The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know. A Website Migration is mainly used by SEO and web development professionals to describe an event where a website undergoes massive changes in platform, content, structure, design, or UX. Website Migrations are also used to describe changes in a website’s location or URL. Domain name changes, protocol changes, and even top-level domain name changes are all frequently seen types of Website Migrations.
Scenarios where you’d need Website Migration are a dime a dozen in The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know, as there are many common use-cases for Website Migrations. For example, maybe you’re updating your website to secure servers and moving to an HTTPS domain.
In other cases, company acquisitions are another excellent example of a use case for Website Migrations since the larger company would absorb the acquired company’s website.
Typically, one of the most common results of Website Migration is significantly lowered organic traffic for the website, resulting from the reduced Search Engine Visibility.
If your website has a particular audience it’s been cultivating; you can lose the entire audience if you don’t invest in significant outreach measures to ensure you retain as much of your audience as possible.
Before we really get into it, it might be a good idea to take a second and learn about the concept of Search Engine Visibility.
The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know – What Is Search Engine Visibility?
Search Engine Visibility. The share of traffic received by a website from organic Google searches. In today’s competitive world of digital marketing, good Search Engine Visibility is what gets online businesses the traffic they need to stay alive.
On the other hand, lousy Search Engine Visibility can kill a website within weeks, as it means the business isn’t making the most of its online presence.
That needs to be a little simpler. Let’s take that into perspective for a second. Suppose there’s a particular keyword that’s important to your field, and your website is SEO optimized to rank high for Google searches that contain that keyword. The number you rank at is your Search Engine Visibility rank for that particular keyword.
Of course, if you haven’t guessed already, it’s impossible to have good Search Engine Visibility for every single keyword related to your field. Here, you also see the first disadvantage of Website Migrations: even if you execute the SEO process on your new website with military precision, you’ll still lose social shares and Google rankings due to the migration.
So now you understand concepts like Website Migrations, Search Engine Visibility, and how the former impacts the latter. That’s not all, is it?
The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know
Types of Website Migration Services: A Difference in Processes
Knowing More About Different Website Migration Services
While it’s generally defined as changing your website URL or link to a new one, Website Migration isn’t so simple in reality. A Website Migration could mean something like a URL change, a redesign or rebranding of the website, an architecture/ infrastructure/ security update, or even any combination of these factors.
When talking about Website Migration, it’s essential to understand that it comes in many flavours, with some being minor changes to structure and design, while others are entire website overhauls.
You’ll find several types of migration services that have become popular. Differentiated based on what the change is, they are:
- Merging Content: Say that you have two pages about the same content that are dividing your website traffic, creating an inefficient process. Merging them is one of the most common types of Website Migration.
- Changing URLs: While the reason for changing your website URL could be anything, generally, it’s something like improving links for readability or fixing incorrect URLs.
- Switching from HTTP to HTTPS: Google advises website owners to transfer their website over to HTTPS, which offers people viewing their site a secure, encrypted connection.
- Switching to A New CMS: Switching to a new CMS is also another popular type of Website Migration. You generally see this when websites have grown significantly and exponentially and need a higher-end CMS to deal with more traffic and content.
- Design-Based Migrations: While it might not sound like it’s worth it, many websites choose to migrate their website so they can have a professional website designer restructure and redesign their website to offer a clean, simple aesthetic.
Details Behind the Website Migration Process: Pros, Cons, And Use-Cases
The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know
Website Migration Scenarios
Why you would choose to migrate your website at all is an important question. It’s true that determination, the right game plan, and hard work take Website Migration a long way and get your previous following back in just a couple of months.
However, the fact still stands that your website will remain low on Google rankings for at least a couple of months, meaning your online outreach will be that much lower. So why would you choose to migrate your website at all?
Here are some examples of scenarios and reasons which could trigger the want for Website Migration services:
- Corporate Restructuring: Mergers and acquisitions are a daily part of life for large corporations continuously seeking ways to improve their services to clients. You would see Website Migration resulting from corporate restructuring when two companies merge to offer a combined set of services. It’s also possible when a giant corporation buys out a small startup to use or provide the innovative service they’re based around.
- Management Overhauls: Companies have a Digital Marketing department responsible for maximizing the outreach their website generates. New management in these departments often chooses Website Migration not long after being appointed. It gets a better, more up-to-date team of designers and developers to upgrade the website. On the other hand, sometimes it’s as simple as moving from HTTP to secure HTTPS domains.
Consolidating Assets: Businesses don’t always have a single website. You could have the main website for business service and several satellite blogs and websites with additional content and information to educate clients. The thing is, this isn’t exactly ideal or even efficient. Companies that want to bring several websites under
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- Time For A Reboot: Website development has progressed leaps and bounds in the last couple of years alone. Recent advancements make it possible to track different metrics and understand how beneficial digital marketing services are for you. Owners of older websites that want to take advantage of these features need to migrate their website to a modern, secure HTTPS link and take the time to redesign their website while they’re at it.
