As SEO professionals, we are well-acquainted with website migrations and the potential impact they can have on SEO. Migrations are a normal part of the digital business lifecycle as technology and business objectives evolve. A well-executed migration can actually improve the visitor experience and potentially enhance your ranking performance.
When it comes to website migrations, there are different types that carry varying levels of risk. It’s important to understand the potential risks involved and take steps to mitigate them. Common types of migrations include platform changes, redesigns, and rebranding.
It’s not uncommon to hear about migrations that go wrong and have negative consequences for businesses. In some cases, businesses have had to close stores and lay off staff due to migration issues. Examples include the Homebase HTTPS migration and the Logojoy to Looka rebrand. These situations highlight the importance of proper planning and execution when it comes to migrations.
The scoping phase of a migration is crucial to its success. It’s important to clearly define the reasons for the migration, identify primary and secondary stakeholders, and establish specific objectives for the migration. By creating a detailed schedule of activities and responsibilities, you can help reduce the risk of misinterpretation and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Risk mitigation is a key aspect of any migration process. One common component of migrations is the implementation of redirects. Redirects help guide users and search engines to the new location of webpages. However, when scoping and implementing redirects, there are common errors to avoid. These include not redirecting JS, CSS, parameters, and media files. It’s important to redirect all relevant URLs, including images, to ensure a smooth transition.
Another important aspect of migration is ensuring that the new environment retains the SEO qualities of the previous one. This includes checking that metadata, structured data, canonicals, pagination mark-up, internal linking, sitemaps, hreflang, and other elements are implemented correctly. Additionally, testing for site speed is essential to ensure optimal performance.
Understanding why migrations go wrong is crucial in preventing similar issues in your own migration. Common reasons for migration failures include incorrect SEO strategy, poor planning and scoping, unforeseen UX or design changes, involvement of SEO agency too late, insufficient testing, slow response times for bug fixes, and uncontrollable variables like Google updates. By addressing these issues proactively, you can increase the chances of a successful migration.
Poor strategy and planning are common reasons for migration failures. It’s important to clearly communicate the reasons for the migration and the expected outcomes to clients and stakeholders. This helps manage expectations and ensures everyone is aligned with the goals of the migration. Late involvement of SEO professionals can also lead to issues, as critical decisions may have already been made without considering SEO implications. Slow response times from development teams can also hinder the migration process.
In conclusion, website migrations are a normal part of the digital business lifecycle. By properly scoping and planning the migration, implementing redirects correctly, and ensuring the new environment retains SEO qualities, you can minimize the risks associated with migrations. Understanding common reasons for migration failures can help you avoid similar pitfalls. If you need assistance with SEO services, consider reaching out to SEO Augusta. They offer professional SEO services to help businesses improve their online visibility and performance.