A change is always a fresh breeze of experience and events in life since it allows you to look at the world more broadly. Websites also need such kind of a refreshment. No one likes monotony. More importantly, no one likes when the website works with flaws. Then the question of a website migration or redesign emerges.
Want to redesign or make a CMS migration with all the rankings and SEO preserved? Then we’ve got something here for you.
1. Crawling your old site
If you’re migrating from your current CMS, you should take into consideration your URL’s. Check whether your URL’s are identified, accessed and reported. If you ignore this step all your SEO rankings will drop, since you need to migrate your addresses. There are some tools which may help you, like Google Webmasters or Xenu Link Sleuth. Don’t forget to export URL’s into Excel because it’s needed for the further migration process.
2. Choosing pages with the highest traffic
Pay special attention to the pages with inbound links as the ones help promote your rankings. Inbound links send people from other websites directly to yours. During the migration process, your URL structure might change which can cause the inbound links loss. To identify the most connected links you can use Google Webmasters (or another equivalent, like Open Site Explorer) and then download the doc in CSV format.
3. Setting 301 redirects
This step includes setting up temporary 301 redirects which redirect pages of your old site to the new one. In order to avoid any errors, it’s better if you set up manual 301 redirects of the most important pages. Leave the pages which have little significance. Your rankings will be transferred to your new site. Besides, it tells Google that your website moved.
4. Domain change
A bit of stats to pay attention to:
.com = 126m websites registered (making it the most usable name for websites)
.net = 15m websites registered
.org = 10m websites registered
.info = 5m websites registered
.biz = 2m websites registered
Are you changing your domain? Then it’s time to inform Google about it. Create a new account for your new website.
5. Crawl your new website. Conducting performance test
One second delay equals to reducing customer’s satisfaction to 16%
Try not missing this part, since it’s good opportunity to crawl your migrated website for 404’s and broken links. Use Webmasters Tools for finding flaws in your website and fix them. Otherwise, your rankings will be stricken badly as it’s, in fact, a website with the nice cover but empty inside.
Don’t forget about testing your site performance as well. It influences site’s indexation. Run testing on your the most important pages. You can try “Pingdom” tool or find some other equivalents.
6. Rankings monitoring
Half of all search queries entered in a web search engine makes up 4 or more words.
It’s all about ranking keywords, and you should gather them as many as possible. Analyze keywords and see which are profitable and bring you more visitors and which aren’t. Use Google Analytics or any similar tool for this stage, track your rankings and find weak sides of your website.
Follow these useful steps of successful redesign or migration, and you’ll see that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Besides, to make your migration more smooth, use CMS2CMS for automated effortless CMS migration.