- Username or Website Name Changes: There are thousands, if not more, of blogs and websites that have only a single person looking after them: their owner. A Website Migration is a distinct possibility if this user decides to change their online username and wants their new URL to reflect it.
- The same applies to when individuals wish to change the name of their website, which automatically means they’ll have to buy a new domain and migrate their website over to it.
Now that you know why businesses or individuals would choose to migrate their website at all, you should check up on the benefits migrating your website can have, and especially the disadvantages as well.
The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know
The Pros and Cons of Website Migration
- All the warnings and disadvantages stated above might have made Website Migration sound like something you’d only go for when your website is on its last legs.
- In reality, while website migration does have disadvantages, it can generally be overcome by hard work and a thorough game plan that covers all the aspects of Website Migration.
- Even if you discount that particular fact, there are two intrinsic advantages to Website Migration that make them a good option:
- 1. Availability: If you still own your old domain name, you can set up an automated process that redirects visitors to your new website. This means that if Website Migration is carried out with a hundred percent efficiency, you won’t lose any organic traffic or business opportunities from the migration. This point is crucial for E-Commerce websites and websites that have an online shop.
- 2. Starting Over Fresh: Website Migration also offers website owners a unique opportunity: the perfect time to have their website redesigned and upgraded with the latest development techniques. Savvy website owners utilize the several weeks of lower Google rankings by upgrading important components like design, structure, and UX.
- 3. Carrying Over Your Following: The second benefit is taking several steps to ensure that you don’t lose the following and audience your old website built up. From redirect systems, proper digital marketing, and other outreach options, migrating to a new domain name doesn’t mean that you have to build up a following from scratch!
- And this is the part that scares Digital Marketers that know what they’re doing. Website owners, stakeholders, designers, and even content strategists might be excited about the prospect of a fresh, new website. Still, Digital Marketing teams know that weeks of low Google rankings could quickly turn into a downward spiral for the business!
- Along with risks like that, there are several other disadvantages of Website Migrations that you should think about before choosing the service for your website:
- 1. A Notoriously Long Process: Possibly the worst thing about Website Migration is how long the basic process takes. Converting your website, the hundreds or even thousands of links to images or videos, site links are shown on Google, and many other things can take several weeks. It takes even longer if you get your site properly SEO optimized, meaning your website is down for a significant amount of time.
- 2. Losing Your Google Page Rank: Google’s algorithms are constantly updated and changing to fit recent updates in Internet infrastructure and cybersecurity. Migrating to a new website means losing your Google Page Ranking for weeks or even months until you can build a viewer count again. You can take steps to mitigate this by spreading awareness about the new URL for your website before it goes down to migrate.
- 3. Evaluating Traffic Becomes Hard: This is a big problem for smaller websites that depend on having regular traffic to keep them popular and relevant. After Website Migration, all the evaluation data and metrics offered by Google Analytics are still stored under your old domain’s listing.
- However, don’t be dispirited by these: if you take the proper steps, you can mitigate all of these disadvantages, and even more, to some extent. You can solve issues of evaluating traffic by importing your data from your old domain, and you can reacquire your Google Page Rank by SEO optimizing your website.
A Guide to Coming Out on Top With Your Website Migration
Steps To Ensure Your Migration is Successful
Migration isn’t a process that you should ever rush into. If you find that the pros outweigh the cons and decide to go ahead with your Website Migration, you should always read up and gather as much information on the process as possible.
Knowing the usual steps to ensure a successful migration helps you plan for the future and confirm that the professionals working on the website are doing everything you’d want them to.
While there are lots of things you can do to improve your website migration, here’s a collection of the best essential tips and tricks to Ensure Your Migration is Successful:
1. Make the New Website Better Than the Old One
You’d think that this wouldn’t need to be said, but a surprising amount of people forget to add significant improvements to their website during a migration process. Other times, designers and developers can get over-eager and add way too many components to a website, making it laggy.
This can be very harmful to websites, as research and studies over the years have proven that people are less likely to go through a website that takes a long time to load!
Suppose you’re moving to a new site. In that case, it pays dividends to make sure that your new site loads faster, offers a cleaner and easy-to-read aesthetic, and is generally more SEO friendly. This guarantees you can retain and keep growing the audience your website is targeted at.
2. Guarantee The Establishing of A Thorough 301 Redirect Map
Redirect Mapping is possibly one of the most important aspects of Website Migration and something you absolutely need to look after when migrating your website. Search Engines require specific instructions and addresses as to the new location of your website.
