Wondering about website migration, but worried about losing web-page traffic?
It is common knowledge that ranking your website on Google’s SERPs is a sure shot way to success. Establishing a strong online presence begins with an SEO friendly website. Keeping the company website updated is the primary requisite for any organization, since it is the first thing visitors and potential clients look at. When businesses expand, their website owners and marketers find it challenging to manage the process of an SEO website migration. Earlier it was considered a complex and time-consuming process due to the possible disruption of tracking and analytics. Thanks to SEO experts, a website migration is the least of a company’s concerns when it comes to expanding or revamping a website.
What is SEO Website Migration?
As an organization evolves, its owners need to keep their website regularly updated as part of their brand identity. An SEO migration becomes inevitable as companies upgrade to different domain names or get larger site design projects on board. Website migration offers multiple benefits such as boosting organic reach, and improving the overall user experience, as well as design and technical implementation.
A website migration project involves the shifting of a website from one CMS (content management system) to another or a change in the domain name. In SEO jargon, a migration occurs when there are fundamental changes made to the URL structure of a website. Listed below are the main categories a website migration process can fall under:
Change in Domain Name
Sometimes companies require a stronger domain name or undergo rebranding. In such cases, they may opt for a different URL structure. This involves changes in the numbers, letters, characters and domain extensions (eg., org, .com, etc) that are applicable to each page of the website. A website migration can also take place when one website gets absorbed by another one due to reasons such as cost-cutting or diverting the flow of traffic.
Move to a New CMS
Typically the most common type of website migration is a change in the content management system. A CMS is an internet application that manages the information database of a website. The most popular examples of a CMS platform are WordPress and Joomla. Most website owners opt to switch to a particular CMS because of the numerous benefits and advantages they offer. A well-functioning CMS is necessary, particularly for customized websites built with complicated codes that make it difficult to manage.
Shift from HTTP to HTTPS
Maintaining website security is of the utmost importance. The search engine giant Google advocates that all websites opt for an HTTPs configuration for additional security. Making the move to HTTPs is a safer and better option for all websites because it helps SEO as well. Google’s algorithm for organic search engine rankings is constantly being upgraded and remains under wraps. However, most SEO experts speculate that this is one of the leading ranking factors for Google. Hence, it is likely that most website owners will make the shift to HTTPs in the near future if they haven’t already.
In order to be well-executed, a good website migration plan will include a combination of the points mentioned above. As the needs of every website vary from company to company, a website migration project will differ depending on the unique requirements of each website.
Website Migration with GO MO: How We Do It
One of the key factors to call a website migration a success is its organic search traffic. Imagine a marketing manager coordinating the rebranding of a company and enlisting the services of a website developer to encrypt the entire website using HTTPS. After going through multiple phases in the project, the website finally undergoes a complete redesign.
However, in doing so, the manager neglects to consider a few essential aspects during the SEO migration. Soon after launching the website, the organic traffic plummets at an alarming rate and becomes a fraction of what it was earlier. This is one of the most common occurrences as a result of a poorly executed website migration.
As search engines like Google crawl websites, the index of the website serves as a map and the URL like an address on the map. When the website’s URL structure is changed, Google’s crawlers will be unable to crawl the website and assume that it does not exist.
In order for search engine optimization to function at the most basic level, website developers have to work to ensure that the site can be crawled and indexed as easily as possible. Hence, a website migration project needs to be planned and executed in a systematic and well-thought out manner.
At GO MO Group, we set benchmarks for an SEO migration plan and maintain a database of important information in backups. By evaluating existing resources, gauging the timeline for the upgrade and efficiently executing the transition, we ensure that the website migration is carried out in a smooth and effective manner.