Site migration is a broad term that refers to any action that will result in a significant impact on a website’s visibility in the search engine. Usually, when someone speaks of site migration they are referring to changes to a site’s location, platform, structure, content or design.
While site migration is important for fixing varying issues that may plague your website, site migration itself could cause problems if the process is done incorrectly. For instance, if you are changing your website’s host platform, your site could go dead if things are not in place with both your old and new host. You must ensure that you migrate your website the right way to avoid any issues. If you are planning to migrate your site, here are some things you must do:
1. Consider whether site migration is necessary
It is almost impossible for you to migrate your site without a temporary dip in web traffic. You will lose traffic because Google will need some time to process the changes on your site and update its index. The most you can do is minimize how much traffic you will lose and for how long. When site migration is done correctly, Google may recognize the new site as the original once the index is updated. However, in many cases, this does not happen and SEO suffers. You may even be subject to penalties. Bearing these things in mind, only migrate your website when absolutely necessary.
2. Test before you implement changes
Whenever you plan to migrate your website, first try the changes on a test server. Doing so will give you a chance to see how all your changes will affect your site before it goes public. You can then fix any errors that could negatively affect your website’s performance and SEO.
3. Migrate when business is slow
If you’ve noticed there is a period when business is normally slow, that would be the perfect time to migrate your site. No matter how hard you work to minimize the impact of site migration, SEO will be affected. But if you migrate your site during a slow period, you can further minimize the impact of the migration process.
4. Crawl your site
Before you migrate your website, crawl the site. The crawl stats will show you the issues that are present on your old site. Armed with that information, you can make changes so those issues are not carried over to your new website. Crawl stats will identify broken links, faulty redirects and more.