SEO for website migration
A website migration is a term broadly used by SEO professionals to describe any event whereby a website can significantly affect search engine visibility when it undergoes substantial changes in those areas — typically changes to the site’s location, platform, structure, content, design, or UX.An expert in web design recommends designing the site every two to three years to keep up with web standards and design trends.
Documentation through Google on website migration does not cover in great depth and downplays the fact that probably results in significant traffic and revenue loss which can continue for a few weeks to several months depending upon the extent search engine rankings signal has been affected as well as long as it can take the affected business to rollout a successful recovery plan. Many web developer confidently takes the reins in handling the migration strategy, not all are adept in the SEO nuances that make or break the business it is not to spread fear among the embracing a complex SEO migration.
It is best to retain because historical benchmark can be valuable in case it is erased during the migration. The analytics and ensure should be reviewed to know how visitors currently navigate the site and which pages are the most valuable. This context can help to inform the redesign and site architecture decisions. If you are making major changes to the URLs on your site, you will require redirections in place to guide Google and your organic users from your old URLs to your new URLs.
You must first strategize by mapping your URLs to get redirects implemented. It involves building a spreadsheet in two parts one is for the old URL and another is for the corresponding new URL. For every piece of content do not be concerned if there is not a perfect replacement. Just do the best you can to direct your users based on their original intent. If you have tons of pages, manual mapping probably is not in the cards for you, so to save time, look for patterns in the URLs that can be redirected in groups or sections. Existing redirects should be migrated as well.
To lessen the workload, make sure that your URLs are mapped, have backups if you lose them and try to keep existing redirect as possible. Recalling website migration helps the website organisation. Such, pages should be uniform and must contain the same information as they did before. To certify, if the HubSpot Marketing Blog underwent a site migration, the content and descriptions for a particular blog post would be the same, just look different.
You can always update or rewrite titles, meta descriptions, and HTML markup, but should be sure whether each page includes the proper information. You will not get the full picture of the new site functionality and implementation by seeking a mock-up or testing in a local environment, for a seamless transition, you must take it online for a test drive before the official migration, therefore always try to a new build on a test server.
Another important is to fix and choose the right date for migration you have to minimize the hiccups by avoiding peak hours. If you are shifting your site to a new server, part of the process will include “pointing” to the site’s new location. To accomplish this you have to coordinate with your web, IT team or your hosting provider new or old. You have to identify and resolve the missing or duplicate content, you can use the crawl report, see if you find any anomalies, including duplicate content or 404 errors and broken links.
I have to click around the new site and look for issues to solve them. Once the new site is live, you can do a crawl to see if it has been migrated how you expected it to. One thing is that you must look for proper indexability and crawlability. Launch and Set up your forwarding redirects, unpublish, and implement. The site may be down momentarily if DNS changes were involved.
The most important thing is to check the redirect chain- Now your site has been migrated, you have a lot of new redirects on your hands. If redirects already existed, chains may have been created. For example, If you were already redirecting A to B, your migration may have added a redirect from B to C.This creates a chain of redirects: A to B to Redirect chains can result to slow your site down and impact performance. You can avoid this by breaking the chains, redirecting A to C and B to C.
Google helps to analyse and allows to make “Annotations” of important dates or events. This will help you to contextualize the data and measure performance pre-and post-migration unless you opted for a new Analytics setup. Once to see everything is up and running, ensure your XML site map has no errors. To invite Google to crawl the new implementation you can easily submit the sitemap in the Google search console.
After a migration temporary dips in traffic are common, you should still be keeping a pulse on your analytics to ensure nothing big was missed that could affect the web performance. But sometimes you are aware of some issues or problems which can find out by third-party tools, site-auditor is helpful in such cases. Be sure to add your new fresh URL to your existing or old ads which are using your ads on different sites. If your redirects have been implemented correctly, then also you will get traffic and authority from your backlinks.
However, it is still a best practice to use the freshest URLs possible. With that in mind, reach out to the publishers of your highest value links to notify them of the swap. Though website migration is a lengthy process it is not impossible one can easily migrate their sites with the help of the above information and by following the rules and moving with the process. You can have your migration successfully and be friendly with your existing SEO effort with good preparation.