You need to be very careful when you plan site migration from one platform to another or when you plan to revamp your existing website. Such drastic changes might have a deep influence on SEO, besides posing a potential threat to sales and traffic. However, if you keep certain things in mind, you can turn this impact into your advantage and enhance your SEO rank.
One of the most common mistakes which most professionals make is not to hire a SEO professional during the migration as well as the other important stages such as design and development. Not hiring a professional can impact your migration initiative negatively, which could show undesirable results in SEO and sales.
How to manage same domain migration?
When you shift your site within the same domain, there is a change in the URI which impacts your SEO. URI is the address and name of your page which is stored in the search engine database. So, when you migrate, you need to make sure that the SEO is aware of the new address. This can only be done by a professional SEO expert and should be done all through the design and development process.
How to manage URLs during same domain migration?
While the URI of the site changes, the URL does not necessarily have to, especially when the site undergoes only a cosmetic makeover. Rewrite the URL codes and change the new URI to the previous URI which is familiar to SEO. Rewrite as many URLs as possible and ensure that all the URLs for the important pages in your site are modified in this manner.
You can 301 redirects in order to retain much of the link popularity and ensure that the new site also enjoys the same popularity. In case it is not possible to use these redirects, you can use certain cross domain canonical tags for the same purpose. Between the two options, 301 redirects are the better ones.
Another option which marketing personnel have is to use both sites, new and old, at the same time in order to ensure that there are not broken links. This can be safely done by applying 301 redirects to previous URIs. In case this is not done, two pages fall under duplicity policy for being overly similar. Site ranking could drop significantly.
How to optimize navigation during same domain migration?
Redesign can change navigation modes in the website. So, you need to check every implication which an URI change can have on navigation. Efforts should be made not to bring a lot of changes in navigation mode. This could affect SEO as well as target traffic. In any case, the site map must be revamped and freshly prepared in accordance to the new design.
Since there are a number of technical implications to be understood and manipulated, hiring a professional serves the purpose greatly. There are several challenges to be dealt with such as implications of drastic change and dangers of duplicity. A professional can handle these issues and ensure smoother migration.