Start Exploring Keyword Ideas

Use Serpstat to find the best keywords for your website

2125 2
SEO 14 min read September 29, 2023

Site Migration Checklist: SEO Challenges 

Site Migration Checklist: SEO Challenges
Kateryna Hordiienko
Kateryna Hordiienko
Research Editor at Serpstat

Migrating your website can be a practical way to efficiently grow your business, but it comes with risks. If you don’t want to experience a partial loss or drastic drop in search engine rankings, getting a domain migration checklist for a website will help you make the process as precise and straightforward as possible.

Thanks to professionals’ sharing their expertise, you can decode website migrations and streamline their peculiarities for your benefit:

Megan Newman
Digital Marketer
Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA
Internet Business Consultant, SEM
(SEO/PPC), CM & SMM
Chris Green
Chris Green
Senior SEO Consultant at TorquePartners
Marianne Sweeny
SEO Architecture and Content Strategy Consultant

Let’s come back to the main topic of today’s journey and roll straight into it. 

What Is Website Migration?

Site migration refers to all the modifications made to a platform's technology, framework, architecture, or location to maintain its online visibility and performance. 

Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet Business Consultant, SEM (SEO/PPC), CM & SMM

Keep it as simple and streamlined as possible. Migrations can cover multiple "changes," including: 

  • Domain;
  • Filepath/FileName;
  • Code/Markup;
  • Content (inc. Titles etc.)

Before you seek the right website migration SEO checklist, you must understand the target goals you want to achieve:

Site Migration Risks

The prospect of site migration is quite an intimidating and appealing idea for several SEO specialists. Nevertheless, a lot is at stake — you challenge the stable flow of your domain to pursue better results. If you don’t plan the procedure with potential risks in mind, your chance of failure is pretty high. Here are some of the most typical hazards to consider to mitigate them carefully and diligently:

Chris Green
Chris Green

Senior SEO Consultant at TorquePartners

Site structure needs to work for SEs & users. Ensuring it is easy to navigate is key. If target keywords are moved, or page content is changed or removed, rankings will drop. Content & intent need to be the same as it was if you want to maintain performance.

Marianne Sweeny
Marianne Sweeny

SEO Architecture and Content Strategy Consultant

If absolutely necessary, look at the behavior flow through the site and site search logs to see how visitors move through and what they cannot find in site navigation. Consider a "core content model," AKA hub and spoke, that connects semantically similar items.

How to Do a Website Migration

Without exaggeration, a poorly planned and executed website migration process is one of the fastest ways to devastate your online visibility and overall brand performance in SERPs. 

Megan Newman
Megan Newman

Digital Marketer

When gearing up for a site migration, also remember:

1.Ensure mobile-friendliness for a seamless mobile experience.
2.Check for broken links or 404 errors.
3.Back up everything — safety first! 
4.Plan for downtime and notify users.
5.Test user journeys & forms.

With the SEO checklist below, interested parties can build a successful and versatile modification and update strategy for their platforms, whether a blog or a large e-commerce site.

Plan the Move of Your Site

A lot can be said and done about your preparation before you take any steps to migrate pages or switch to a new server. Considering your target platform’s specifications and adapting classic migration moves to your demands and expectations is a great tactic. That’s why estimating the overall process’s complexity is crucial and proceeding with the plan’s realization in chunks. It will help you be more attentive to detail and avoid beginner mistakes.

Megan Newman
Megan Newman

Digital Marketer

Thorough Planning:

  • Plan the migration meticulously, including thorough testing, 301 redirect implementation, and technical readiness.
  • Inform Google about the domain change through Google Search Console to help expedite the process.
  • Ensure content is moved accurately to the new domain, maintaining relevance and quality.

URL Mapping

The mapping process entails keeping a record of all your existing URLs to compare to those following the big web migration. If they don’t coincide, you might suffer significant SEO penalties. Not only do you have to create this list, but you also have to consider what URLs require redirects. By introducing 301 redirects, you can tell Google your old pages aren’t meant to influence the new domain’s performance and visibility. It will also forward ranking signals from the old URLs to the new ones.

Marianne Sweeny
Marianne Sweeny

SEO Architecture and Content Strategy Consultant

Don't rely on page link equity. Pull a rank landscape to see what's doing well and for what. Accompany that with a content audit to make sure that valued assets are not left behind. Make sure that redirects are contextual to retain equity.

