Migrating a website can be a tedious and convoluted process. Due to a great number of detailed aspects changing at one time, unforeseen circumstances often crop up. Consequently, website migration has the reputation of causing inevitable traffic and revenue loss. However, if you start with a well-strategised plan and efficient execution, migration can even produce immediate significant growth results after launch.
Here are our top tips to consider reducing your chances of losing traffic and SEO ranking after a website migration.
Every prospective idea for the new site can have a drastic effect on your current SEO and traffic. E.g., adding improvements to the UX experience can impair the site's ability to target keywords or be understood by Googles crawlers. This would have a devastating effect on the site’s organic visibility rank.
The complexity of website migrating is due to the far-reaching and sometimes unpredictable knock-on effect a change in actions can have. To help with the planning process, many companies hire an SEO/UX consultant. An SEO consultant can explain all the pros and cons of a suggested action before any changes are made. The difficulty with making lots of changes to a site in a short space of time is that if something goes wrong, it is hard to backtrack to find the problem. To avoid unnecessary risks, appoint an SEO/UX consultant to layout expectations, time estimates and resources to reach your objectives.
Keyword rank tracking
A week before the changeover, it is worth tracking the website organic search keywords ranking (especially if it is not something you regularly do). The ranking data from before and after the launch can be used compared to review the success.
To optimise the new site, spend some time working out which keywords best represent the site's organic search visibility. So as not to miss out on any audiences, search for both desktop and mobile. If the websites traffic comes from both branded and non-branded keywords, decide which types to focus on. Non-branded keywords are typically more competitive. For most companies, these types of keywords are better to focus on.
User journey review
If the site has been redesigned, odds are that the users' journey has been altered. It is critical to review the users' journey before the site goes live. This is the easiest time to flag any potential issues that could harm the sites ranking or conversation rate. However, this can be difficult to do in the early stages due to a lack of data. Since there is a lack of data, many decisions will be based on best practices and ‘gut feeling’. It pays to have an experienced web development agency in digital marketing solutions at this stage to help the new website succeed.
Image asset review
As Google crewels images less frequently than HTML pages, it is worth building an image XML sitemap. Partially if a sites migration includes moving images to a new location. To help Googlebot find the site's images, index the web page where is image appears on the site and the image file itself. This can be tricky and time-consuming but worth it when Google can crawl your images.
Mobile SEO review
If your site has a mobile site (it should do), make sure that there are no inconsistencies between the desktop and mobile sites. A responsive website should serve the same content, links, and markup across devices. All SEO attributes should be identical across both desktop and mobile. The attributes to look out for are:
- Page titles
- Meta description
- Canonical tags
- Meta robots’ attributions
- Internal links
- Structured data
If you have any burning questions regarding site migration or protecting your SEO before and after your site migration. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we are always happy to help. Contact us on 01794 725454 or contact us today!