SEO migration checklist using Google Search Console, internal links to boost your site on search engines.

Website SEO Migration in Australia Checklist

Posted by Zeid Kaddoura on March 11, 2024

SEO Checklist for Website Migration: Maintaining SEO Success When Restructuring Your Site

Migrating to a new website can be an exciting endeavour, but it also poses potential risks if the transition isn’t handled properly from an SEO perspective. A drop in organic search traffic and rankings is a common consequence of website migrations done without careful SEO planning.

Fortunately, with some strategic forethought and diligent execution, you can safeguard and even enhance your SEO throughout the migration process. This comprehensive checklist of SEO migration in Perth will guide you through the key steps.

Understanding the Importance of SEO in Website Migration

When you migrate websites, both the site architecture and URL structure will change. This means the new site is essentially a blank slate in terms of SEO value, search rankings, and organic search traffic.

Without proactive management, pages from your old site will no longer appear in search results, and search engines will not automatically understand the relevance of new pages. This disruption can result in a major decline in organic visits.

Preserving SEO is crucial to maintaining visibility and continuing to connect with your existing customer base. Seamless redirection and careful tracking of high-value pages enable you to retain and build upon hard-won SEO gains rather than starting completely from scratch.

SEO migration checklist using Google Search Console, internal links for successful website migration.

Key Steps in an SEO-Focused Website Migration

Migrating to a new website while maintaining your SEO performance requires careful planning and execution across three key phases: pre-migration, during migration, and post-migration.

Follow this comprehensive checklist of future steps that’ll ensure a smooth process of SEO-focused migration planning:

1. Technical SEO Audit Status

Before migration begins, you need to fully understand the existing SEO profile of your site. That means performing an SEO audit – and that includes:

Identifying high-value pages, top-ranking keywords, most valuable backlinks, and any unexpected issues that need to be addressed (such as duplicate content). Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Screaming Frog can help compile this data.

Auditing provides the blueprint for your migration strategy, highlighting what SEO elements need to be preserved. It also gives you a benchmark to compare against post-migration performance.

2. Prepare URL Mapping

URL structure plays a major role in preserving SEO equity during migration. To limit disruption, ideally, you want to keep URLs as consistent as possible, especially for high-value pages.

Create a URL mapping document that matches old URLs to new ones on a one-to-one basis. This will guide redirect implementation and minimise unnecessary URL changes that could reset SEO signals.

3. Set Up Redirects

Use our SEO migration checklist for your site migration to change your site structure for the search engine crawlers.

Redirects are the connective tissue linking your old site to the new one. Properly implemented 301 redirects pass SEO value from old to new pages. Set these up on a staging site first to enable testing before the actual launch.

Pay particular attention to redirecting high-traffic pages and strategic keywords to relevant targets in the new domain. Broken redirects can significantly impact organic visibility.

4. Monitor Post-Launch Performance

Migration doesn’t end at launch. You need to actively monitor keyword rankings, site traffic, crawl errors, and indexing rates over the ensuing weeks. Dips or issues indicate problems to address quickly, whether technical glitches or suboptimal on-page optimization.

5. Submit New Sitemaps

Once the site is stable, generate and submit XML sitemaps to Google and Bing. This shows search engines your new site structure and helps them discover and reindex pages faster.

6. Inform Stakeholders

Keep your team, clients, or users updated before, during, and after migration. Communication ensures everyone understands the potential impacts and timelines of this significant transition.

7. Consistent User Experience

The preservation of URLs is not just for SEO – it also provides a consistent user experience. Visitors remember and return to specific URLs. Unexpected broken links or unrelated pages are frustrating.

Maintaining URL Structures During Migration

A priority during migration is minimising URL changes while still improving site architecture.

Keeping URLs, particularly high-value pages, as consistent as possible retains the link equity stored in those old pages.

For example, if a certain blog post has gained impressive organic traffic, you want to retain that post’s exact slug and folder structure on the new site. Any change would essentially reset the SEO value of the page.

Effective Redirect Strategies for SEO Preservation

Properly implemented redirects are pivotal for an SEO site migration. You want to make sure no backlinks show a 404 status code, for starters, or consider testing through a staging environment.

Here’s a complete list of key redirect strategies:

  • 301 redirects: Permanent redirects that pass link equity and signals to new pages
  • Rel=canonical tags: Indicates to search engines which page is the definitive version
  • Redirect old image URLs: Images should be redirected just like other high-value content
  • Monitor redirect functionality: Broken redirects can drastically impact SEO
  • Keep old site active temporarily: Maintain access to old URLs during the transition
  • Update site’s internal links: Now that everything’s changed, your inner structure should as well
  • Protect external links: They need to match your site’s new structure and rebranding

Monitoring and Adjusting Post-Migration SEO Performance

So, you’ve had a successful site migration, and now it’s time to ensure that your SEO remains strong in the post-migration phase. It doesn’t take an SEO specialist – just a little know-how.

Let’s delve into a step-by-step approach to monitor, adjust, and optimise your site’s SEO site migration in Perth without any technical issues.

1. Automated Site Crawls for Health Check

Implement regular site crawls using tools like Semrush Site Audit or SE Ranking Website Audit. This proactive measure helps identify and rectify SEO issues such as broken links and missing meta tags.

2. Daily Metrics Tracking for Success Indicators

Monitor analytics, including your site’s organic search rankings, traffic, and conversions on a daily basis. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and rank-tracking tools are your allies in gauging the impact of the migration project.

3. Submitting a Fresh Sitemap for Swift Indexation

SEO migration checklist for your SEO migration process while in staging site.

Generate and submit a new XML sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools post-migration. This aids search engines in comprehending your new site structure, expediting the indexation process.

4. Vigilant Monitoring of Performance and Speed

Keep a keen eye on site performance and speed. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights can assist in ensuring that user experience and search engine rankings are not compromised.

5. Indexation Oversight with Webmaster Tools

Utilise Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to keep track of your new site’s indexation. Timely identification of crawl errors or sitemap issues is crucial for maintaining a healthy online presence.

6. Thorough Assessment of Migration Impact

A few weeks post-migration, conduct a comprehensive assessment comparing pre- and post-migration data. Evaluate organic traffic, keyword rankings, bounce rates, conversion rates, and page load time for a holistic understanding.

In Summary: Succeeding in SEO Site Migration in Australia

Migrating websites while retaining your hard-earned SEO gains takes strategic planning and vigilant execution. Use this SEO site migration checklist to guide the process, keeping your high-value pages seamlessly redirected and your current rankings preserved.

With robust monitoring and swift adjustments, you can ensure your SEO not only remains intact post-migration but continues growing.

Looking for more
leads & sales?

We are the only Australian SEO agency you will ever need!

Talk to a human -
call us on + 61 4 305 48509

Looking for more
leads & sales?

We are the only Australian
SEO agency you will ever need!

Talk to a human -
call us on + 61 4 305 48509

Latest News & Updates

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetu

Data-driven digtal marketing agency Perth

Looking for more leads & sales?

Data-driven digtal marketing agency Perth

Looking for more leads & sales? We are the last Australian
Digital Marketing Agency you will ever need!

“They were able to get us to page 1 on Google in a few months and keep us there. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to rank on Google and capture leads. The team is highly skilled and responsive”

James Tang - Owner, Ready Team One

© Copyright - Webology 2024
© Copyright - Webology 2024