SEO site migration
Learn more about our best practices for migrating to a new SEO site:
- 1. Pre-live data collection
- 2. Keyword research
- 3. Sitemap review
- 4. IA review
- 5. Wireframe & design review
- 6. Staging site checks
- 7. Post-live checks
Why are SEO website migrations important?
Websites are like mini-ecosystems, with many connecting elements that need to be meticulously rebuilt and transferred to a different platform during a migration, to ensure minimal disruption. While the level of complexity can differ depending on the size of your website and the scope of the project, no migration is ever completely risk-free and, if done incorrectly, could result in long-lasting damage to your brand’s online presence.
Clawing back lost organic traffic after a botched site migration can be a stressful process with no guarantee of success. Adido can perform a deep dive into the root cause and implement a strategy to get your website back on track.
Why use an SEO agency for your website migration?
Adido has the experience and expertise to manage all aspects of a site migration, from auditing your current site to performing extensive checks post-launch.
Our team of migration specialists can help you with the following:
- Domain migrations: changing from one domain to another, e.g. example.co.uk to example.net.
- International site migrations: altering the structure of a website so it caters to a global audience.
- Content migrations: moving or amending the content of your website.
- Structural changes: changing the design, layout, or navigation of your website.
- Hybrid migrations: Combination of two or more of the above types of site migrations.
Meet our site migration team
SEO site migration
1. Pre-live data collection
Once we have defined the type of migration required, the SEO team will undertake extensive research to understand current performance and have a benchmark for when the new site goes live. During this stage, we would review existing keyword rankings and content performance, pinpoint site audit issues and crawl errors, and identify content opportunities for new categories or service pages.
2. Keyword research
During this phase, we will identify new content opportunities to ensure we haven't missed any potential improvements to the new sitemap. For example, if we spotted that a travel site specialising in luxury holidays to South Africa didn't have existing landing pages targeting terms such as ‘south africa beach holidays’ or ‘south africa family holidays’, this would be highlighted during our research as a great opportunity to improve the new sitemap as both relevant terms have strong search volume.
3. Sitemap review
Once the initial data collection phase is complete, we review and assess the sitemap proposed by the web development to ensure that it covers all relevant and important topics based on our pre-live research. This helps to identify any aspects overlooked or identify further content opportunities.
4. IA review
The Informational Architecture (IA) serves as a blueprint for the website’s structural design during the planning stage. Our SEO experts will review the URL structure for all levels within the site’s architecture and ensure everything is as it should be. We will also review the content elements on the pages, e.g. headers, review boxes, content boxes, images, etc.
5. Wireframe & design review
At this stage, it’s over to our fantastic web team to start working on the wireframes. Once complete, the SEO team will review the wireframes, checking all SEO elements on the page, e.g. H1 tags, breadcrumbs, content fields, etc. We will only move on to the next stage one we’re satisfied all boxes are ticked and no remaining issues that could affect performance have been found.
6. Staging site checks
Now we'll perform a dummy run of the new site, checking to see whether the ecosystem has been transferred successfully. We’ll review elements such as page titles and descriptions, content, internal link structure, schema, etc., and work on a redirect list to ensure all URLs that require changing are mapped correctly. This may be initially completed by the Web team but will always be meticulously checked by our SEO specialists before launch. We'll then communicate our feedback to the client and provide actions for the Web team to complete. Further reviews will take place until all elements are checked and given the green light to be pushed live.
7. Post-live checks
We’ll carry out a full technical SEO audit post-launch to ensure everything has migrated smoothly, checking that the noindex has been removed from the code and ensure the redirects have been implemented correctly. We’ll also continue to review your site’s performance, keeping a close eye on your analytics and rankings.
Common mistakes that hurt rankings and organic performance
All 7 stages of planning and implementing a site migration are equally important – skipping any of these key steps or following the process incorrectly can have serious implications for your brand’s online performance. Here are some common migration mistakes that can affect the success of the migration.
1. Unclear objectives from the start – there should be a clear purpose and goal for the migration.
2. Lack of strategy to preserve and improve rankings.
3. Late involvement of SEO – underestimating the importance of SEO from the get-go can severely impact the success of the migration.
4. Failing to migrate all the content.
5. Not migrating content that had backlinks.
A leading not-for-profit charitable leisure trust with over a 100 leisure centres across England and Wales approached Adido to manage its site migration, with a view to improving membership numbers through organic traffic and provide an improved user experience online.
This was not a straight-forward migration. The existing website was old and one of the key challenges we faced was tackling keyword cannibalisation due to multiple leisure centres within the same location.
We performed a thorough audit of the current site, mapping out a new site architecture, design, and content strategy and implemented a local SEO strategy targeting specific locations and services, ensuring the site was indexed and crawled properly by search engines.
The results speak for themselves. The site experienced an overall ranking increase from 66 to 4 and Freedom Leisure saw a 32% increase in goal conversion rate. They remain a loyal client, regularly ranking in position one key terms such as fitness classes, swimming lessons and soft play activities.