5 SEO steps for Safe Migration
You’ve decided to go on a website migration adventure either because it’s time to switch to HTTPS protocol, or due to a desired change of platform or for any other reason, and you’re getting ready to begin… Stop! Before you dive in, there are some steps that have to be taken in order to make sure none of your site’s content will suffer injuries such as broken links, lost content and missing meta-tags, which might lead to a serious hit on your SEO ranking.
First you have to make sure this migration is completely necessary and cannot be skipped. After you’ve established that, you can start following these recommended steps. Remember - it’s always a great idea to get consultation by SEO expert, it’s their job to make sure your website is completely and utterly prepared for safe migration, and of course repair any left SEO related issues after the migration.
So what should you do before and after the site migration?
Estimate content size
Understand the real size of your website. We usually tend to look at the website from the home page perspective but if you search for site:mywebsite.com on Google or Bing you will discover many pages that you didn’t even know existed. That will help you estimate the amount of content and pages you will need to transfer from your current site to the new site.
Map all the site pages and match them with new relevant or alternative pages in order to create 301 redirect list. 301 is a permanent redirect, which means that starting from the transition moment Google will know to pass the old page’s SEO power to the new one. This is a most crucial step, do not skip it!
Update internal links
Update all internal links according to the site changes, look for duplicate content and remove or alter it. Remember that quality internal links are very important for your site’s SEO rank.
Monitor Analytics data
Compare the old Analytics Data with the new one and make sure you haven't lost traffic. If for instance there is a small loss, which makes sense and often happens after site migration, keep monitoring to make sure that after a few days the traffic is back.
Make sure that Google Analytics, Google Search Console and other important codes are properly installed and then re-submit sitemsp.xml in GSC. If you’re changing a domain you must use the change address tool in GSC, open a new GSC and submit the sitemap.xml. If you’re changing protocol from HTTP to HTTPS, then open a new property in GSC and submit the sitemap.xml.
Site migration can be quite a nag, but sometimes it’s necessary and if done correctly then it doesn’t have to harm your SEO rank you’ve worked so hard for. Our SEO experts here in Emboodo have performed over the years around 65 SEO migration projects and are ready to assist you and make sure you go through a safe migration process and continue to star in Google’s search results.