As companies grow and adapt, there often comes a time when a website migration is necessary. While the term "migration" might sound technical, it essentially refers to the process of moving a website from one domain, platform, or structure to another. However, this seemingly straightforward task can significantly impact a website's search engine optimization (SEO) if not executed thoughtfully.
Join this episode with James Schramko and Gert to discuss the connection between site migration and SEO.
Table of Contents
What is Website Migration?
It’s where moving a website from one platform or location to another happens. This can be done through changing the domain name, hosting provider, or website design.
While website migration can be a necessary part of maintaining an online presence, it can also have a significant impact on SEO. If not done properly, a website migration can lead to a loss of traffic, rankings, and even revenue.
To minimize the risk of losing SEO rankings during a website migration, it’s important to work with an experienced SEO professional, such as SEOLeverage. They’ll be able to help you plan the migration and ensure that it is done correctly.
Common Problems of Website Migrations
If migrations are not done carefully, these can lead to a decline in site traffic and a loss of trust from search engines.
Some mistakes that can be made during website migration include:
- Focusing too much on design or conversion
- Neglecting the importance of SEO
- Using a simple 301 redirect to suffice all issues
If you have a website, it’s always important to balance design and migration. Gert suggests involving SEO experts early in the design phase. This is to establish frameworks that mitigate adverse SEO effects. Additionally, Gert points out that SEO specialists hold insights about Google's algorithm.
How to SEO Experts Work in Website Migrations
When it comes to site migrations, an early involvement of SEO experts is vital. This allows the experts to offer insights and recommendations before any alterations are executed.
What SEO experts will do is:
- First, they evaluate drafts from the perspective of search engines like Google.
- Second, they collaborate with design and development teams to address potential conversion issues.
- Third, they take considerations regarding the selection of a page builder and platform, along with any alterations to URLs.
- Lastly, they undertake an inquiry to guarantee all necessary preparations are undertaken prior to launch.
Google also observes user responses to the new design, potentially impacting the site's ranking. According to Gert, identifying post-launch issues can be time-consuming. So, an effective pre-launch preparation can contribute to better outcomes during this transitional phase.
What are the Elements that Change?
Website migration can involve a number of changes, including:
- Site layout or design. For example, a change in the menu structure can affect how authority is transferred within the website.
- Hosting. For example, a change in hosting providers can affect the speed and reliability of the website.
- Platform. For example, a change from one platform to another can require redirects to be put in place, which can impact how the site is indexed.
Should You Migrate Your Website?
Frequently, migration is not absolutely necessary. This often involves relaunching websites to infuse them with a modern appearance.
In certain cases, clients are advised to undertake a redesign even before collaborating with experts due to outdated layouts. The necessity lies in refreshing the site.
In some instances, small changes with lower risk and impact suffice. These adjustments could involve altering the header, layout, font, style, or even removing certain sections.
It's not always best to opt for a complete redesign. However, in cases demanding such a transformation, thorough consideration of potential impacts is essential.
It doesn't always have to be a complete redesign.
To ensure a desired outcome from your migration, it's crucial to have someone who can take responsibility. A knowledgeable team like SEOLeverage can help.
To connect with them, you can schedule a call or explore their “Quick Wins Reports”. These reports offer valuable insights into your website's current state.
Remember, expert advice is vital.