What Is a Website Migration?
Before we talk about why an SEO professional should lead your website migration, we should first talk about what a website migration is.
A website migration is basically the process wherein a website goes through some changes that can significantly affect its current position on the internet. It could involve changing the server, the domain name, or the host, among others.
It is usually done to improve a website’s functionality, structure, design, security, or branding. It is a serious move, and any misstep could cause major issues that may ruin the website. Given that, it shouldn’t be initiated by someone who hasn’t done it before.
But before you start your website migration, it is important that you inform your audience about it just so they know what’s going on behind the scenes in case they encounter some issues while they are on your website.
Why an SEO Professional Should Lead Your Website Migration
One of the reasons why an SEO professional should lead your website migration is because if SEO will not be given any consideration while doing serious changes on the website, the website will lose its traffic and its search engine visibility will be affected negatively.
An SEO professional is someone who knows how to deal with critical issues that may be encountered while the website is in the process of migration. Among those issues include:
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Lost content and data
- Lost website traffic
- Lost search engine ranking
These issues, if left unfixed for a certain period of time, will hurt your website a great deal. That said, don’t do website migration by yourself, especially if your website is an important asset of your business/brand and if you are just relying on online tutorials to guide you.
If you have a budget, most especially, don’t hesitate to work with SEO professionals! Here are specific reasons why an SEO professional should lead your website migration:
1. Website Migration Involves Redirecting and URL Mapping
When a website is migrated, there will be links that will be affected. That said, after the migration, it ‘s important that all the links are tested because broken links will affect your SEO performance and, well, will confuse your website visitors.
Redirecting and URL mapping are part of website migration, and SEO professionals know how to do them well. They also know some strategies to make the search engines abandon your old pages quicker, and that will benefit your website a lot.
2. Your Website Should Be Analyzed Before the Migration
It’s important that your website is analyzed before the migration is started because you will not know if the improved version of your website is better than the old if you don’t know how the latter performed.
Website migration isn’t done for no reason at all. It is done to take the website to the next level, and you will not know if it indeed reached the next level if you aren’t aware of where it came from. SEO professionals know the necessary information to take note of.
3. Your Tracking Tools Should Be Migrated Without Losing Any Data
Google Analytics won’t adapt to the changes your website is going through. You have to manually update it so it continues doing its job of tracking your website data. However, it has to be done in a way that the old data don’t disappear.
But you don’t know how to do that, don’t you? And that’s why an SEO professional should lead your website migration!
Not all SEO professionals can migrate tracking tools without losing any data, though, so make sure that the one you are going to work with is also a Google Analytics expert. The tracking code used on the old website must be the one that will be used on the new.
4. Duplicate Contents and Ranking Issues Caused by the Migration Should Be Solved
Before the new website is brought out into the open, it should first be tested inside a staging location to find out some issues that may probably have been overlooked, like duplicate contents and ranking issues.
Although the issues that will be detected through this aren’t accurate because staging websites are ignored by Googlebot and other crawlers, SEO professionals have the ability to examine how the website will behave once it is live just by paying attention to the important aspects of the website while it is in the “staging” mode.
SEO professionals have already dealt with lots of websites, so they can predict what’s about to happen once it goes live. And they will see the website through to the end, so rest assured that if new issues come up, they will solve them.
5. Website Migration Will Affect Your Website Traffic
It’s not surprising when a website loses some of its traffic after the migration, so that’s something that should be expected. SEO professionals know how to deal with that and will take actions to prevent your traffic from dropping significantly, so just sit back and trust them.
Just be patient and don’t expect that your website traffic will recover overnight because it won’t. And don’t expect, too, that it will be the same as it was because there’s a possibility that some of it will not be recovered.
You will most likely have to put in some additional work to restore your old website traffic or surpass it, but that is better than starting from scratch! Don’t forget to tell your audience once your new website is live—that can increase your traffic!