Website migration can get complicated so it is important to know the following:
- What caused the mistake?
- What occurred that made it go wrong?
- How to avoid the mistake from recurring?
Last time, I discussed What Are the Difficulties in Changing Domain Names? Changing domain names is actually under website migration. As discussed on Will Changing Domains Affect Search Engine Rankings?, website migrations can have its own share of consequences.
Every mistake gives way to a change to keep the error from ever recurring again. In this situation, no lives will be in danger, but your business can. So, here are the four reasons:
For the website migrations to succeed it has to be plotted very carefully and doing it should be done with perfect accuracy. As a matter of fact, planning should be done the minute the idea comes up. You need to give yourself time to focus on the following:
- Study the migration and then come up with a concrete plan, and a dedicated group for site migration.
- Next, you have to teach your group about website migrations.
- Ask for a fund allocation.
- Make ready the checklists, redirect strategies, etc.
Studying the site migration and determining the objectives for the migration is vital. This will help you assess how it happens.
One generic problem in this process is when SEO experts’ participation is too late. Determine among yourselves, at least those in the website migration group, if you need more time to do the migration. This should be a group decision.
Not Enough Knowledge on the Risks
Everybody that are involved in the project should know the risks. When you deal with SEO, nothing is definite. If trouble occurs where it is not welcome, there is danger that things will not work out and you may not be able to recover your past rankings.
It is a good idea to spend some time to train people for everyone in the group will know the dangers that may happen in the process. And when we say group, this is referring to copywriters, SEO team, legal counsel, project managers, and many others. Breathe more life to your training by using case studies. Study the ugly side of website migration. The uglier it gets, the easier people will see the whole picture.
Remember, you work as a team. If you know some vital information, inform your teammates. Start by teaching the basics like:
- 301 redirects.
- Appropriately establishing isolated test environments.
- The significance of modifying content.
- Study the mistakes of unsuccessful site migrations.
- Visually present your data through charts and graphs.
Schedule another training for the decision makers involved in your website migration. You need to let them know the following:
- The danger that may occur.
- What they can anticipate.
- What you demand of them to make the project successful.
Feeble Migration Checklist
Lastly, one of the reasons why website migrations fail is due to a feeble migration checklist. You should make sure that you center your concern on the following:
- Content – it is not just what is in your content; it should also have the appropriate page titles and meta descriptions.
- Redirect plan – check if the URLs has no 404 error when clicked.
- Technical checks – make sure page speed isn’t slow, XML sitemaps are updated, and etc.
And if you failed the first time, don’t be too hard on yourself. Failures are part of life. I hope, this article was able to guide you in your quest for a successful website migration.