There are plenty of great reasons to migrate your website or launch a new version of your website. Whether you have an old-school HTML site and want to move towards a content management system like WordPress or Weebly, or your site was just outdated and needed a fresh look. Although website migration has become easier in recent years, many website owners are rightfully concerned about how migration might affect their SEO. Because SEO plays such a large role in business acquisition and conversions, it is vital that launching a new website or migrating an existing site to a different platform doesn’t negatively impact SERP (search engine results page) ranking. Here are a few of the common mistakes made that can lead to large issues with SEO.
Not Allowing Search Engine Crawling Access
Google, Bing, and other search engines use bots to crawl websites. They pull a variety of information that is utilized in their unique algorithms to rank websites. However, there are tags that can be placed on internet content that tell Google & Bing not to crawl certain pages, not to follow links on those pages, and not to display those pages on search engine result pages. It is very common that when you are making a test site or a staging site to make sure that all of the content contains meta tags that tell search engines not to scan the content. This is because before the website is launched you likely do not want that content to be scanned. It could contain filler content, it could have duplicate content with your existing website, or it could lack content entirely. However, it is absolutely vital that when the website launches that these “no index, no follow” tags are removed. Additionally it always wise to make a new XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmasters. This way the search engines can quickly gain access and note any changes made to the content on your website.
Broken Links & Redirects
Broken links can hurt your SEO. When you launch a new site or a migrated site you need to redirect all of the traffic from the old website to the new website. In the staging process, it is likely that the URLs on the test site were different from the URLs on the live site. To decrease broken links, it is important to make sure all of the links on the website are changed, and that there are redirects in place for any test links that will go to the appropriate live link. There are a variety of SEO tools that can scan for broken links, 404 errors, and issue with redirection. It is highly recommended that you scan your recently launched or migrated website and solve any apparent issues.
Lastly, a large factor in how well you rank on search engines and how your website is displayed is your page titles & meta descriptions. Depending on how you moved your website, it is possible that your metadata did not make the migration. Using an SEO scanning tool you can find out which pages are missing metadata and which pages have metadata that was improperly formatted. Using this data you can ensure that your meta descriptions and page titles are properly formatted, it is recommended to do this before you launch the website or when you are creating an XML sitemap for search engines.
Get Help With Website Migration Services
At Boston Web Marketing, we aid hundreds of businesses in migrating their websites, designing new websites, and launching websites without sacrificing SEO strength. We do this by following best practices and a structured pre-launch checklist that allows us to ensure that links, metadata, and content are all properly formatted for Bing & Google to crawl. Contact us for more information.