Website migration is a very significant phenomenon of executing any important business online today. Just to give their users a better user experience, many companies may choose to migrate to other sites. The fact of the matter is, your website is the practically the face of your business. It represents all you do and it’s what interacts with your customers on a first-hand basis.
Just like make-up gone horrible wrong, or a bad hair-do, if website migration gets off on the wrong foot, you may have to deal with plenty of SEO problems. It will become difficult to find your website by many popular search engines, confusing it with something else.
For smooth sailing website immigration, here are some valuable tips.
Make best use of your Analytics
The first thing to do as you begin is to have a clear picture of how your users use and view your website because purpose is everything in this case. In order to gain accurate data and measurements on this, make best use of your website analytics and the most common being Google Analytics.
It is important to figure out what actually works for your website in terms of how satisfied your users and potential customers are with it. Website analytics will help you detect usage patterns, usage habits and usage related issues that you can rectify in order to redesign your site to make it is more user friendly.
Make sure you don’t edit out any popular content of your website in the bargain as you will be automatically omitting your customers as well. If there is unwanted and irrelevant content on the site, trash it. Depending on where most users click, track it and ensure your website supports easy navigation. Finally it is important to understand what compels users to convert and to give them that path to conversion.
URL Redirects need to be tackled smartly
If you site is popular and has been part of the digital world for a long enough period of time, it just goes to show that in comparison to other sites, you have to your arsenal, search equity in the form of links and social shares. Accompanied by solid and strong keyword optimization, your site is highly visible on search engines. Under such circumstances, it is best advised to strategically implement 301 redirects from your old page urls to the new ones. By doing this you are making search engines aware of your new website locations and the fact that they are replacing the old ones. This way your users will be able to track you and find despite the move and will be redirected to an error page or site.
Jot down the URL, the page title, they target keywords, organic and authentic search traffic, related links to the page and the keyword rank of the existing website and then the URL, page topic and target keyword of the new and upcoming site. Map each page to the new site location In order to redirect mapping, you may make use of tools such as OpenSite Explorer, Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Microsoft Excel.
Get the timing right!
Sometimes servers get slow and website migrations may a face a temporary decrease in traffic. Given these factors, website migrations should be implemented at the right time. A new and updated website is any day a better investment in terms of bringing in improvements to business than spending money and energy on the old ones.
When the business flow is at its slowest is probably the most ideal time to implement website migration. Very often, companies face what-you-call a ‘slow season’. Every site has its own niche audience. Depending on your observation of your analytics, pick a time during the slow hours of work.
What happens after Migration?
Once the site is live it may feel like all the work is done an you could sit back and go about your other businesses. However, when it comes to website migration, there is a fair amount work to be done even post migration. Just after website migration, you must keep an eye out for any issues related to search traffic and other opportunities that will ensure you that your website traffic is headed in the right direction.
Analyze quality to the maximum.
As the future of your site depends on good quality, Quality Analytics should be your next concern; post migration. In order to totally check off a successful website migration, see if your redirected pages takes you to the correct new destination page, it gives you the correct server response, it doesn’t take too much time to load and that you are directed to renders correctly.
Put your XML Sitemap in place
As a part of the process, it is important to let users know about the website and move and where you have gone away to. Online, we do this my means of an XML Sitemap, which informs search engines of your new site and its composition.
Even then, just a sitemap isn’t going to completely do it because most search engines sometimes need a bit of prompting before they execute what is expected of them. To speed up the process and avoid unnecessary delays, upload your xml sitemap to Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.
The role of Analytics
Post migration, every newly migrated site experiences at least a 30% temporary decrease is web search traffic and visibility. During this time use analytics to track organic search traffic, the bounce rate of visitors, the rate of conversion and keyword rankings.
Check for Crawl Errors
By crawl errors we mean broken links or duplicated pages and content. This is a normal occurrence for newly migrated websites. Post migration, use automated crawl tools to spot broken links and 400 error pages, 500 errors pages, duplicate content and inaccessible content.
After reading all of the above, the process of web migration might seem strenuous and why shouldn’t it be? It is a very significant process that paves way for a better future for you business and website. If carried out and one right, website migration goes a long and a true marvel of success in the digital world. If you inadequate to do the job yourself, pick from a pool of really digital marketing agencies out there and you’re set!