Website migration is the act of migrating your site from one domain to another. In some cases, the scope of website migration SEO goes deeper like CMS platforms, switching servers, and consolidating different branded subdomains. But often, it refers to changing to a different site domain.
To help you with your migration, here are some steps to take to be successful with your move:
Set up metrics for tracking before the migration
It is essential to have some metrics to keep account and assess the progress of your migration throughout the process. You will want to see how it impacts your business and online presence. Consider creating a dashboard that you can do a comparison of backlinks, indexed pages, organic search traffic, and rankings between the old domain and destination domain.
Set out a pre-launching promotion
When switching over your site to a new location, part of the job is to make the internet understand the transition. Keep in mind that numerous people have bookmarked, shared it on other platforms, and linked to your old website. They talked about your site and content with other people. With the migration now, you need people to forget about your old site and begin to get to know the new URL. This is when a digital marketing firm can with your migration. They help you spread the word that you are changing URLs soon. They can go as far as reaching out to those who have linked to your old website and inform them that they need to make changes to the links.
You can be successful with website migration SEO if you jumpstart a campaign for public awareness. You may create a landing page with a “coming soon” note, while you are working on some technical aspects in the background. During the pre-launching campaign, work hard to promote your new website to everyone who needs to know about the migration, including your customers, business partners, and the press. This can help you retain authority as much as possible. Also, when you begin developing a buzz for your migration, you will get a boost in rankings when you finally do the move.
Substantiate the new domain is better than your existing domain
When migrating a website, site owners, designers, or web developers can get a bit too excited about it. They end up adding flashy and unnecessary programming that only becomes a heap of source code and causes slow load times. If you are moving your content from old to the new site, it is crucial that the new one is more SEO-friendly, cleaner, and faster compared to what you are leaving behind. Make sure to do everything right to make the new one a great-performing website, and avoid doing unnecessary work and changes.
Use a 301-redirect map
When migrating a site, establish your redirect mapping thoroughly. This is one of the critical steps of website migration because you are telling the search engines that you are moving to another domain. A 301-redirect map is an explicit instruction to the search engines about your change of web address. Otherwise, all those keyword rankings that gave you profits, as well as the link equity you have gained through the years, will all disappear. Therefore, take all the URLs on your new website and map them to the corresponding domain name on the new website. Map each URL to a suitable new URL according to what is on the webpage.
Focus on quality control and monitor performance
Once your new website is active and live, know that the work is not officially over. Many websites ran splendidly after a site migration and then experienced a nosedive on their traffic because the search engines discovered a few redirect loops in their internal links. You can prevent this from happening to you by watching your organic search traffic, keyword rankings, and backlinks closely. Do this for about six months so you will not get caught off guard.
You will want to see the number from your old website drop to zero and rise on the new site. With this, keep an eye on the 301 redirects, internal links, search consoles for bad indexation indicators or server errors, and so on.
There may be a lot of work and time necessary for a successful website migration SEO like acquiring steady traffic. As soon as you feel that you are doing well with the migration, you can go back to publishing high-quality content on your new website and market your brand efficiently.