Minimise risk with your re-platform, restructure or re-branding.
SEO Migrations can be complex and tricky if you’ve never been through the process before, and more importantly, you only get one shot. We’ve conducted myriad of SEO migrations between numerous platforms & CMS's, learning the nuances of each. If you need a specialist agency, get in touch.
How can we help with your SEO migration project?
What to consider when migrating a website
The earlier we get involved, the more we can help guide the creation of a new SEO-friendly website that performs right from launch day. We can help with the following elements:
- Fleshing out the scope and RFP for potential developers.
- Work with the chosen developer to create a robust tech spec, designs and data-informed IA to ensure the SEO is “baked in”.
- Work with you or external copywriters to ensure new content is optimised and includes all valuable, target keywords from the get-go.
- Perform deep-dive risk assessments to ensure no elements of existing site value are lost.
- Record benchmarks from which to judge the success of migration launches.
- Collate and map redirects – being mindful of particular CMS and Server restrictions.
- Conduct critical pre and post-migration audits and rigorous testing.
- We can also ensure any PPC/paid campaigns are un-interrupted during this critical time and most importantly; work seamlessly with multiple stakeholders around tight or concrete deadline dates.
We appreciate allocated budgets are different for every project so we’re happy to discuss the right course of action for you. Think of a SEO Migration plan as your new website insurance policy!
Steps in our
website migration service...
Keyword research & benchmarking
SEO guidance throughout the build
Full SEO migration
Website guidance and consultancy to focus on organic visibility & revenue internationally.
SEO Migrations Frequently Asked
Is a SEO migration project really necessary?
If the search engines are responsible for a sizeable chunk of your website traffic and/or revenue then the answer is probably ‘yes’. A SEO migration is not simply creating a few 301 redirects, it is the art and science of figuring out what is at risk with your redevelopment or upgrade project and putting in place processes to mitigate that risk. It is reducing (where possible) the amount of unnecessary changes to your site so as to minimise flux and fluctuations in Google come launch day. It is putting in place the necessary safeguards and benchmarks so as to be able to troubleshoot any issues quickly. If you feel a little out of your depth with any of these tasks, it is worth speaking to a SEO migration specialist.
We've never done any SEO - is a SEO migration still important?
Over time, websites (and individual pages) naturally acquire links and search engine trust – and by extension some good rankings in Google, even if you don’t explicitly do SEO. Without properly diverting these to your new website you might find out on launch day all this is lost. If you’re unsure what SEO ‘value’ your current website has, give us a quick call or use the contact form for some advice.
How much does a SEO migration cost?
Every project is different depending on size and complexity. While we can’t specify a rough figure until we’ve looked at your website and assessed the complexity, we always say that a SEO migration should be seen as an insurance policy to your new website build. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll just need your URL, a brief synopsis of the build project (the why’s and what’s), and ideally Google Analytics access to be able to come back with some estimates.
Will a SEO migration guarantee more organic traffic to my website?
The objective of the migration is to preserve what you’ve already worked hard to build. Typically a successful migration project can be summed up by no changes whatsoever to traffic levels, search visibility and revenue. That said, if you bring us in early enough to the project we can advise around “baking in SEO” to your new website so that it hits the ground running and out-performs the old site.
Will I lose my rankings?
Our job is to ensure this doesn’t happen (or at least mitigate this as much as possible). That said the very nature of the project, the proposed changes and wider business decisions that go into the end product may have negative consequences*. We typically carry out a risk assessment which predicts certain outcomes and outlines resolutions to potential issues before they arise, with the ultimate outcome being to safeguard your brand as much as possible. *e.g. Severing legacy content, overhauling site structure, change of domain names, new platform/CMS/server limitations among others.
How will I know if the website migration has worked properly?
By recording and cross-referencing benchmarked data with site performance following go-live you can quickly see whether the project has been a success. During any migration we record a myriad of data sets at both domain and page level (authority, engagement, load times, traffic & conversion levels, uptime, incoming links etc.) and closely monitor and re-record site performance typically the day, week and month after launch concluding with a post-migration report 1-2 months after go-live. During this period we are communicating any fixes and issues that arise immediately. Nothing is left to chance.
How will I make sure my new website has SEO built in?
Knowing exactly what your current website does well is the first step. Identify high performance areas that should be transferred (in some format) to the new site. A SEO audit of your current site is also a must. Next, understand how users behave on your site with tools like Hotjar and Usabilla to see what they like/don’t like. Never start a redevelopment project with a blank slate – learn everything you can from your current customers/visitors. Finally, conduct competitor and technology research to understand what is ‘best in class’ for your industry and make sure these learnings are factored into your website brief/scope and the technical specifications your developer proposes. On top of this you’ll want a good understanding of your keywords and how these should be factored into the navigation labels & IA, the content & metadata, the URLs etc. If you’re planning to use an external copywriter for content, make sure they have a copy of your keyword lists. Sounds like a lot of work? We can help here too! Have a chat with one of the Reload team to see where and how we can ensure your site is ‘SEO fit’ for launch.
Is a SEO migration a lot of extra work?
It can be if you have to handle this all yourself as well as co-ordinating the creation of the new site – especially if you’ve not done a migration before. We have migrations down-pat and other than a few questions along the way and update calls/meetings, we handle pretty much everything – including coordinating with your development agency – to relieve you of at least one potential headache.
What happens when my website goes live?
Showtime. Firstly we make sure all of the implemented redirects are working and address any that aren’t. We conduct a thorough post-migration audit to ensure silly things like inherited content is not hosting old/development-site links, PPC campaigns are updated and the site is indexable. Once satisfied we also force crawls so the search engines index the new site pages almost instantly. From there on in we keep a close eye on errors cropping up, ensuring quality linking websites are reached out to, and identifying further SEO improvements (among other things).
At what stage should I start talking to a migration specialist?
The earlier the better. In an ideal scenario we’re contacted at the point you’re considering redeveloping your website. This gives you the option to get specialist advice on what should be built into the new site from an SEO perspective, in what areas your current site performs well (and should be factored into the new), project timescales, etc. BEFORE things are set in stone with a developer. However, we’re very flexible and can help achieve success at almost any stage of the development/build process – if we can’t add value to the project we’ll tell you so.
My new site has just launched and rankings/traffic has tanked - what do I do now?
You won’t believe the amount of times we’ve helped brands who ignored/forgot/didn’t realise the need for the SEO migration step and consequently have seen results plummet since launch. Through a retrospective migration we aim to restore as much of your prior success as possible by identifying as many existing 404 pages and implementing emergency redirects. We’ll pick up and fix as many SEO issues as we can find and iron out indexation issues. In some cases we may be able to recover past versions of your website to learn from what it did well and restore high performance content. If this is you, get in touch with us right away and we’ll let you know what we can do. Don’t delay as the success of a restorative project diminishes with each passing day.
Can you help with migration projects on any platform/CMS?
The migration process is the same regardless of which CMS you’re migrating a website to and from. We commonly have clients outgrowing their current platform and wanting to upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2 or wanting to switch entirely from Magento to Shopify Plus (and vice versa). We’ve even conducted consolidation products from several different CMS to one. Over the years we’ve got to know the nuances and limitations of the different platforms and the various Apps/Plugins required that can impact various processes.