Website Migration and SEO

Grozina / Website Migration and SEO

Website Migration & SEO

How do you properly transition (migrate) a website?

Should you need to shift your CMS, introduce HTTPS, go through a rebranding or merger, or other reasons necessitating site transition, accuracy and due diligence in undertaking this process are paramount.

The primary goal during website migration is to retain your page ranking in order to sustain traffic and engagement levels. Additionally, it is important to guarantee a continuous seamless user experience.

Here’s the suggested strategy:

  • Have a backup of your site
  • Obtain initial benchmarks
  • Formulate a comprehensive 301 redirect plan

Prior to commencing your migration, back up your site and procure initial benchmarks which will aid you in observing your site’s performance throughout and after the transition. This enables quick identification and resolution of any traffic reductions or issues during migration.

Essential items to scrutinize include: loading time, mobile optimization, SEO positioning, SEO traffic, pages per visit, session duration, and conversion rate.

Next, create a comprehensive 301 redirect scheme. Any URL modifications necessitate meticulous mapping of every page from your old site to its equivalent page on the new site through a 301 redirect. An explicit list indicating the destination of each 301 redirect from each URL should be developed. This step is vital, since customers may still inadvertently click on links leading to the old pages, and receiving an error message could create a poor user experience. The redirect will also aid in maintaining as much link equity as possible.

Does transitioning a website affect my SEO?

The effect on SEO after a site migration could be either beneficial or detrimental, depending on the methodology. Done right, site transitions can enhance your SEO by cleaning up URLs, redirects, page headings and tags, as well as streamline site architecture and internal linking. Technical SEO requirements such as site speed and page load time can also be improved.

Conversely, poorly executed migration could impede SEO performance. Inaccurately mapped redirects could cause SEO signals to get lost, leading to a reduction in ranking and search visibility. Non-optimized metadata and titles for search could exacerbate visibility loss.

If you’re considering site migration, it’s advised to devise a Q&A map, seek evaluation from your professional development team, or contact us.

Related: Redirects: 301, 302 and meta refresh