Conduct Website Migrations Carefully to Prevent SEO Damage

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Conduct Website Migrations

Every year, a percentage of businesses in Georgia move their websites to new online locations. If you’ve invested time and effort pursuing search engine optimization, it makes sense to obtain assistance from a qualified Atlanta SEO Company during a large site migration. This process usually requires careful advanced planning.

Approach Website Migration With Care

The owners of well-established, high traffic websites undertake content migration for a wide variety of reasons. In some cases, company ownership changes. It may become necessary to separate the pages of one corporate division from another. Firms sometimes obtain new domains after undergoing a name change or a significant reorganization or a merger. In other cases, a website simply outgrows its available hosted space.

Many reasons underlie the decision to migrate web pages from one online location to another. Regardless of the basis for the migration, site owners must exercise caution to avoid inadvertently sustaining SEO damage during this transition. Horror stories have arisen in the past in which companies that worked diligently to cultivate excellent traffic statistics suffered sudden, unexpected drops in page rankings during site migrations.

The Challenge of Maintaining Operational Consistency

One key consideration for site managers during a migration relates to the importance of preserving daily operational consistency. Employees, customers, site guests, and B2B partners don’t welcome encountering “under construction” notices on functional websites. A migration that produces extensive “down time” risks some loss of traffic for this reason alone.

Always Undertake Auditing Before a Migration

Experts recommend always performing a comprehensive website audit in advance of a planned migration. It proves vitally important to log web pages completely in order to perform redirect mapping. The owners of simple one or two page billboard-style websites typically encounter few difficulties while performing this task. Yet larger enterprises maintaining hundreds of web pages often experience auditing challenges. The audit process sometimes proves both tedious and time-consuming. Managers need to determine with specificity which URLs to maintain or update on new websites. The audit furnishes the raw material necessary to finalize data in advance of a planned website migration.

Website Crawling

After identifying content undergoing migration, it proves helpful to use a website crawling tool to help catalogue the new website’s final site map. A variety of available software programs exist to accomplish this function. For example, Screaming Frog assists crawling for SEO purposes. Basically, the team undertaking this phase of the migration must make certain every page catalogued during the crawl will either (1) redirect to the new site, or (2) fail to produce a 404 error page once the finalized new site becomes active.

Avoid Preventable SEO Losses

During site migrations, website owners sometimes experience completely avoidable declines in SEO due to the sudden presence of extensive dead links and/or 404 error pages. In the case of a large website maintaining hundreds (or thousands) of pages, a careless migration may actually result in significant search optimization damage. Leading search engines, such as Google, utilize algorithms that penalize spammy links, for instance. Migrating to a new site should not inadvertently cause site owners to lose traffic, yet a poorly planned migration holds the potential to produce catastrophic results.

Request Experienced Site Migration Assistance

Consider requesting the services of an Atlanta SEO Consultant to assist your enterprise with proposed site migrations. Careful planning and website auditing help minimize the stress imposed by this process. Site owners benefit when they can retain existing traffic levels during planned migrations to new websites!

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