What is Website Migration?
A site migration is a term used by SEO professionals to describe any event in which a website’s location, structure, platform, design, content, or UX undergoes significant changes that can significantly affect search engine visibility. Website migration occurs when a website moves from one environment to another, or when the domain name of a website changes.
Important Checklist for the Website Migration
Consider the costs and benefits of transferring your website carefully
You must assess the risks and benefits after determining the reasons for website migration. To improve search engine optimization, some website developers convert to a secure connection (HTTPS). The rebranding of a website is also an important aspect of website migration. Consider how site migration can provide value for money if there are no other options for increasing visitors. After thoroughly evaluating these queries, proceed with the migration.
Consider crawling your website before you start migrating it
The website should include the desired keywords for SEO optimization so that it may be quickly retrieved after scanning and indexing. Crawling tools such as SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and others are available in the market. Remember to include all URLs in the sitemaps when crawling.
All the site’s URLs should be tested
It’s a good idea to do a test of the URLs according to the website migration checklist. For a smooth redirection, link the old URLs to the new domain versions. As well as, all embedded hyperlinks should point to the transferred site. Use Google Analytics or a similar tool to keep track of all the old and new URLs and monitor traffic.
Create a new Error 404 web page for users
When the focus is on eliminating existing pages, still there is a need for personalized 404 pages because of search traffic. If you want the user to be sent to your new website despite using the old URL, you’ll need an appealing “error 404” page with indexed new URLs. The page establishes the user’s trust in the brand and ensures that they are forwarded to the new site following a website migration.
Get rid of all duplicate stuff
Duplicate content concerns emerge when URL parameters are the same, or when content is plagiarized. After a migration, having multiple live domains, such as www and non-www versions of the same website, might result in a repeated and low-ranked appearance in search results. The best way to solve this issue is to use a search console tool to canonize your URL, or designate your site’s address as the most trustworthy and authentic one.
After the site has been migrated, submit a sitemap
After the website has been migrated, the sitemap must be updated so that the search engine crawling tool can find the required pages. In Google, there are two sorts of sitemaps: XML and HTML. For example, Google Search Console is a tool for upgrading sitemaps. Ensure that your sitemaps were successfully crawled and returned a 200 standard status code before uploading.
Keep track of your rankings and website visitors
The Google ranking variables are also important. The quality of your website’s content, as well as the placement of keywords, determines its ranking. The traffic is also influenced by the site owner’s reputation. Users are more likely to click on trustworthy websites created by well-known developers. Make advantage of technologies like Google Analytics and SERPS.com to track page activity after a website migration.
Website migration is a crucial issue that must be handled with caution. It’s usually a good idea to make a list of the important aspects to concentrate on during migration, such as content, Meta tags, and so on, and then take the proper care while transferring them to a new setup. It can often result in considerable damage to rankings if managed incorrectly, and vice versa.