SEO Migration

SEO Migration: How to Migrate Your SEO Websites in 2024

Are you planning a website migration, redesign, or a change of platform? You should involve SEO before you lose all your organic traffic.

Most website owners fear disappearing completely from search results after they migrate to a different server or domain. Thankfully, it is easier to avoid this concern while directing users to your existing content. When you migrate your site properly, you will enjoy the perks of a faster server and updated site design without affecting SEO.

What is SEO Site Migration?

Website migration involves moving the entire WordPress website to a completely different location. Depending on your goals, this could imply a new server, a domain name, or a hosting provider.

Some of the different versions of SEO website migration are:

  • Updating the Domain or Subdomain: Your website is recognized by the domain name, or domain address. In most instances, an effective rebranding step is to migrate to some other domain.
  • Upgrading the Hosting Plan: If the current web host is not able to support your growing audience, it is time to search for a new host. As you switch hosting providers, it will require moving to a completely new server.
  • Changing the Site Design or Structure: To refresh the website, you can consider migrating it to some staging site and performing major changes safely. Then, you can eventually push the respective edits to the live site.
  • Moving from the HTTP to HTTPS URL Structure: In case you do not possess the SSL certificate, Google will eventually mark your site as ‘not secure.’ You can improve the overall SEO by switching to HTTPS.
  • Moving to the New CMS or Content Management System: You can decide to move to an improved framework or CMS to boost the overall performance and security of the website.

Does Migration Affect SEO?

As migration serves to be a major change to your website, it can indeed affect SEO or Search Engine Optimization. As you move your site to a new server or domain, Google will have to re-index your WordPress site at the same time. Due to this, there might be a slight decrease in website traffic.

When implemented incorrectly, migrations can accidentally lead to broken links, missing images, 404 errors, and other issues. When visitors encounter these common errors, they might immediately leave your site. A higher bounce rate will negatively impact your SERP position.

However, long-term effects of site migration tend to outweigh the costs. When you are moving to a better web hosting platform, you will most likely experience faster load times. After a total site redesign, your website will experience better UX or User Experience.

In the long run, these factors will make your site appear higher in the respective search results. Moreover, when you have a well-designed migration plan in hand, your migration will not significantly impact the SEO.

SEO Migration Important Tips

Whether you have an e-commerce site or a blog site, migrating the site without affect SEO significantly can be challenging. To ensure that the migration process is seamless for you, it is recommended to go through a detailed checklist for migration. As you follow these crucial steps, you can instantly transfer your site to another location while retaining conversions and site traffic:

Create a Dedicated SEO Site Migration Checklist

You can go ahead with creating a dedicated list or a detailed plan explaining what you will to do migrate the website. Some of the components you can consider including in the checklist are:

  • ·Deadlines: Decide the right time to embark on the process of site migration. You can experience a temporary dip in the respective traffic. Therefore, you might think of planning the migration for a slow period.
  • Project Scope: What do you wish to achieve with the migration? Who will be in the process? it is recommended to answer these major questions beforehand.
  • Test Server: You can also think of using a test server while checking over data before starting the process.

Work with Stakeholders

You are expected to identify the stakeholders on the migration project. If different departments are controlling your website, you should consider listing the stakeholders involved in the process. The last thing you would want to go through is surpassing different decision-makers halfway through the migration.

Set Proper Milestones

Setting milestones is crucial. It is quite a straightforward process to set milestones, especially when you are clear on different phases of the migration process. It is also recommended to set realistic milestones for your action steps. What is a realistic milestone? It should be the one that offers your team and stakeholders the time needed to get things done.

Download Reports to Secure Pre-migration Data

Some of the major reports you should consider downloading from the crawler for future use are:

  • List of current indexed URLs with a complete URL list
  • XML sitemap for the website
  • Current statistics of website traffic. You can leverage Google Analytics or any other analytics tool you use to download traffic report
  • All the content, including pages, posts, media, categories, and tags
  • Detailed backlink report

Download Pre-migration Keyword Rankings

Keyword ranking report serves to be useful for comparing and identifying migration issues such that they are addressed on time. There are several ways in which you can download keyword rankings of the current website:

Successful SEO site migration is indeed a technical process. It is difficult to carry out the migration task on your own. You can stick to a pre-migration checklist to avoid common pitfalls while ensuring that you do more good to your website than harm. You can always consider taking professional help from industry leaders like O+, a leading SEO research lab, to help with migration essentials and success. Leave the task of site migration and technicalities to the experts while you focus on your business.

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