How to Handle a SEO Website Migration
Website migration doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult as it sounds. Despite the potential search engine optimization challenges, taking the right steps allow you to complete the process in a timely manner – and all without making any mistakes.
Regardless of why you’re moving your website, there are several SEO migration tips you must follow to make the process as seamless and stress free as possible:
1. Create a Backup
You hope it doesn’t happen, but files can be lost during migration. Without a backup, these files may be gone forever.
Fortunately, creating a backup file is simple. Furthermore, for most websites, it only takes a few minutes. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Use 301 Redirects
It’s not applicable for every migration, but you may need to 301 redirect old URLs to new URLs. Not only does this pass value from the old URL to the new one, but it also helps prevent broken links.
3. Don’t Forget Meta Elements
One of the biggest concerns with website migration is losing search engine rankings. It’s important to migrate meta elements, which include things such as title tags and meta descriptions.
If you forget to transfer these elements, you could quickly lose some or all of your rankings, thus experiencing an immediate drop in traffic.
4. Test Everything
Once the migration is complete, test every page and element of your website. Are your contact forms still working? How about your conversion codes? Is everything in order in regards to your Google Analytics tracking?
It’s easy to believe everything will work the same as it always has, but you won’t know for sure until you test it.
5. Don’t Go Live Just Yet
You’ll feel a sense of relief once the migration is complete. You know you’re at the end of the line, so you get the urge to push your site live and move on with other tasks.
Before you do this, every page should be closely reviewed by you and at least one other member of your team. Check for things such as:
- Correct layout of each page
- All links (both internal and external)
- Meta elements
- All images are located where expected
- URL structure
No matter how much time you put into your website migration, things can and probably will slip through the cracks.
By following these website migration SEO tips, you’ll find it much easier to avoid common mistakes that can cost you time and money.