12 Website positioning pitfalls to keep away from throughout an internet site platform migration


Migrating to a brand new web site platform could be a obligatory step for companies seeking to scale up or embrace new applied sciences. Nonetheless, web site migrations include appreciable SEO dangers. 

With out correct Website positioning planning and execution, a platform migration can result in a major lack of natural site visitors, income and market share. 

Listed below are 12 widespread Website positioning pitfalls to keep away from throughout an internet site platform migration.

1. Neglecting to create a migration plan

Like every main challenge, migrating to a brand new platform requires a well-thought-out execution plan. At any time when doable, SEOs ought to be part of the method early on, leaving ample time and alternative to:

  • Align with product and engineering.
  • Map out technical and content material necessities.
  • Present ongoing steerage and help with pre- and post-migration QA.

Each thorough migration plan ought to embrace an in depth guidelines outlining all key areas of technical Website positioning, content material, web page pace and efficiency, analytics benchmarking and extra.

2. Sloppy info structure

Migration presents a chance for a reset. It is a wonderful time to re-evaluate the general Website positioning setup and discover any new alternatives for enchancment round extra basic areas, like information architecture, taxonomy and navigation.

An easy and intuitive info structure is preferable to an outdated or convoluted one. Nonetheless, any purposeful web site navigation construction that drives natural site visitors is an asset. Any modifications must be rolled out step by step and cautiously, with shut monitoring alongside the way in which.

A sudden overhaul will nearly all the time come as a shock to the system. Adjustments to core navigation and searching paths can impression consumer conduct and hyperlink fairness distribution, inflicting: 

  • A shift in PageRank.
  • A lower in long-tail site visitors.
  • Fluctuations in key phrase rankings and natural site visitors.

The dangers are particularly pronounced for big, established websites with appreciable natural market share of their respective niches. 

A number of years in the past, a classifieds web site significantly trimmed and simplified its class tree throughout a platform migration with out realizing it was one of many main drivers of natural site visitors.

They misplaced almost 40% of their Website positioning market share and haven’t but recovered.

3. Overzealous content material pruning

Many entrepreneurs use web site migrations to overview their content material stock for gaps, redundancies and outdated or irrelevant content material. 

Appreciable content material pruning tends to occur at this stage – partly, as a result of it usually appears simpler to retire whole portals and blogs than emigrate them.

A considerate plan for updating, sustaining, consolidating and retiring content material is much extra advisable than overzealous content pruning that can nearly definitely end result within the deletion of worthwhile content material and lack of site visitors.

A periodic content material stock overview is an effective observe. It must be undertaken as a substitute to keep away from the buildup of deserted and long-forgotten pages which might be now not supported or actively maintained.

Dig deeper: Improving or removing content for SEO: How to do it the right way 

4. Sloppy 301 redirects

Even a superbly executed 301 redirection technique received’t assure Website positioning parity pre- and post-migration, as some short-term site visitors loss is sort of assured. 

However sloppy 301 redirects, or the shortage thereof, will end in everlasting site visitors losses.

Make investments effort and time in 301 redirection mapping to protect hyperlink fairness and supply a clean transition for customers and engines like google. This consists of:

  • Updating all inside hyperlinks to the brand new URL construction.
  • Eradicating any redirect chains.

5. Overlooking on-page Website positioning parts

Site redesign is an integral a part of many web site migrations. 

Pair with UX and engineering groups to make sure that web page format follows a coherent construction and all core parts – titles, headings, breadcrumbs, metadata and so forth. – are current and correctly labeled throughout all indexable web page varieties and touchdown pages. 

Pay particular consideration to elements that include structured markup and make sure that all key parts are preserved on the web page and in HTML.

Dig deeper: How to redesign your site without losing your Google rankings

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6. Forgetting about cellular

Seven years after Google first introduced its intent to shift to mobile-first Indexing, the challenge has finally been completed. And but, a stable cellular expertise stays an afterthought for a lot of websites, particularly those who primarily earn income from desktop customers.

Quite a bit can slip by way of the cracks throughout a significant platform migration whereas all eyes and sources are on revenue-driving initiatives, with unfavorable penalties for Website positioning.

Don’t overlook to check rigorously on cellular, checking for cellular responsiveness and parity between key options and on-page parts. Pay particularly shut consideration to inside linking on the cellular expertise. 

