Making changes plus updates to your website may seem as an intimidating process.
Every proceed needs to be strategic to preserve your site, from adding HTTPS methods to modifying your website name after a rebranding process.
After all, if your web pages go down, your own organic traffic could reduce, you may lose search outcome rankings, and your business could lose revenue.
The buy-ins are high in migrations, but so are the rewards.
Benefits of a successful migration include:
- Long-term gains in buy and conversion when delivering an improved user experience plus an SEO-friendly website.
- Potential boosts within brand awareness if you’re attaching your brand’s name to the majority of URLs within your website.
- Stronger global online presence with the correct setup of hreflang tags and multilingual versions from the site content.
Rock Content, a global leader in articles marketing, conducted three migrations on its own website and extended the company’s global on the web presence up to 7 mil monthly visitors.
All of the migrations were driven by the need to consolidate our brand’s recognition at different occasions in our trajectory.
During the first migration, in early 2019, we all moved both of our blogs in Spanish and Colonial (which had their own unique domains) to the root domain “rockcontent. com. ”
At the time, all of us used exact match domain names with the Portuguese and Spanish versions of something similar to “contentmarketing. com. ” We desired to educate the Latin American markets on the topic.
The aim of this first migration has been to highlight our own brand, since the previous websites did not have our name in the URL.
- Spanish blog: “marketingdecontenidos. com” ⇒ “rockcontent. com/es/blog/”
- Colonial blog: “marketingdeconteudo. com” ⇒ “rockcontent. com/br/blog/”
The second migration was concluded in 2020, when we moved the entire site to our own, recently-launched WordPress hosting platform, Stage. This was a strategic decision that will gave us full power over the website’s management while improving our performance metrics.
Finally, we carried out a 3rd migration to make our brand positioning more cohesive in most markets that Rock Content material operates in, especially in the Oughout. S., Brazil, and South america.
After a comprehensive localization process of the site content and visual identity elements, our redesigned global website came to life at the beginning of 2021.
Those encounters brought lessons that we wish to share with you on how to plan, carry out, and monitor a new site.
You, too, can prevent a traumatic move by following these website migration insights:
- Planning : Paving the way for a simple transition.
- Execution : Setting up diverts and testing to go reside.
- Post-launch : Acting quickly to correct errors.
- Analysis : Monitoring functionality metrics to tell if your migration was successful.
1 . Planning Phase: Paving The Way For A Smooth Transition
Every migration project can be complicated, but building a detailed strategy is key to avoiding problems.
Consider some of these factors throughout the planning phase.
Changing CMS Platforms? Align the CMS to Your Brand Assets.
When considering your future CMS, it’ s essential that the platform is certainly consistent and flexible along with your brand’ s unique resources.
Make sure your future CMS causes it to be:
- Easy To Implement Brand new Content: Some CMS software has rigid structures that will limit the addition of features that can expand your brand’s article marketing process. Try tools that provide multiple themes and design templates that aren’t time-consuming to implement.
- Easy To Structure: The chosen platform should also offer user-friendly resources or building blocks intended for structuring the content of a page. This will enable search engines and users to read it simply.
- Easy To Find out: Your team needs to be familiar with the new CMS platform you might be implementing to avoid errors and also a drop in productivity.
Changing URL/Domain Structure? Know The Differences Between Subdomains & Subdirectories.
Accurately choosing a subdomain vs . subdirectory construction allows search engines to understand the correlations between pages and how important they are within the domain.
By providing a solid URL/domain structures, you ensure that Google’s spiders will have no trouble seeking the pages you want to be indexed plus ranked on SERPs.
The major search engines will also understand the logical structure of your site’s sections, which helps Google determine which usually page is the best fit for each query.
To determine the best construction for your new website, it is crucial to know the best use cases of subdomains and subdirectories.
A subdirectory is a folder inside a root domain, and it’s used to manage categories and individual pages of the main website, like a blog or an web commerce store.
It can also work in order to store international versions of a website, such as “/es” regarding Spanish.
E. g: illustration. com/blog/
Subdomains, on the other hand, function like unique websites of a larger domain, but sit down outside of it. They show up before the root domain name in the URL and might be used to store specific site sections, like a support platform or even an event hub.
