As the internet continues to evolve, so does our marketing. We strategize to adapt to the new changes. Evidently, companies will have to adapt and make big changes if they want to keep up which means they could face a difficult challenge of site migration. Depending on the website’s size, all those files that contain all of the content and customized technology you and the team have been developing over the years will somehow have to make way to be moved, upgraded, or merged. There are many factors to consider when it comes to site migrations, as this plays out in different ways. Approaching without any backup plan can cause major risks in dropping your organic search traffic in a matter of days. Here’s how to safely tackle a site migration.
One of the mistakes you want to avoid is rushing to migrate the website across to a newer platform all at once. Ensure everyone in the technical team is on the right page to avoid being left red-faced when the manager asks why the website has dropped in search rankings. Break down the task into smaller portions and do a light test so that if there are any damages or signs of a drop in rankings, you are essentially only hurting a fraction of the website performance.
Is the New Platform Better than Yours?
Be wary of the new website platform you are looking at planning to migrate to. Sometimes web designers and developers are a bit too eager to move an old platform to one of the newest CMS platforms based on the flexibility of the functions you can do. The key factor is making sure that the new one will make your website load faster and is SEO friendly than your current website; otherwise, you are reworking on the work that is unnecessary to begin with.
Tracking Before Migrating a Website
This step is crucial as you want to track the metrics before, during, and after the migration progress, where you can report any changes with rankings and organic search traffic compared to your old domain.
Organize a 301 Redirect Map
The next important step is building a redirect map that shows row by row where the existing URL will be applied to the new URL. Search engines need to understand when you have moved your old site to a new home where changes are being made. Misplacing this crucial step can evidently lose all the hard-earned keyword rankings you have gained will disappear. Mapping your URLs will ensure no broken links or “404 not found” errors will be found.
Run More Tests!
Once you have migrated the old website to its new platform, you will want to run tests to ensure everything is running correctly and make updates such as canonical tags, internal links, and submitting an XML sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster.
Site Migration takes time and needs a lot of preparation. If you are looking to move over to a new CMS platform or in need of a new website build, contact Boston Web Marketing today for a free marketing consultation!