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The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Migrate a Website Without Hurting SEO Traffic

A website migration involves making significant changes to a website in order to improve its visibility, performance, and SEO. Some actions that can be considered a website migration are:  URL modification, merging web pages and content, changing hosting or domain provides, and changing from HTTP to HTTPS.

Website design is one of the services we offer at WSI Smart Marketing. Our team knows the hurtles that must be faced when going through a successful migration. If the migration process is not performed properly, website traffic can drop significantly and have a lasting impact on a business’s lead generation. If traffic drops in the process, it can be down for an indefinite period. It may take weeks, or even months, for an affected business to recover.

By partnering with a website design company in Northern California, you can rest assured that your website is being handled with industry-leading best practices. No matter if it’s a migration, redesign, or fresh build, you want the project to be handled with care.

Common Reasons Website Traffic Drops After Migrations

Loss of Metadata

Title tags and meta descriptions can get lost during a website migration. Even the loss of a single column can cause metadata loss that interrupts your website’s performance. Unfortunately, this problem is not as straightforward as it might seem.

To address the problem, you will have to check what your metadata was before the migration which takes both time and effort to fully take stock of your site’s metadata. If you are unsuccessful, you will have to both recreate and add in all the information again.

Platform issues

Platform issues usually occur when you migrate to a new platform or hosting company. Some common platform problems you may experience when switching to a new platform are decreased loading speed and geographical restrictions.

Furthermore, some search engines may block your site. To prevent this, perform an analysis of the new platform before migrating and identify any possible discrepancies that may arrive during and after the migration.

Broken Redirects

Redirect failures can hurt your SEO, ultimately wreaking havoc on your website’s traffic. To prevent problems, utilize 301 redirects to ensure that any old URLs that you don’t plan on using on your website redirect to a relevant page. This is valuable because it helps avoid confusing your web visitors.

Change of Canonical Tags

Changing of the website’s Canonical tags is one of the most common causes of traffic loss. Check these tags to see if they are pointing to irrelevant pages or have a programming flaw.

Decreased Speed

It is normal for a website to slow down after a migration. If your site takes more than three seconds to load, you will likely lose visitors to your competitor. In your new website design, it is important to foresee these issues. When previewing the website before migration, check speeds, backend support, and other kinks that may be present in your new website design. If you experience decreased site speed, check your server, CDN, and caching system to see that they are working properly. Loss of External Links

Often, external links aren’t updated when migrating and continue to redirect to the old website. To address the problem, update these links. This is a great opportunity to check and minimize toxic backlinks to your website. By reviewing your external links and omitting those that are not quality, you can ensure more quality traffic to your website.

Tips for a Smooth Migration

➢ Plan your migration. Identify potential problems and come up with solutions

➢ Identify and prioritize the pages that generate the most traffic

➢ Use Google Analytics to monitor the changes you make

➢ Remove the migration configuration when you are sure a modification is not necessary

➢ Select data sources carefully

➢ Perform closed tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the migration process

WSI Smart Marketing is a renowned website design company in Northern California. We use industry leading methods and advanced tools to ensure seamless migrations and website builds. Our team takes various precautions to avoid migration errors. To learn more, call (707) 843-3714.


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