it’s not as simple as just clicking a button. Much like surgery, it requires a highly trained team of professionals to get it right – that’s where we come in.
Understanding website migration
A smooth website migration is akin to a perfectly executed dance. One misstep and you could see your traffic decline, keyword rankings plummet or even experience website downtime.
It’s essential to recognise that top-performing websites often have an edge when it comes to successful migrations. Why? Because Google is much more likely to feature these websites prominently in search results.
However, a site migration can feel like a minefield if you’re grappling with challenges like minimal brand visibility or low search volume. But don’t worry! With our expert guidance, even a challenging migration can turn into a resounding success.
Types of website migrations
There are several types of website migrations, each with its unique set of challenges. Some examples include:
Domain name changes
This involves changing your website’s domain name, typically from one domain to another. For example, moving from www.oldsite.com to www.newsite.com.
If you’re switching domains, you’ll need to focus on things like preserving your hard-earned SEO equity, setting up redirects and updating all your links.
Platform or CMS changes
Switching CMS or web hosting platforms, such as moving from Magento to WordPress, means you’ll have to be mindful of compatibility issues, URL structure changes and content transfers.
Subdomain to subdirectory
This means moving your content from a subdomain, such as www.blogs.elixirrdigital.com, to a subdirectory, like www.elixirrdigital.com/blogs. Its challenges involve URL mapping, preserving SEO value and ensuring proper redirects.
These are just a sample of site migration types – the list goes on!
Steps to take to support your website migration
Let’s delve into some actionable strategies to help ensure a seamless transition.
SEO considerations pre-migration
Before diving in, it’s crucial to have all key players – developers, project managers and SEO experts – on the same page.
To gear up for migration success, you’ll want to:
- Perform a comprehensive SEO audit to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of your current website.
- Conduct a fresh keyword analysis to make sure your content aligns with current and relevant terms.
- Establish a robust contingency plan to minimise any hiccups along the way.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
SEO strategies during migration
When D-Day arrives, you’ll need to monitor any changes you’ve made and ensure everything works correctly.
Here are just some of the things you’ll need to do:
- Monitor any DNS changes: Keep a close eye on any alterations to ensure consistent website accessibility.
- Verify 301 redirects: Double-check these crucial reroutes to preserve your SEO equity.
- CMS platform testing: Ensure the new platform is functioning correctly.
- URL structure testing: Audit the URL configurations to prevent any negative SEO implications.
- Update links: Ensure all internal and external links are updated and working properly.
SEO best practices post-migration
Once your website is live, you should:
- Benchmark key metrics: Gauge the impact of migration on site performance and SEO.
- Secure page monitoring: Routinely check secure pages to maintain trust and credibility.
- Optimise your images: Improve site load times by optimising image files.
- Ensure geographic index monitoring: Keep tabs on how your site is indexed across different regions.
- Undertake hreflang tag testing: Validate these tags for accurate regional targeting.
Ongoing maintenance: why specialist support is essential
We’re not the kind of agency to wave goodbye once your site is live. Our team of SEO specialists are committed to helping your website succeed every step of the way by:
- Performing regular SEO audits: Conducting quarterly audits to monitor for crawl errors, review and update XML sitemaps, etc.
- Optimising content continually: Regularly update and refresh content on your website and performing ongoing keyword research.
- Factoring in ongoing User Experience (UX): A/B testing, mobile optimisation, and Core Web Vitals monitoring help to enhance overall user experience.
Common pitfalls to avoid
While no journey is without its bumps, some missteps can have severe consequences on your website performance.
Some examples include:
- Improper redirects: Incorrectly redirecting old URLs can mean lost traffic and lower rankings.
- Overlooked sitemaps: Unsubmitted sitemaps means Google can’t crawl your website effectively.
- Broken links: 404 errors significantly impact user experience.
- Checklist and testing oversight: Without post-migration audits and multiple rounds of testing, you risk missing critical issues.
Let us help you manage your site migration
Still think you can manage a site migration on your own? Just like surgery requires a skilled surgeon, a successful site migration demands an SEO Specialist.
With all the intricacies involved, it’s much safer and more efficient to consult professionals like us to help you navigate this complex process.
Speak to us today to see how our experts can help you overcome these intricate challenges. That way, you can focus on what you do best – running your business – while we take care of the techy bits!