A site migration can be overwhelming especially if you have a large website with a heap load of content, links, images, etc, but the most significant benefit of a site migration has a new visually appealing website that is user-friendly, responsive, and organized that really represents your business. However, migration can have its cons if not done correctly (but can be easily fixed!)
Where to begin? You’ll want to start running a crawler to generate a list of issues that could be affecting your site’s performance. We highly recommend ScreamingFrog as it is easy to use and free! If you noticed a drop in traffic, here are common site migration mistakes.
Changes of Canocalized Tags
When you scan through the pages of the website, take a look at these common issues with tags that could be affecting your web pages:
- Redirecting to the wrong URL
- Technical Issues (missing dash in the URL structure)
- Pointing irrelevant pages
- Broken links
It’s important to understand that when migrating a site to break it down to bulks, identifying the issue is easy to pick out. Once you gather the pages that could be causing your search traffic to drop, organize them to a spreadsheet and tackle them one by one. The next step is to resubmit your sitemap to Google Search Console to instruct Google that there have been changes and it needs to be crawled and indexed again.
Missing Meta Data
During a database transfer, your website can lose its metadata. Before starting the process (if you had not already done so), we recommend making a copy of all title tags and meta descriptions to a separate doc to reduce additional workload or backup all files before the migration. If this is too late, not to worry, you can single out the missing metadata through ScreamingFrog.
Moving to a new platform or server? While change is a good thing it can come with some complications. Take a deep dive at your new platform and see if it is causing the traffic to drop:
- Firewalls are blocking Google, Bing, and other search engines
- Reduce speed and poor performance
- Country restrictions
Choosing a new hosting provider is not as simple as it seems and depending on the scale of your website it can be pricey for a top-tier platform.
With Google Algorithms constantly updating there is no “right time” for site migration. An update could benefit your site’s rankings or could affect heavily, but by following these major updates the fluctuation will only be temporary and your online presence will gradually pick back up again.