Migrating a business website for any reason can be a challenging task. If it is not done the right way, it can result in the loss of the pagerank of your ecommerce marketing website and other associated issues.
When migration becomes the most suitable ecommerce marketing strategy to grow your online business, it is essential to work with SEO help specialists. These experts are experienced in website migrations and can understand and implement these important migration checklist details.
1. Make a Migration Plan and Test It
Before starting a website migration, you and your ecommerce marketing specialist should decide on a migration plan and map out all page changes, then create a sandbox version of the new website. Test everything out in the sandbox first to make sure it works to expedite the migration process and reduce downtime and other issues.
2. Prepare for the Migration
Prepare for the migration by crawling the original site beforehand and saving this crawl for later review. This will help identify site errors that could negatively impact your ecommerce marketing strategy. Plan to do the actual migration during slower traffic time so there is less interruption of normal service.
3. Use Website Analytics to Measure Before and After Performance
Run web analytics before the migration and save this data to benchmark your site’s performance before the migration. You can use this to measure and observe performance afterward. Continuously monitor traffic, website functions, and pagerank. If you lose traffic after the move, your best SEO help is to compare the side-by-side before and after data to pinpoint where problems lie.
4. Resolve Website Issues and Canonicalize Pages
Before going live with your new site, ecommerce marketing specialists should perform a site audit and resolve website issues such as dead links, duplicate content, removed pages, and others. Self-canonicalize all the new pages to reference only the new site to avoid future problems.
5. Put Up Custom 404 Pages
Prepare for the possibility of link issues with custom 404 pages that still allow users to get back to the main page and search for other items rather than just leaving them at a dead end. Custom pages that offer similar suggestions for searched products in a lighthearted way can also be helpful.
6. Redirect Website Links
Assuming you will be maintaining the old domain which is highly recommended, redirect all links from the old site to the new one. Use a redirect tool to simplify the process whenever possible. In addition, contact the most authoritative sites that link to yours and alert them of the change. Request that they update their links to the new site. Test all redirects thoroughly before going live.
7. Submit the New Sitemap
Once the new site has been completely laid out, submit the new sitemap to Google Search Console. A great ecommerce marketing strategy is to keep the old sitemap uploaded as well and then request that the old sitemap be crawled. This will expedite the indexing of redirects to the new pages.
8. Update Google Search Console
In addition to submitting the new sitemap to Google Search Console, be sure to update the Console to reflect the new website and any link changes. Make sure the Console is set up to recognize the proper protocol, especially if switching from HTTP to HTTPS was the reason for the site migration. Submit a change of address at the same time you request that both the old and new sites be crawled.
9. Update PPC Campaigns and All Online Platforms
Once the site is live and everything is working well, conclude your SEO help checklist by updating all the business links that come into the site. Update links in your PPC campaigns, along with all social media pages, other associated websites, directory listings, forum signatures and bios, and anywhere else a link to the old website exists.
10. Crawl the New Site to Detect Problems
Once the site is uploaded and fully functional, crawl it and compare it with the old crawl data from before the migration. Detect migration problems and repair them immediately to ensure full website function to reduce the chance of losing traffic and pagerank.
Regardless of your reason for migrating to a new ecommerce marketing website, success lies in the correct process and paying attention to details. Make the checklist points discussed above a part of your ecommerce marketing strategy and SEO help to reduce or eliminate the loss of website performance and protect your pagerank as the new site is put into use!