E. gary the gadget guy: support. example. com
When To Use Subdirectories
This structure is quite efficient to showcase parts of your business you want everyone to know about.
E. g.: instance. com/shop/
Other use cases:
- You want to strengthen the main brand’s online authority simply by putting all your pages under its name on the LINK.
- You have a basic site structure with a small number of sections and want to provide a straightforward navigation path for customers.
- Your IT department or web admin team isn’t large enough to manage and monitor the performance of multiple web sites on multiple subdomains. Subdirectories are easier to manage because they are stored inside a single main domain’ s file framework.
When To Use Subdomains
Subdomains work well for specific web environments that live on different platforms than your primary website, like an app.
Electronic. g: helpdesk. example. com
Some more use cases:
- You have various product lines or service streams that have completely different purposes and each one has its very own positioning. E. g: maps. google. com or analytics. google. com.
- You want to expand your site worldwide in totally different languages — a subdomain will have its set of keywords to rank for on the new marketplace, but you’ll maintain brand consistency in the URL.
- Your online business operation needs a more robust structure, with a more clear separation between sections plus unique performance analytics for every part of the website.
2 . Execution Phase: Set Up Your Redirects, Test Your Plan In & Out, Go Reside
Now, it’s time to take those strategy you created and find out how it flies.
You can do this safely by creating a sandbox environment.
A sandbox environment will give developers the green light to test every aspect of the immigration without compromising your current online operation.
Set Up Your Redirects
One of the most important factors to check during migration is the list of links to be redirected.
Implementing 301 redirects is the x-factor of successful migrations. Redirects figure out the right destination for the old site’s URLs on the new site.
Response codes, like 301 redirect codes, appear when a user (or web crawler) lands on a page and is automatically sent to another web page.
Traditionally, you would need to manually create redirects. Now, however , you can automate that motion by using a specific plugin like Redirection on WordPress or a similar solution on one more CMS.
First, you’ll need to create a list of all the URLs from the old website which will need to be redirected to the right page on the new site. Web index tools like DeepCrawl can gather these URLs automatically.
Then, you will need to evaluate how to prioritize the way URLs should be handled:
- Deleted Content: Choose pages won’t be within the new website, such as discontinued products or irrelevant blogs. These URLs could be aimed to a parent category page or to more relevant Web addresses with similar topics.
- Same Content With Brand new URLs: Map out content pages that should be preserved because they are and find a proper URL for them under your new construction.
- High-ROI Webpages: Notate the pages that will drive more direct ROI for your business, like pricing landing pages, and be certain to redirect the old URL to the new one so you don’t risk losing revenue.
- High-Traffic Pages: Put together pages that bring qualified organic traffic to your site, like branded queries, to help the old URL’s authority transition towards the new URL via spiders.
- Existing Redirects: Prior to testing, you’ll need to identify existing redirects for the legacy website to avoid refocus chains that delay search engine crawlers and users through accessing new URLs.
Finally, implement your diverts and test.
Test Your Strategy
You can make predictions about how the new website will look by working on a staging website, also known as a sandbox, which should become blocked from search engine crawlers. Edit the robots. txt file of the sandbox internet site to prevent bots from being able to access it.
In this inactive version of your site, you’ll have all the freedom to check if the brand new pages are appropriately optimized for search engines and customers:
- Confirm if each section is properly positioned within the information architecture of your website.
- Confirm if all internal links are preserved and correctly set.
- Double-check the redirected URLs to guarantee crawlers don’t get disoriented between your pages.
- Spot errors in the clickable and interactive elements of your pages to make sure no consumer struggles to complete the actions you want them to perform, like transforming on a form.
Medical tests can also be carried out on the reside website on a limited number of pages, mostly for on-page SEO factors.
Try to do experiments, such as adding organized data items, on these samples before the migration. When they generate good results quickly, you will be able to expand the used changes to a larger number of URLs.
Best Practices For Going Live
Choosing the right moment to launch the new website is an important part of the process.