During the Site Migration

One of the best pieces of advice is to harness the real power of the testing and check your site’s performance cycle during the migration in practice. This way, you can implement all the essential elements like titles and meta descriptions qualitatively and ensure their efficiency before the updated domain’s launch in search engines.

Chris Green
Chris Green

Senior SEO Consultant at TorquePartners

Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and rank-tracking software are essential for tracking performance. The key is benchmarking *before* — ensuring that the keywords you track are the ones you want to maintain after the site relaunch.

In Serpstat, you can add a new website address and track both domains using your chosen keywords:

Rank tracker Serpstat

Are you ready to simplify your website migration process and effortlessly handle all your SEO tasks? Try Serpstat Rank Tracker with a free trial!

Gain mastery over your website's SEO performance by using precise tracking.

Start Free Trial

After the Site Migration

Once the process is over, here are some things you need to do:

Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet Business Consultant, SEM (SEO/PPC), CM & SMM

Ideally, no one should be touching robots.txt or using noindex/canonicals, when you migrate a website. You need the “old” to be accessed/crawled for bots to see the redirects. You need the “new” to be accessed/crawled to, or else you drop out of the SERPs.

SEO Migration Checklist

First things first, it is a good idea to examine the SEO structure of your domain before migrating websites. This way, you get actionable insights on what to do when the process is complete. The secret to a successful procedure is making lists and going over them repeatedly. Here is a brief selection of parameters your website migration checklist SEO is better to include:

Let’s take a closer look at what tactics will contribute to any website checklists:

Chris Green
Chris Green

Senior SEO Consultant at TorquePartners

Don't assume people will bring all issues to you as part of the process. Ensure that someone on your team is staying close to the project & listening to the decisions that might impact SEO. Communicate clearly & often and present challenges & solutions early.

Wrap It Up

All in all, using advanced migration checklist templates helps you to be more prepared for migration process’s challenges. SEO performance fluctuations are natural, and different crawling and indexing pages of Bing, Google, and other search engines might influence the project’s speed.

Please don’t get discouraged if something goes off — it might happen even with the best of us, especially given how many unforeseen outcomes you can face. No matter what, it is crucial to be adaptive and ensure the versatility and flexibility of the chosen approach to migrate webs. A precise and step-by-step strategy is the blueprint for an efficient and satisfactory migration.

FAQ

To proceed with this project successfully, you will require the advanced services of web crawlers and analytics software. Since you will need to monitor your SEO performance parameters, the need for keyword research, competitor analysis, and ranking tracker instruments arises. Don’t hesitate to use all-inclusive systems like Serpstat for more streamlined and real-time efficiency. For instance, the Keyword Rank Checker Tool helps track mirror websites after migration.

Aside from setting the goals for the project, your task is to perform SEO audits of your domain and use those data as actionable insights while fulfilling and finalizing the website migration plan. At the same time, this step is a precautionary measure to determine any extra issues that might affect your site during the migration or spoil its outcomes.

While the process might not take much time, preparational and organizational purposes can require months of thorough data analysis and planning. By introducing a personalized checklist, you will take control over such drastic changes in your platform’s lifecycle.

Rate the article on a five-point scale

The article has already been rated by 4 people on average 5 out of 5
Found an error? Select it and press Ctrl + Enter to tell us

Discover More SEO Tools

Backlink Cheсker

Backlinks checking for any site. Increase the power of your backlink profile

API for SEO

Search big data and get results using SEO API

Competitor Website Analytics

Complete analysis of competitors' websites for SEO and PPC

Keyword Rank Checker

Google Keyword Rankings Checker - gain valuable insights into your website's search engine rankings

Share this article with your friends

Are you sure?

Introducing Serpstat

Find out about the main features of the service in a convenient way for you!

Please send a request, and our specialist will offer you education options: a personal demonstration, a trial period, or materials for self-study and increasing expertise — everything for a comfortable start to work with Serpstat.

Name

Email

Phone

We are glad of your comment
I agree to Serpstat`s Privacy Policy.

Thank you, we have saved your new mailing settings.

Report a bug

Cancel
Open support chat
mail pocket flipboard Messenger telegramm