Migration of your website to a new marketing agency – or building a new site altogether – requires careful planning and prioritization in order to be successful. Your existing website has built up authority and you don’t want to leave that behind. The objective is to pass that authority to your new website with minimal disruption in rankings. A migration done incorrectly may result in a drop of your rankings and a subsequent loss in traffic to your website. With that in mind, here are the top 3 most important steps you should take to ensure Google can follow your website migration.
Keep Your Good Content & Pages
Building a new website is a great time to add fresh pages and content. However, don’t be quick to leave your old content behind. If you don’t intend on rewriting some of your landing pages, be sure to migrate the old pages over if the content was unique and provided value to searchers. If you don’t, search engine crawlers will recognize these pages and their valuable content no longer exist and over time you’ll lose ranking power for those terms.
Maintain Site URL Structure
When possible, maintain your site URL structure- especially if you have great content that you’re bringing over. What that means is, if the address to a landing page about Brake Repair is https://yourwebsite.com/brake-repair/, use the exact same URL structure on the new site. Keeping things the same creates less work for search engine crawlers and reduces the risk of old links loading to “404 Not Found” error pages. Simply put – if a clean and consistent URL structure already exists then it’s not broke; don’t fix it.
If your existing website was not built using a consistent URL structure, it’s best to revise that during your migration. When doing so, make sure that 301 Redirects are created in order for the old URL to automatically load to the new page. That way, if someone has your page bookmarked, or an external website has an embedded link to that page, it seamlessly loads to the new URL. Most importantly, search engine crawlers will see your Redirects and pass SEO gains from the old page to the new one.
The job is not done once you’ve fully migrated over to your new website. Continuous monitoring ensures any new issues are immediately identified and corrected. Post-migration tasks also include making sure your new website and pages are being crawled and indexed by search engines like Google. In addition, it’s important to observe page rankings and site traffic, and take note of how the new website is affecting SEO. In the end, a successful migration ensures that your established authority is passed along to your new website and then build upon it to achieve even better rankings and increase visits to your site.