Regularly revamping your digital presence is a key part of running a business today. However, many think that replacing a website is as simple as creating a new site and deleting the old one, or just copying and pasting the content from one platform to another. As straightforward as those options sound, we’re here to tell you the hard-cold truth: they can kill your business online.
Here are five of the most common pitfalls of website migration, and how to avoid them.
Migrating your website is so much more than just “moving it over” or starting afresh.
A good starting point is to ask for feedback from your content, SEO, UX, and analytics teams and put together a list of the most significant issues and opportunities in the project. Proceed by working out what the potential ROI of addressing each one of these would be, and then choose an option based on your objectives and available resources.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Before you go any further, you have to be honest with yourself: is your budget enough for the migration to be worth it?
Generally speaking, it’s recommended to include a buffer of at least 20% in additional resources than you initially think a project will require. This will make sure you are prepared to deal with any unexpected delays.
In other cases, it’s important to consider that if you are just dealing with a few SEO issues, a website migration may not be necessary and may end up costing you more money and a heap of problems.
The world would be way easier if we could just write a quick letter to Google explaining our URL and content changes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that.
One of the biggest risks migrating a website poses is losing your traffic and revenue levels after the migration takes place. Google doesn’t take too kindly to major website changes; that’s why it’s imperative to keep SEO at the forefront of every decision.
Consider hiring an SEO professional to help you manage an airtight redirect plan. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend your time and effort fixing 404s to correct traffic loss, or patching 301s so users are not sent to weird places.
Why? Because if you consider the design first, it will implement a restrictive navigation and URL structure, and you’ll then spend your time, effort, and budget in repairing the backlog of maintenance.
Many of the projects we take over at Purr are from businesses who are frustrated by their developers’ lack of SEO knowledge. When we win projects with technical debt, we have to invest in repairing the backlog of maintenance to be able to move forward.
Migrating a website takes time -loads of it. Sometimes so much so that senior stakeholders may insist on a launch-first-fix-issues-later strategy.
This is one of the most common pitfalls, and it will disturb your long-term goals, not to mention that it could end up affecting your website’s performance for months on end.
Web migration occurs in phases, and you must be prepared for migration issues that lead to changes in expectations, schedules, and results. Be patient, and devote an equal amount of time and effort to every area.
One Final Thought
Website migrations play a crucial role in SEO, and its overall digital marketing efforts. However, they often end up being more complicated than initially planned. Not taking it seriously can have devastating effects on revenue and website traffic. If you want to ensure success, you must put in the adequate work and resources.
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