Often the site owner will leave it to the web design/development agency as they see it as part of their job, however, as much as developers play a crucial part and know a lot, they tend not to be specialists at SEO Migration or understand some of the key elements and nuances.Some site owners don’t even think it should be a consideration, after all they’re only doing an upgrade or moving to a new website platform, they’re not switching their website name or anything.
The key to a successful site move is careful Preparation, Analysis and Planning and a lot of Hard Work. Every detail needs to be carefully considered; however, you also need to pay heed to Murphy’s Law because in site moves, generally, if it can go wrong it will and the things you least suspected to cause an issue, do so.
Zelst have developed, over a period of time, a 32-point Site Migration Plan which has been proven over many migrations and covers a wide range of issues, challenges and peculiarities.
So far in 2019, Zelst have managed migrations for five of our client websites and achieved some extremely favourable outcomes. In the following table we have compared the Search Visibility (Estimated percentage of clicks based on keyword rankings for each client on range of keywords monitored) and the Organic/Natural Search Growth (or decline) in the month immediately prior to the move and, then again, in the first full month proceeding the move.In all five cases, as we anticipated, we saw a drop in search visibility and traffic in the week immediately following the move, however this had recovered by the following week and in the first full month following the site move, we saw growth in search Visibility of between 1.4% and 147% and an Improvement in growth in organic traffic of between 44% and 6,831%. By contrast, we have just started working with a website where the migration had been handled by another agency. Despite this agency’s work and best assurances this site lost over 30% of its site visibility and its Organic Traffic Growth declined by 625% after the move. A salutary lesson on just what can happen, if you don’t handle the site migration correctly.
If you’re considering How to Move Your Website Without Damaging Your SEO, a site update or move or would like any help in handling the fallout from a bad site migration give Zelst a call or drop us a note. If you would like to know more about Site Migration, updates and moves, read this case study on how we handled the site migration for an ecommerce site here.