Select a date far from key sales seasons of your business to reduce the risk of losing major revenue, since a decrease in visitors and keyword rankings is definitely typical after a site shift.
Another good practice is to manage the creation of new pages close to the day of the changeover.
Determine a specific time to wrap up the list associated with URLs to be redirected and make sure no pages are usually published after that deadline. This particular precaution will spare the risk of generating more 404 errors on the new web site due to URLs that were not redirected.
3. Post-Launch Stage: Don’t Panic, Act Quickly, Correct Errors
Once your newly migrated site launches, be sure to regularly monitor new web pages in order to quickly catch something that may compromise the user encounter and search engine crawl.
A comprehensive testing process will have mitigated most of the problems that need to be resolved post-launch, but some inconsistencies might not have been noticeable until your brand-new site’s launch.
Common Crawling Obstacles
These unnoticed moving factors can prevent search engines like google from finding your URLs:
- Outdated robots. txt file: Map relevant Web addresses and sections that are unintentionally blocked for web spiders, then remove them.
- Accidental “nofollow” & “noindex” tags: If these are implemented by mistake on pages you want to be highly ranked within SERPs, delete them.
- Missed redirect chains: Reduce the number of 301 redirects as much as you can while examining your new URL’ s position. Accumulating these error codes can keep crawlers and users from accessing your content.
Accidental Duplicate Content & Wrong URL Parameters
For those who have multiple pages with similar content and don’t master the “rel-canonical” tag in order to let search engines know, your site may face the particular scary duplicate content mistake.
Double-check every page that needs a canonical tag to exhibit crawlers which version should be indexed.
Moreover, don’t include a “noindex” tag to the same page that receives the canonical tag since this can send mixed signals to find engines.
Have got your team put them selves in the shoes of your visitors to test every single aspect of the navigation experience:
- Look into the load speed.
- Check that buttons are working correctly.
- Navigate through pages and see if you can easily find the pages you are looking for.
- Click on relevant inner links.
- Test converting on top lead generation forms.
- Pretend you have never visited your site. Attempt to break it.
Compile any bugs you find and inform developers as soon as possible to help keep your site’s visitors close to.
4. Analysis Phase: See whether The Migration Was Prosperous
Finally, the most difficult section of the process is done. You’re eager to see the results.
To get a precise perspective, a comparative analysis of relevant performance metrics is necessary.
This process can take 1-3 months, depending on the URL user profile of the new website as well as the size of the migration.
Focus on these main points:
- Organic traffic: Drops aren’t unusual right after migrations, but a major decrease can indicate large-scale problems in indexability and crawling.
- Site speed and usability: Monitor speed and usability just for both desktop and mobile phones. Google Search Console can help with monitoring Core Web Vitals, plus Google Analytics can help you find out average page load times.
- Conversion rates: Significant modifications in these numbers might indicate if the user journey is usually smoother or more complicated compared to before.
- Key phrase rankings: Check if relevant web pages that were well-positioned before lost their places on Search engines and reinforce internal connecting to attract crawlers to the URLs with more ranking potential.
- Backlink profile: Map all pages that will receive valuable backlinks and check if their redirects work correctly. 404 errors in these links will not only hurt your domain’s rankings, but also the particular domains that send all of them.
Migrations can circulation smoothly if your groundwork is done with full-scale testing plus risk mitigation.
In addition to the specialized processes we mentioned all through this post, it’s best to execute on-site optimizations in your articles pages to regain organic traffic in the long term.
When we delivered Rock Content’s old blog in Spanish to the global website as a subfolder within, we suffered a severe drop in our Google search positions.
The tide only began to turn in our favor later that year, after extreme months of strong articles distribution, publishing, pruning, upgrading, and link building. The following visual shows these results:
Long-term considering pays off.
Now, Rock Content’s global website is the 13th highest ranked at SimilarWeb for the Online Marketing category, this receives more than 7 mil sessions every month — and it keeps growing.
Don’t be afraid. With all the right planning and tactics, you can master any web site migration that comes your path.
We hope your journey to some new website is outstanding!
The post Worried About Internet site Migration? Insights For A Smooth Transition appeared first on Rock Content .