Website Migration Can make or break SEO results on your new website

Website Migration Can make or break SEO results on your new website

Migrating a website is a huge undertaking – your website is the key to your business’ success online and holds irreplaceable information. You want to make sure you’re doing it right. 

If you don’t give your website migration project the gravitas it deserves, your SEO rankings will suffer. It’s likely that improving your site’s SEO performance is part of the motivation for migrating your site. 

Website migration can make or break your SEO results; if it’s not done well then it can result in a significant drop in your site’s rankings. If you’re strategic, and you plan, map and redirect you’ll seamlessly migrate your website, while maintaining and even improving your site’s SEO rankings. 

Why site migration can affect SEO rankings

Your SEO ranking is based on your site’s authority and credibility online. If your SEO strategy is working, it’ll have the following: 

  • A backlinking strategy 
  • A great user experience 
  • Key words used thoughtfully and liberally 

All of these things need to be considered when you migrate your website, or your SEO ranking will plummet. Google’s algorithm continually trawls sites to rank them, and your migration needs to make it easy for the algorithm to recognise your existing content in its new format. 

Your migration needs to show the algorithm that the content that’s working well remains the same and, if content has been removed, you’ve provided a new location for the click through. 

The how and why of website migration

Website migration is exciting. It can signal an upgrade for your business, your product or your clients. You’re likely going to move to an improved user experience for your customers, helping your SEO rankings, and leading to increased sales and credibility. 

But before you get there define why you are going through a website migration, so that you can set data driven goals for your new site . 

Some of the main reasons for site migration: 

  • You’re going through a rebrand: this is a great exercise improving your brand and attracting customers. 
  • You’re switching eCommerce platform: remaining with an outdated eCommerce platform is terrible for your future SEO. 
  • You’re redesigning your website: SEO and UX are indelibly linked and improving your website’s design is a great way to improve your SEO. 

Before you move forward, look back for a moment

A site migration project should start with an SEO audit; firstly, because you can eliminate poorly performing elements of your site, and secondly, it gives you a place to improve from. 

Look at what is working well for you; 

  • identify the keywords that are ranking well 
  • list your backlinks and their performance
  • analyse the content on your site and how it’s performing 

Redirects are essential

If there’s one thing that will break (or make) your SEO rankings after you migrate your website, it’s whether or not you have redirected the pages of your site. In theory, this is simple; make sure all old links go to new links. In practice; it takes work but is absolutely worth the time and effort. 

Backlinks take time to build up – even if you’ve engaged the experts, like Perfect Link Building – and if you don’t make a list of and maintain your backlinks during migration, you’ll lose all of the work you’ve done to build authority. 

Redirects help algorithms understand where to send the old links. It’s an essential way to sustain the backlinking work you’ve done for your site to date. As part of your SEO audit, it’s likely you’ll have made a list of your site’s pages and their URLs – this information is important. 

Google monitors URLs and where they link to and from; if you break these links, or you don’t redirect them the algorithm won’t know where to send users when they click on it. Both the algorithm and your audience will clock this as a poor experience. Your audience will likely leave your page, and the algorithm will downgrade your SEO ranking. 

If it ain’t broke

As the adage goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You might be upgrading your website because it was broken or not performing; however, migrating your website doesn’t mean that you need to change the content. 

One of the ways to ensure that website migration doesn’t break your SEO, is to leave as much as your content the same. 

If you’re upgrading your website, it’s likely that you’re serious about content management, UX and SEO strategy – and so your website is already well planned with great content. 

Unless your site audit determined that they are not performing, don’t change:

  • Page titles 
  • URLs 
  • HTML
  • Meta descriptions 
  • Keywords and content 

Engage an SEO agency to support you through the process

Nailing SEO is complex, and combined with a whole site migration it’s not something for the faint hearted. By engaging the best website migration services to support you through your site’s transition you’ll be able to rely on them to follow the correct process and also consider your long term SEO strategy at the same time. This is an investment in the current viability and success of your site, and in the future of your business. Get in touch with us at Perfect Link Building to see how we can support your site’s migration today.

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