Breezing Your Way through the Pitfalls of Website Migration
Website migration is a term mostly used by SEO professionals. It is defined as the process of migrating a website from one domain to another. This process involves various significant and substantial changes that directly affect the search engine visibility of the website. It involves some typical changes such as site design, platform, structure, content and site location.
In website migration, the most catastrophic effect which a user faces is the loss in search engine ranking and traffic. The reason behind this loss is that Google documentation does not cover the site migration at greater depths. Such loss can last from several days to months. It eventually leads to a loss of regular business till the time site ranking and traffic are recovered.
Since, website migration is a complex process, make sure you to have a good reason behind undertaking the same. Like your threshold is very low in own bitcoin trading platform.
Depending on the nature of the changes during the process of website migration< for example after sports betting website development, it can be classified into various types.
Following are the eight different types of website migration:
The main objective of this type of website migration is to rebrand the business. It involves switching domain from a country code top level domain (ccTLD) to generic top level domain (gTLD). In short, changing from co.in, co.uk, and co.nz to .com
It is considered as one of the most basic migration but still is complicated. It is potentially dangerous for those who are not sure about its purpose. The objective of switching from HTTP to HTTPS is to serve the website over secure SSL protocol. It provides security and traffic boost to the website. The user needs to be more careful while switching from HTTP to HTTPS.
The main objective behind migrating from one CMS (content management system) to another is to improve the website functionality and remove existing technical limitations. It also helps in improving UI & UX. For example – WordPress website migration.
This type of migration involves addition, omission, consolidation, rewriting and removal of multiple duplicate pages on the website. The main objective of the Content migration is to improve the site’s organic search visibility in SERP (search engine research pages).
Website redesigning is one of the most common types of Website migration. It changes the outlook of the website by applying themes, adding new media, optimizing the pre existing content. It improves the performance of the website and can also drag more traffic to it. It becomes necessary to upgrade the design of a pre existing website. If the website owner is still using decade old themes and media then it is difficult to boost the traffic with the passage of time.
In this type of migration, structural changes such as navigation, slugs, taxonomy and internal linking take place in order to change the basic website architecture.
The main objective behind switching the host is to improve the speed and performance of the website on an optimal level. It also helps to get a better website support system.
It is the combination of all possible migrations to accomplish more than one objective during the process of website migration.
Apart from these eight different types of migration, we can also see one more type of Website migration that is:
Building an AMP or PWA website can be considered as partial site migrations.
Although every site is different, still there are some common pitfalls which may materialize during the website migration process.
Poor strategy is the first cause for failure of site migration. When a strategy is based upon unclear or unrealistic assumptions and goals, the website migration process is bound to fail.
The primary objective of website migration should be the retention of preexisting website traffic and revenue levels. Although a certain amount of loss in traffic is inevitable, it can be controlled with proper strategy.
To avoid a significant amount of loss in traffic during website migration, one should always check out the consequences. This will help avoid creating any unrealistic objective which can lead to a failure.
If you fail to plan then you will plan to fail. Planning is the most important part of the website migration. After realizing and clearing the main objectives and purpose behind the website migration, plan out the whole process appropriately.
Detailed planning may sound a bit redundant but will help you cover all the important and necessary aspects of website migration. Poor planning can lead to complicated site launch. It doesn’t matter how much detailed your planning is, things never go out 100% as planned.
Planning flexibility is an important key in case of any unforeseen circumstance. For management, coding, and programming in 2020. Make sure that you do not procrastinate during planning, otherwise, you will not get enough time to rectify your mistakes during the site launch. It is always better to plan out in advance to avoid piling up the work which can ultimately lead to errors and loss in traffic.
Do not launch your website during seasonal peaks as again you will not get enough time to make necessary changes and eventually you will end up suffering revenue and traffic loss.
This is one of the most common reasons behind a website migration failure. Before entering in the process of website migration, make sure that you have enough migration tools and resources and a well defined budget.
If you have a limited budget then you can simply delay the migration because once you have started the process then you can’t look backwards. Either you will succeed or you will fail miserably in the migration process which will give you some long nights.
As mentioned above, it is highly unlikely that everything will go as you have plotted on the paper. So, to avoid any failure in the process of site migration, you should always have a buffer of at least 20% additional budget. If you cannot allot this 20% of additional resources, then simply delay it. There is no point of fighting with a half sword.
It is always good to have some experts on your side during such complex and delicate process especially when you are confused or do not know what you are doing. Many such migration processes fail due to the lack of SEO/UX consultation.
Suppose you are removing a good amount of content to improve UX then unknowingly it will damage the site’s ability to target critical keywords. It can also lead to some crawling and indexing issues. In some extreme cases it will also damage the site’s organic visibility.
Sometimes, copying too much text and images can also affect the site conversions. Hence, it becomes very important to hire or consult an experienced SEO/UX expert. It may look like a costly investment but in the longer term, this investment will save you from a potential revenue loss.
Website migration is not a one day process; it can stretch up to several months and requires lot of resources and skills. Any delay in seeking professional help, consultation or SEO/UX expert can lead to a failure.
Testing is a part of good planning and strategy. You should always spare enough time to test your migrated website so that you can detect any fault or issue before launching the website. If you skip the testing phase and any error occurs during the launch of website then it can have a negative impact on your brand.
It is always better to delay the site launch rather than spoiling your brand with a faulty website. Poor implementation can lead to revenue and traffic loss; so, make sure that your developers are aware of this fact.
It doesn’t matter what type of migration your site has gone through, there will be always be a need of fixing bugs whenever the site goes live. Suppose after launching the site, you find that there is a bug in crawling and indexing in the site’s search engine then it will require an immediate fix.
Any delay in fixings bugs can lead to some major technical issues and the site will take long to recover. It will lead to a significant amount of revenue and traffic loss. So, make sure that you are keeping an eye on the bugs and you are fixing them immediately to avoid any loss.
To have a clear understanding of website migration, here are some examples of successful and unsuccessful website migration:
This graph is a perfect example of website migration failure. It involves switching from HTTP to HTTPS and experiences a loss 35% of the visibility. This UK based website took almost six months to recover and lost a significant amount of organic revenue.
This is another example of website migration failure. In this case, the website was not lucky and failed to recover. This is another UK based website which suffered a permanent loss of 20% when it migrated from HTTP to HTTPS.
These failures are the direct result of poor planning and poor strategy before migration, and launching of the website.
The way plans are executed decides whether the site will suffer a significant loss or not. It also depends on the type of migration. Following is an example of one such successful website migration:
This is an example of a successful website migration and this time the website suffered zero or minimal traffic and visibility loss. As you can see in the graph, the visibility growth reached 60% in just one month after website migration.
Below is the graph explaining the traffic growth experienced by the same site after executing a proper plan and strategy.
As you can see, the website has experienced 80% traffic growth within two months of launch. Now, we can conclude the characteristics of a successful website migration:
Ritu Kasana, currently working as a Media Coordinator with Techjockey.com. With more than three years of experience in SEO content and the latest optimization practices, I like to write on trending software and technology. I am a tech lover and always look for the latest industry trends to keep the readers updated.