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Website Migrations: How to Improve Search Visibility (+ Checklist)

Website migrations are a necessary evil that businesses must carry out at times.

There are so many moving parts and an amount of planning is needed.


What is website migration?


Substantial changes made to a website that causes the website to move from one environment to another. The change can be in the structure, content, design, location or platform.


5 reasons for website migration


  1. You're Changing Your Site’s Navigation, Design, or Structure.

  2. You're Moving to a New Platform or CMS.

  3. You’re adding a mobile version

  4. You’re changing your domain name or HTTP

  5. You’re moving to a new server


5 mistakes to avoid during website migrations


  1. An unclear strategy

  2. Lack of proper planning and flexibility

  3. A limited budget or resources

  4. Not responding to bug fixes in a timely manner

  5. Not seeking UX and SEO consultation


5 things to look for when shopping for website migration services


  1. Find a service that plans out your website migration

  2. Make sure they have a pre-launch site crawling

  3. Ensure they have the technology to back-up your site

  4. Choose a service that conducts analysis

  5. Find a service with good communication


Your website migration checklist


Pre-launch


  • Make a plan.

  • Crawl your former site and monitor files.

  • Know which pages are your top performers.

  • Conduct tests.

  • Make sure each version of your site is registered in Google Search Console

  • Block access to your new site until it is ready to launch.

  • Crawl your new site.

  • Compare server performance between your old site and your new site.

  • Set up analytics.

  • Prepare your redirects, if needed.

  • Prepare your campaign URLs.

  • Set up your URL parameters.

Launch Day

  • Remove site blocks.

  • Enable and test redirects.

  • Test your internal links.

  • Kickstart your web analytics.

  • Refresh your new site’s robot.txt setting.

  • Submit your new sitemap

Post Launch

  • Audit your new site.

  • Check the site’s performance.

  • Validate your redirects.

  • Make sure your ads and third-party extensions are correct.

  • Implement your updated campaigns.

  • Monitor the ranking of your new URLs.

  • Troubleshoot your site and fix bugs.


Site migrations are a big undertaking, but using the checklist we provided should make the process run more smoothly and help to mitigate risks.

Read more in the original article here


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