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SEO Migration? The way to not hurt your rankings.

Whether your company is active in e-commerce, B2B, or B2C services, if you make major changes to your website, this could have negative consequences for your search engine optimisation (SEO). We can help you change your website without compromising your rankings in Google.

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What is SEO Migration?
The world around us is changing. You notice this every day. Your clients expect changes too and you need to respond in order to stay relevant. That’s why sometimes it may be necessary to completely change your website. When these changes are so radical that they affect your SEO, we speak of SEO migration. This happens, for example, when you change your domain name, adjust the (menu) structure of your website, or when your website moves to a different server.

These changes can have consequences for the indexability of your website and therefore for its ranking in search engines. The SEO migration specialists from Brize are happy to help you with major changes without losing your position in Google.

What to consider when it comes to SEO migration

Migrating your website can be challenging. Not only do you have to consider the accessibility of your website and the ease of use for your visitors, but there are also quite a few technical issues you have to keep in mind. Furthermore, there are consequences with regards to search engine optimisation. For example, you want to prevent generating duplicate content, or that only the "old" pages are indexed by Google. To name a few examples.

The SEO Migration experts at Brize have put together a checklist for you that contain all aspects to consider when you plan to migrate your website.

Want to work with us?

Request a free informational call to learn how we can help your business with a SEO migration.

Want to work with us?

Request a free informational call to learn how we can help your business with a SEO migration.

Please complete the missing fields and submit again
We will reach out first to schedule a time

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Thank you for your interest in working with Brize

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SEO migration checklist

1. Carefully consider whether migration is the right choice
Site migration almost always leads to a loss of traffic - Google needs time to process the changes.

2. Test, test, test!
Never perform site migration without testing everything on a test server. Make sure the redirects work correctly. Errors can seriously damage your findability.

3. Plan your migration carefully
A well-planned and controlled migration does not have a lasting impact on the amount of traffic to your website, but you must expect a temporary dip. That’s why it is advised to plan your site migration when you have the least visitors.

4. Crawl your site before migration
Crawl all URLs with a tool and save the results for later. This prevents pages from being lost after the transition.

5. Benchmark your analysis
Make a copy of your Google Analytics data; you’ll need this information to quickly determine whether traffic has been lost after the migration.

If traffic is lost, export the Analytics data from your new site and make a comparison with the data from your old site, so you can determine exactly which pages have lost traffic and why.

6. Map all URLs that you are going to change
Create a spreadsheet in which you document every old and every new URL. This way you can be sure that you have copied all the "old" pages.

7. Update all internal links
The HTML links on your new site must point to the new site, not to the old one.

8. Avoid duplicate content
Various things during the migration process can cause duplicate content. Take these problems into account and take the necessary measures to avoid them.

9. Identify and address deleted pages
Sometimes it’s just necessary to remove old pages. If this is the case, be sure to:

  • Make a list of these pages.
  • Do not refer the old pages to the new site.
  • Remove all links from these pages.
  • Remove the pages from the old site and have them redirect to a "hard" 404.

10. Ensure that a custom 404 page is present
With a custom 404 page, users can easily navigate through your site and find something useful if they end up on a page that no longer exists.

11. Manage and submit sitemaps
Save your old sitemap in the Google Search Console and also add a sitemap for the new site. Ask Google to crawl the old sitemap and discover the redirects to speed up the process.

12. Analyse your site
Install Google Analytics on the new domain and make sure it works well before your website goes live. It’s important to monitor your traffic and you do not want missing data.

13. Refer to all changed links
Set an individual redirect for each page that you cannot redirect from your .htaccess file.

14. Remain the owner of the old domain
When you specify your old domain, all incoming links earned by the old site will be lost.

15. Monitor traffic, performance, and rankings
Keep a close eye on your search and referral traffic and check this daily for at least a week. If there are shifts in traffic, compare the traffic of the old site with traffic on the new site to determine which pages have lost traffic.

16. Mark dates in Google Analytics
Use Google Analytics annotations to mark critical dates during the migration. This helps you identify the cause of problems that you may encounter during the process.

17. Make sure the Google Search Console is set up correctly
You must set a new property in your Google Search Console for the new domain. Check if it is set for the correct version, taking into account HTTP versus HTTPS and www versus non-www.

18. Update all other platforms
Update all your social media profiles and, for example, bios that you use as a guest blogger so that the links direct readers to the new site and not to the old one.

19. Contact your most prominent links
Contact the most authoritative sites that link to you to notify them of the migration and suggest that they update the link to refer to the new website.

20. Check your "indexed page numbers"
Google does not immediately index all pages on your new site, but if the number of indexed pages is not equal to the old site after a month, something certainly went wrong.

21. Check for 404s and redirects
Search the new site to make sure there are no 404s or 301s. All links on the new site must refer directly to a functioning page.

22. Crawl your old URLs
Crawl the old website and check if all old URLs redirect to the new site. There cannot be 404s unless you deleted the page during the migration process.

Prefer to outsource your SEO migration?

The SEO migration specialists from Brize have extensive experience in migrating websites. They are happy to use their knowledge, enthusiasm, and experience for you so you keep your current ranking in the search engines even after the migration.

Do you want us to carry out your migration process for you? Tell us what your goal is and we’re happy to help you achieve it.

Let’s talk about how Brize can help your team with ideation

We’ll create a workshop tailored specifically to your company’s needs
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