The Website Migration Guide: SEO Strategy and Process

There are few factors that can affect your website’s search engine visibility but one of the most common reasons is poorly executed website migration. This task is not easy because it requires careful planning, the right resources, time, and patience.

Website migration is the process of making significant changes to a site that can have a huge impact on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). These changes include moving your website to a new server, host, or domain. If you don’t do it correctly it can destroy your website traffic which will have a negative impact on your revenue.

In today’s article, we’d like to give you SEO strategies and processes to consider when doing a website migration. These tips may help optimise your online presence and increase your site traffic. Read on to find out more!

Is Website Migration the Right Choice?

One aspect to remember is that website migration may decrease website traffic for a short period of time. This is because Google needs time to process the information and update its index. But if you migrate your site incorrectly you may lose site traffic for several weeks which can affect your revenue.

Website migration is recommended if you want to make improvements to SEO such as fixing broken links or even consolidating redundant pages. It’s worth migrating your website if you want to move to HTTPS which can improve SEO. Furthermore, migration is necessary if you’re in desperate need of rebranding your site.

How Site Migration Impacts Online Visibility

Website migration can affect your online visibility because of SEO. An SEO strategy improves your online visibility on search engine results by optimising your website using keywords or simply making a mobile-friendly site.

However, when you make drastic changes to your site such as moving it to a new server or domain name it can affect how search engines see your site. By correctly transferring indexing signals and authority you can ensure that you don’t lose website traffic or your search engine rankings.

Types of Website Migrations

Before you decide to do website migration consider the nature of the move to determine which type of migration you should use. Here are five types to choose from:

  • Site location: This involves domain changes or rebranding your site. It’s also a way to update your site’s security such as changing it from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • Platform changes: Use this type of migration if you want to move to a new platform, introduce new platform features or upgrade your current platform.
  • Content changes: You may want to use this type of migration if you’re consolidating pages or introducing new languages and locations. Additionally, this type of migration is ideal if you want to remove content from your website.
  • Structural changes: This type of migration includes navigation changes, changing internal linking or restructuring user journeys.
  • Design and UX: Use this type of migration if you want to change media, site performance or aesthetics of your site.

Successful Website Migration Tips

As you can see, website migration has a positive and negative impact on your website. To ensure you don’t experience online invisibility and a decline in website traffic follow these tips.

Develop a Migration Plan

As mentioned before, website migration requires considerable planning. To plan your migration everyone involved must understand what changes need to be made. For example, your website may have obsolete designs and layouts that aren’t attracting new visitors. So, the focus would be a website redesign.

On the other hand, you may feel that you need to change some aspects of your website to stay relevant as online marketing trends are always changing. Whatever your reason is, you should develop a proper plan to execute your website migration. Here’s how:

  • Set appropriate deadlines for the migration
  • Set clear and realistic objectives
  • Utilising the correct resources to make the change
  • Make everyone aware of the risks involved
  • Discuss how you can prevent potential risks with your team

Work Closely with Your Team

You must have a strong website migration team that you can work closely with to minimise potential risks. This team must include:

  • Copywriters
  • SEO experts
  • System administrators
  • Project managers
  • Developers

Plan a meeting with everyone regularly so you can monitor the progress of the site migration. Always communicate with your team to define your goals for the migration so everyone is always in the loop.

Prepare Your SEO for Migration

If the website migration involves redesigning your site or even a CMS change you may need to discuss your SEO requirements with your team from the get-go. Your technical SEO requirements must be detailed so your team can understand what needs to be implemented. Here are some SEO elements you need to address during your migration:

  • Body content and headings
  • Meta descriptions and titles
  • URL structure
  • XML sitemaps
  • Alt text for images
  • Page loading times

This is your standard checklist when you prepare for SEO migration.

Pre-Launch and Test Your Site

To ensure everything on your site is working correctly you can pre-launch your site but make sure search engines can’t access it yet. You want to successfully complete your migration before going live with your site.

Prevent search engines from finding, indexing, and crawling your site by hiding it on specific IP addresses. Now it’s time to test your site on the following:

  • Usability
  • Site architecture
  • If it works on mobile devices
  • Evaluating your site’s internal links
  • Inspect your txt file, HTML sitemap and XML sitemap
  • Loading speed

For optimal results work with multiple people to test and search your site for inaccuracies or elements that aren’t working. This way, you’ll be able to find and solve problems quicker.

Migrate Your Website

Once you’ve completed the steps above you can now consider launching your website migration. The speed at which you complete your migration is essential. This is because some site migrations require your website to go offline but you’ll want to avoid extensive downtime.

If site crawlers see that your site is down for too long it may affect your ranking and site visibility. When you’ve completed the website migration check the following:

  • Ensure your robot txt files don’t block search engines
  • Upload your XML sitemap to your Google Search Console account
  • Ensure your redirects work well on your most valuable website pages

Final Thoughts

Are you looking for a way to migrate your website safely without affecting your search engine ranking and your online visibility? Look no further, because Digital Insider offers all the digital strategies you need for successful website migration.

If you want to make changes to your website without affecting your SEO then let the experts at Digital Insider assist you. Call us on 0459 845 633 or simply request your strategy here! You are a few clicks away from getting the website migration services you’ve been hoping for.

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