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An SEO's Guide to Website Migrations | Faye Watt | BrightonSEO's Advanced Technical SEO Summit July 2020

In this presentation, Faye will take you through the necessary steps you need to take to ensure a successful website migration, how to avoid the loss of organic traffic and search visibility, and why migrations often fail.

This presentation includes:

How to redirect a domain
How to set up a local server
A migration timeline template
A migration checklist

An SEO's Guide to Website Migrations | Faye Watt | BrightonSEO's Advanced Technical SEO Summit July 2020

  1. 1. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations An SEO’s Guide to Website Migrations @FayeWatt / Seeker Digital
  2. 2. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Who am I? •SEO Manager •Seeker Digital •@FayeWatt •BristolSEO
  3. 3. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Types of migrations How to redirect a domain Migration planning Setting up a local server Migration checklist Migration timeline
  4. 4. What is a website migration? @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  5. 5. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations “A website migration is a process to describe significant changes to your website's domain, platform, structure, content or design.”
  6. 6. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Types of website migrations @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  7. 7. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations seekerdigital.com seeker.digital Domain name change
  8. 8. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Merging multiple domains domainone.com domaintwo.com domainthree.com domainfour.com
  9. 9. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Platform migration
  10. 10. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations New design
  11. 11. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations http to https
  12. 12. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Or a combination!
  13. 13. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Migration Type Difficulty HTTP to HTTPS Low Domain Low URL Structure Moderate Design Moderate CMS High Server Low Multiple Domains Moderate to High
  14. 14. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations How to redirect a domain @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  15. 15. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations fayewatt.co.uk fayewatt.com Domain forwarding
  16. 16. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  17. 17. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  18. 18. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  19. 19. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  20. 20. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  21. 21. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Not all that easy
  22. 22. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Why migrations go wrong @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  23. 23. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Lack of planning/strategy
  24. 24. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Lack of time and/or budget
  25. 25. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations No SEO consultation
  26. 26. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Slow to fix issues post migration
  27. 27. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch date during peak traffic period
  28. 28. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations What are the consequences?
  29. 29. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  30. 30. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  31. 31. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  32. 32. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Removed High Traffic Product Pages
  33. 33. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations example.com/category-name/product-name example.com/product/category-name/product-nam e Completely New URL restructure
  34. 34. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations No Redirects setup
  35. 35. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  36. 36. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  37. 37. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations What were the consequences?
  38. 38. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Loss of search visibility
  39. 39. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Loss of traffic
  40. 40. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Increased bounce rate
  41. 41. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Loss of conversions
  42. 42. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Loss of links
  43. 43. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Increased page load time
  44. 44. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations ��
  45. 45. How to avoid a migration disaster? @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  46. 46. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations 6 Stages
  47. 47. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations 1. Planning
  48. 48. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Don’t Rush
  49. 49. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Migration Type Domain, CMS, HTTP, Design
  50. 50. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Tasks Create a list of all the tasks based on the migration type
  51. 51. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  52. 52. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Timeline Create a timeline for each task with expected delivery dates
  53. 53. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  54. 54. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Launch Date During a quiet period i.e. not Q4 for ecommerce!
  55. 55. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Testing Allocate time for testing pre-launch
  56. 56. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Solutions Allow time for fixing any issues found pre-migration
  57. 57. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  58. 58. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Post-migration Be prepared for post-migration issues
  59. 59. Planning phase 2: Content @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  60. 60. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Define Pages Define which pages will be on your new website
  61. 61. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations 1st: Produce a List of All URLs Curate a list of URLs using ScreamingFrog, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics
  62. 62. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Crawled URLs ScreamingFrog
  63. 63. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  64. 64. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Linked URLs Ahrefs
  65. 65. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations URLs Google has Identified Google Search Console
  66. 66. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Traffic URLs Google Analytics
  67. 67. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Content Audit Identify high traffic & high value pages to keep
  68. 68. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  69. 69. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations ScreamingFrog Connect Google Analytics API
  70. 70. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations ScreamingFrog Connect Ahrefs API
  71. 71. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations ScreamingFrog List Mode
  72. 72. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  73. 73. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: List of URLs Produce a list of all the URLs you want to keep
  74. 74. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: URL Structure Plan the URL structure
  75. 75. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  76. 76. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Planning: Redirect Mapping Map the old URLs to the new URLs & create rules
  77. 77. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  78. 78. 2. Data collection @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  79. 79. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Migration: Collect as much data as possible
