Why SEO Should Always Lead Your Website Migration

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Launching a new website is an exciting time for any business! It’s a great chance to rebrand, re-strategise, and modernise your business. It’s also a great opportunity to fix any server issues, get a leg up on competitors, and improve your online presence.

What many fail to remember is that with a new website launch comes a complex website migration. Website migrations, when done improperly, can be detrimental to your online visibility and any organic growth you’ve built up.

However, there’s still a way to save all of your hard work! Having a website migration strategy in place is key to minimising the impact on organic traffic and ranking positions so that once search engines are made aware of your site changes, you can reap the benefits.

That’s why, when clients come to us wanting a new website, we always recommend an SEO-led migration strategy.

In this blog, we’ll discuss why you should have an SEO-led migration, and what can go wrong if you don’t.

So why should you let SEO lead your migration?

1. Complex URL mapping and redirects

Getting your URLs mapped and redirected correctly is an essential step in any website migration. Our SEO team is equipped to handle a redirect strategy and the complications that come with it.

You have to know which redirect is appropriate for which page, otherwise, you might be undermining your website or leaving the users confused.

Some common issues when performing redirects include:

  • Redirect chains
  • Incorrectly implemented redirects (302 or 307)
  • Redirects to irrelevant pages

There is way more to URL mapping than implementing a couple of redirects. Luckily, we’ve handled many site migrations successfully and can expertly manoeuvre this step, so you can be sure your visitors are only visiting the pages you want them to, and that Google is dropping the pages you don’t.

2. Benchmarking your website

As an SEO agency, we obsess over making your website the best it can be every time we work on it, and with any SEO migration comes a great chance for improvement.

However, without properly understanding how your current website is performing, you’ll have no idea whether the migration has a positive impact or not.

To help us better understand your website behaviour, we’ll track certain metrics including:

  • Current keyword rankings for landing pages
  • Status codes
  • Backlink profiles
  • Core Web Vitals

With a detailed analysis of your former website, when it comes to launching the new one, you’ll be able to easily track performance and changes, understand the website hierarchy, and identify any issues that could arise with ease. Benchmarking your website helps SEOs truly understand their impact.

3. Set a Migration Plan

Starting a website migration without a solid plan is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t know what you want to achieve or how you’re going to achieve it, you’re sure to miss out on key steps to ensuring a successful migration.

When creating a migration plan, it’s important to keep your website hierarchy in mind and have a detailed redirect strategy in place before you begin.

4. Migrating Tracking Tools

What’s the point in benchmarking your website if you can’t accurately track performance? Migrating your website’s tracking tools is an often overlooked, yet key step, to a successful website migration. Everything from Google Analytics to Search Console and Tag Manager will need to be moved.

You should use the same tracking codes as on your previous website so that there aren’t any hiccups and you can have a seamless transition to your new digital presence.

When your new website launches, all of your tracking codes and pixels should already be in place so you can immediately track your progress.

5. Site Launch & Loss Mitigation

Once you launch your new website, you might feel relieved – but not so fast. It’s time to check all aspects of your migration to make sure it went smoothly.

Did your redirects get put in place correctly? Is Google indexing the correct pages? Are there any status codes or 404s appearing?

If you had an SEO migration plan in place, you should be good to go. But even the best-laid site migration plans see temporary traffic losses when they launch. It’s just a result of Google getting reacquainted with your website.

With your SEO team in place, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about! They may have some optimisations to do, but soon you’ll be seeing the results of all the effort.

How can your website migration go wrong?

There are a few things that can negatively impact the success of your website migration, including:

  • Not having a migration plan
  • Having a poor redirect strategy
  • Not following SEO best practices
  • Not testing and retesting to ensure seamlessness

SEO-led Website Migrations from Tecmark

Our website migration services are always led by our Technical SEO experts. If you’re looking to migrate your website, whether it be to a new domain, new server, or new protocol, get in touch with our friendly Manchester SEO team for a smooth website migration process.

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