In the evolving landscape of digital marketing, the decision to migrate or update your website is not as straightforward as a simple dev project. A website migration or update can enhance user engagement through improved experiences and innovative features as well as significantly elevate the aesthetic of your brand and your digital presence. However, the complexities of website migration demand a strategic approach to safeguard against potential pitfalls that could undermine your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and, consequently, diminish your organic traffic.

Your website, over time, accrues organic visibility and authority, contributing to its digital footprint. To ensure a seamless transition during a website overhaul, it is imperative to adopt an extremely planned approach to preserve and augment your SEO achievements.

NordicClick Tips For a Successful Website Migration

Robust Data Tracking:

Ensure your data tracking system is securely established and will remain intact throughout the migration process. It’s crucial to monitor organic data closely following the launch to promptly identify and address any decreases in traffic. Without effective data tracking, pinpointing the timing or cause of a decline becomes challenging, potentially leading to delayed responses until it’s too late.

Phased Migration:

Implementing the migration in stages offers a safeguard against comprehensive site failures. Although this systematic approach may extend the timeline, the preservation of organic traffic integrity is invaluable.

Organic Performance Audit:

Conduct a thorough audit of your website’s organic performance pre- and post-launch. This includes identifying high-value pages that necessitate replication on the new site and assessing underperforming pages for potential exclusion or enhancement. Post-launch, verify that the top-performing pages continue to attract significant traffic and maintain their keyword rankings.

Backup and Recovery:

Secure a complete backup of your existing site and associated metrics. In the event of a problematic launch, having the option to revert to the original site ensures business continuity while addressing the new site’s technical issues.

Redirect Mapping:

Aim for a one-to-one correspondence in redirect mapping to the extent feasible. This ensures that users seeking content from the old site can find equivalent or relevant content on the new site, thereby minimizing disruption to the user experience.

Error Resolution:

Proactively identify and rectify 404 errors during the migration. Addressing these technical SEO issues from the outset can prevent further traffic losses and contribute to a smoother transition.

A Client Case Study: Site Launch Gone Wrong

A client was eager to unveil their revamped website, featuring an updated navigation bar, a restructured product layout, and a modernized aesthetic to replace the old design. Despite dedicating considerable time to the development, they opted for a premature launch before achieving full readiness. 

The decision to postpone the integration of multiple languages—previously available on their old site—until after the launch, coupled with an oversight of 404 errors, significantly impacted the site’s performance. Moreover, they altered their product page URLs and eliminated numerous content-rich pages, opting instead for a design centered on endless scrolling product pages. This major overhaul removed well-established keyword strategies and resulted in the loss of pages that had been instrumental in securing high organic traffic, as the critical keywords and phrases were no longer present. 

These sweeping changes were implemented without prior consultation with our agency, leaving us with minimal opportunity to mitigate the impact of such drastic alterations. Consequently, the site experienced a significant downturn in traffic, requiring over a year to witness a recovery in organic traffic trends.

With an October 2022 launch, traffic started trending down with January 2023 being one of their worst months for organic traffic.

Immediately after the October 2022 launch, their baseline for keyword rankings immediately dropped.

In Conclusion:

The prospect of website re-platforming, while daunting, offers significant opportunities for SEO enhancement and digital growth. By adhering to these strategic considerations, your business can navigate the complexities of site migration with confidence, ensuring a successful launch and solidifying your decision’s long-term value.

Need help with an upcoming website migration? NordicClick can help!