  80. 80. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Data Collection: Website Crawl
  81. 81. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  82. 82. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Page titles and descriptions Page headings Body content Canonicals Robots directives Structured data Images Internal linking structure External linking structure Site architecture map HTML
  83. 83. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Data Collection: Sitemap
  84. 84. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Data Collection: Benchmark Performance Benchmark the legacy website’s performance for comparison
  85. 85. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: Index Status
  86. 86. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: Site Performance
  87. 87. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: Site Audit Issues
  88. 88. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: Keyword rankings
  89. 89. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  90. 90. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: Website Analytics
  91. 91. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: Backlink Profile
  92. 92. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Benchmark: HTML, CSS, JavaScript & Media Files
  93. 93. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  94. 94. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  95. 95. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  96. 96. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  97. 97. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  98. 98. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  99. 99. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  100. 100. 3. Staging environment @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  101. 101. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Staging Environment Set up a staging environment e.g. staging.fayewatt.com
  102. 102. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations HTTP Authentication Stop search engines and users from accessing your staging environment with HTTP authentication
  103. 103. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  104. 104. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Crawl Crawl the staging environment and compare to the old website, looking for any missing, incorrect, or broken data
  105. 105. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Page titles and descriptions Page headings Body content Canonicals Robots directives Structured data Images Internal linking structure External linking structure Site architecture map HTML
  106. 106. Common issues @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  107. 107. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Missing Content Review new website structure and check for any missing pages or sections of content
  108. 108. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Missing URLs Does the number of pages match the old website?
  109. 109. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Internal Links Update internal links to the new URL to avoid internal redirects
  110. 110. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Canoncials Update canonical links to the new URL
  111. 111. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Custom 404 Page Design a custom 404 page
  112. 112. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Sitemap Create an updated sitemap
  113. 113. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: Site Audit Set up your staging environment on your SEO audit tool & identify any crawl errors
  114. 114. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Redirects Check old URLs 301 redirect to the new URL
  115. 115. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Redirects Avoid using 302 or JavaScript redirects
  116. 116. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Redirects Avoid redirect chains
  117. 117. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations A B C
  118. 118. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Redirects Don’t forget any legacy redirects!
  119. 119. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  120. 120. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  121. 121. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Testing Continually monitor and retest the site for new issues once any changes have been made – no matter how small!
  122. 122. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Pre-Launch: One final crawl… Run a final crawl of the old website the day before the new site goes live
  123. 123. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Keep control of your old domain!!
  124. 124. 4. Launch day @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  125. 125. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Search Console Check Google Search Console is correctly set up
  126. 126. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  127. 127. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Google Analytics Check Google Analytics is set up correctly and recording sessions
  128. 128. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Robots.txt Double check your robots.txt file and make sure search engines can crawl your site!
  129. 129. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Don’t want to see this
  130. 130. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Index Look for any noindex directives
  131. 131. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Redirects Check your legacy URLs are correctly 301 redirecting
  132. 132. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  133. 133. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Crawl Crawl the new site and compare to the old website, looking for any missing, incorrect, or broken data
  134. 134. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Missing Content Check for any missing content or sections of content
  135. 135. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Page Speed Perform a page speed test across your most important page types
  136. 136. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Launch Day: Sitemap Add or update your sitemap in Google Search Console
  137. 137. 5. Post Launch @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  138. 138. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Post-Launch: Backlinks Reach out to your most valuable links
  139. 139. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Post Launch: Technical SEO Audit @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  140. 140. 6. Monitor and review @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  141. 141. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Monitor and Review Number of indexed pages
  142. 142. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Monitor and Review Check old URLs are being removed and replaced by new URLs
  143. 143. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Monitor and Review Review your backlink profile and identify any lost links
  144. 144. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Monitor and Review Monitor organic traffic and keyword rankings
  145. 145. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Monitor and Review Check crawl stats in Search Console
  146. 146. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Monitor and Review Continually monitor and fix any crawl errors
  147. 147. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Once again… Keep control of your old domain(s)
  148. 148. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Don’t Forget... SSL
  149. 149. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  150. 150. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations
  151. 151. @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations Thanks for Listening! @FayeWatt seeker.digital/website-migrations

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In this presentation, Faye will take you through the necessary steps you need to take to ensure a successful website migration, how to avoid the loss of organic traffic and search visibility, and why migrations often fail. This presentation includes: How to redirect a domain How to set up a local server A migration timeline template A migration checklist

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