Why you ask, is Redirect Mapping so important? The answer lies in Link Equity: the value, brand, or identity people associate with your link. If you fail to ensure proper Redirect Mapping, people won’t be able to use links to your older website to reach your newer website, which can make you lose all the popularity and audience you’ve built up.
When migrating your website, make sure every link on your older website is mapped or redirected to a newer link pointing to a page on your more recent website. And especially, don’t map all links on your older site to the homepage of your more unknown site!
3. Get A Jumpstart on Promoting Your Website’s New Location
Everybody who decides to migrate their website has a single burning question: even if they already have a cultivated audience, how can they get them to stop talking about the old website and get them onto the new one? While we’re on this topic, how can a website owner rebuild their Link Equity once they migrate to a new website?
This is where Digital Marketing and PR professionals come into the picture. The period following Website Migration needs notable investments in Digital Marketing and Outreach to ensure that people know about your site.
It’s good to contact all websites with articles or blogs linking to you and let them know about the address change. A pre-promotional campaign is the best way to prepare for Website Migration since it lets visitors know about the change in URL ahead of time.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know.
Common Doubts and Questions Regarding the Risks of Website Migration
While changing your website’s URL might sound simple at first go, it’s a highly complex process that involves changing thousands upon thousands of different site links, image links, and even video links for large websites with established blogs. Before you rush ahead with your migration, take the time to check out this list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Website Migrations:
● The Most Obvious Question: If It Negatively Impacts Your Online Following, Why Would You Ever Migrate Your Website?
It’s undeniable that Website Migrations are an unavoidable part of life for large companies and businesses that have been active for a significant amount of time. However, if you operate a small, personal blog or website, nobody would blame you for asking why you would ever choose to migrate your website.
This could happen when there’s a more extensive, more famous website with the same name, or even if a website in the same field invests in SEO services that outperform yours. In that case, a Website Migration can help you get a fresh start with a more optimized website.
● I Own A Small, Personal Blog. Is There Ever A Situation Where I’d Choose Website Migration?
Yes! Today, competition in every field is cutthroat, and if you want to make the most of your time on the Internet, it’s essential to use every single factor to your advantage. A typical example of this is changing your website name to an already famous name on Google.
Now, alright, it’s essential to say that this is never, by itself, a reason to migrate your website. It’s more of a side advantage and works the following way. When somebody googles that famous website or celebrity name, they’ll also see your website not far down the Google rankings.
Given the large following in Celebrity fandom culture these days, even if 2% of the people who Google that particular name click on your website, that’s a considerable boost in viewer count for personal blog owners.
● What’s the Best Way to Approach Website Migrations?
The best way to approach Website Migrations is to try your best to avoid them altogether. No, really. Website Migrations make you lose out on huge website value, a large part of your online following and present several other disadvantages that make your website profitable and low-ranking on Google searches for weeks afterwards.
This is why if you’re thinking of migrating your website’s URL, the first thing you need to do is consider what would be implications, pros, and cons of such migrations and gauge if you need to migrate your website.
● What Professionals Would Be Involved In the Process of Website Migration?
Professional Website Migration services include much the same range of talent and skilled developers that website development does. A website developer, designer, or coder (or team, in the case of large websites with thousands of links) and content strategists are the two people you’ll always need for professional Website Migrations.
In most cases, and this applies to smaller blogs, you should also get Digital Marketing services to suit your needs. Digital Marketers generally warn against Website Migration but will gladly help you optimize your migrated website for keywords and fields for their fee.
● Lastly, Is Website Migration Expensive?
Investing in your website is always a gamble. Unless you’re talking about surefire services like SEO or digital marketing, investing in your website won’t pay off immediately, instead of returning its value in the long-term popularity. Website Migration, which isn’t free, also comes under the list of possible expenses.
Now, as to its expensiveness, there are several fees and costs associated with Website Migration. Domain Name Transfer, the actual Website Migration service itself, SEO services to retain and grow your previous following, and maybe even copywriting services all rack up costs, which can easily cost you above $400.
So yes, Website Migration is expensive. It’s not high enough to make it a complete impossibility. It lands squarely at the beginning of what people consider to be costly, making gauging whether you need to migrate your website a priority.
Final Note on Website Migration: A Conclusion
If there’s something you need to take away from all of the information here, it’s the fact that Website Migration is never a straightforward process. It’s riddled with potholes and challenges that encourage you to find new and innovative PR and Marketing methods to retain your old following.
Make sure you get a professional Website Migration service that can take care of the different aspects of the migration. Substandard services and unskilled IT staff can easily screw up small steps in the process, making you lose months and even years of social media shares and link equity!
Following steps, advice, and guidelines outlined in The Website Migration Guide You Need to Know helps you ensure that you can have a successful migration while mitigating as much damage as possible.
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