SEO

Migrating to a new website can be a risk. If a website migration is managed incorrectly, search engines may struggle to understand the new site structure, which can result in a new website not ranking as well as its predecessor.

Of course, every website migration is different, but for the purposes of this checklist we have looked at one of the most common cases, where a website has undergone a redesign resulting in URL, site architecture and content changes, while remaining on the same domain.

Disclaimer: The suggested process below isn’t exhaustive and there are alternative activities that could be undertaken depending on the size of the website as well as the nature of the migration.

Website Migration SEO Cheat Sheet

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Transcription & further reading

Crawl your existing website

Benchmark organic performance

  • Measure and record rankings for as many keywords as possible
  • Use existing Google Analytics tracking on new site for future performance comparison

Create a sitemap

  • Map out all the pages on the new site using a tool such as slickplan

Plan optimal URL structure for new website

  • Avoid unnecessary directories and ensure keywords are kept close to the root
  • Read more about SEO friendly URLs here

Map existing URLs to new URLs

Transfer existing page content

  • Transfer existing content and meta data to new site where possible

Optimise new pages pre-launch

Optimise web page speed

  • Use tools such as Google page speed insights to assess web page speed
  • Address any fixes reported and re-test until optimal speed is attained

Set up Robots.txt file

Structured data markup

Optimise news / blog content

Generate an XML sitemap

Verify 301 redirectswork

Monitor search console and GA

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