As Google predominantly makes use of the cellular model of a web site’s content material, crawled with the smartphone agent, for indexing and rating, guaranteeing a well-optimized cellular expertise is essential to general Website positioning success.

7. Sluggish web page load occasions

Newer doesn’t all the time imply quicker. Optimizing for page loading speed, user experience and Core Web Vitals metrics is each an artwork and a science that requires a deep understanding of web page parts and their impression on efficiency.

A brand new design or framework will introduce new efficiency challenges. It could actually take months of devoted effort to search out and implement options, usually by way of a sequence of incremental tweaks, optimization and testing.

As such, begin optimizing early, lengthy earlier than the launch date. Encourage designers and engineers to assume performance-first.

8. Crawlability and indexing bugs

Crawlability and indexing issues are a few of the largest Website positioning migration pitfalls. 

Key web page elements or navigation parts change into uncrawlable because of an oversight.

Complete directories or web page varieties change into by accident disallowed in robots.txt, noindexed by way of directives, or bulk canonicalized to the house web page.

Though this will happen anytime, it’s most definitely to occur throughout or instantly following a major migration when groups are busy squashing bugs and resolving different migration points. It’s important to maintain a detailed eye right here and monitor day by day.

On giant ecommerce marketplaces, bulk indexing bugs could be expensive to the enterprise. They’ll wipe out Website positioning site visitors just about in a single day and can take weeks or months to get better misplaced site visitors as Google recrawls, processes and re-indexes eliminated content material.

Dig deeper: Crawl efficacy: How to level up crawl optimization

9. Not organising analytics and monitoring

Forgetting to switch or arrange Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or different monitoring scripts means you may be flying blind post-migration. 

It is important to have these instruments in place to observe web site efficiency and rapidly tackle any points.

Higher but, create customized dashboards that may provide help to evaluate efficiency metrics for vital areas of your web site pre- and post-migration.

Specialised analytics dashboards can act as further QA levers that can assist you spot and tackle potential points early earlier than they change into big issues.

Adjustments in taxonomy, content material consolidation and pruning can have an effect on consumer conduct, resulting in fluctuations in engagement, conversion metrics, time on web site and bounce charges.

For instance, a decreased natural conversion price for a specific web page sort is likely to be totally anticipated if the web page begins to obtain much more pageviews and site visitors for lower-intent head phrases because of a content material consolidation challenge.

10. Ignoring XML sitemaps

Up-to-date XML sitemaps may also help pace up the discoverability, crawling and indexing of your new URLs. 

Separate sitemaps created for every web page sort, content material sort or one other criterion may also help monitor the invention price and indexing of content material by key segments, providing a extra granular view.

11. Overlooking content material that shouldn’t be listed

SEOs focus a lot on what to index that we’d overlook to make sure that non-indexable content material stays out of search engine indices.

Except for non-Website positioning URL parameters or sorting filters, this consists of every kind of restricted content material: 

  • System folders.
  • Order monitoring pages.
  • Components of checkout flows.
  • Different pages might include delicate consumer information and PII info not meant for the general public eye. 

Leaking of user data carries each appreciable reputational and monetary dangers. SEOs ought to take each precaution to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Dig deeper: How to remove sensitive client data from Google’s index

12. Forgetting post-migration monitoring

Generally, issues go flawed even if you’ve carried out all the pieces proper. Bugs slip unnoticed as builders and QA groups study the ropes of a brand new platform.

It’s vital to identify points rapidly once they come up. Simply because migration is full doesn’t imply that work is completed.

Shut monitoring post-launch is important for achievement, notably:

  • Common crawls.
  • Dwell manufacturing QA.
  • Assessing key metrics and dashboards, together with general Website positioning impressions, rankings, CTR and visibility.

A proactive method to Website positioning throughout web site platform modifications

Web site platform migrations supply an opportunity to enhance consumer expertise, undertake new applied sciences and rejuvenate a model’s on-line presence. However with out meticulous planning and execution, there is a danger of derailing Website positioning efficiency.

Being conscious of – and avoiding – the pitfalls can guarantee a clean transition and preserve your efficiency. 

Dig deeper: Website migration checklist: 10 steps for success

Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor creator and never essentially Search Engine Land. Employees authors are listed here.

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