WEBSITE SEO & CONTENT MIGRATION GUIDE CHECKLIST
Keep URLs and meta data at hand for a smooth migration process
Migrate your content in batches to prioritise the high-value pages and keep your project organised
QA content as you migrate, to efficiently ensure all content is optimised and of high-quality for the launch of your newly designed website
DECIDING ON WEBSITE PRIORITIES
With some luck, your old site will already likely be set up with tracking within Google Analytics or a similar analytics suite. This provides you with a bevy of data to pore over, that’ll be packed with all sorts of insights regarding your most (and least) trafficked and engaged pages – as well as those which best convert visitors.
With this to hand, you’ll know which pages and content to prioritise – as well as those legacy ones which may now be surplus to requirement. This should provide you with focus around what is actually worth migrating, streamlining the process and resource required.
Additionally, there’ll be certain reasons driving your site migration. Whatever these are –whether they’re to improve your website journey or to reach new audience segments – the content you keep should align with the new priorities that you’ve identified.
You’ll likely find that content for key landing pages for example, may change significantly, meaning that consolidation, editing or new content creation is required to satisfy your new structure. This leads us onto our next step…
CREATING A SITEMAP
With data gathered and priorities identified, the creation of a new sitemap lets things take shape, showing where existing content will sit and highlight the gaps where new or restructured content will be required.
It pays to keep things simple here and your sitemap should be based on your website goals and the information you have around target users and their needs. The simpler the site is to navigate, the better.
WHO WILL LEAD THE MIGRATION?
The goal of any website migration is to transfer your content while mitigating any medium-term losses in traffic as much as possible. To do that, you’ll need a team of people who know their stuff that you can rely on. Think web devs, SEOs, UX specialists and content boffins. All of them will have something to bring to the table in their own way, it’s up to you to decide who’ll be along for the ride.
WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED?
In an ideal world, you’ll have a crack team of migration experts who are all raring to go. In that case, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to spend much, if any, time training everyone up. However, not every business will have this luxury. That means you’ll have to work out how much training will be needed and when.
Whether it’s getting them used to the new website’s Content Management System, training them on website accessibility, or showing them a few content best practices, if they’re new to the content migration world, then it’s up to you to carve out the necessary time for any training.
OBSTACLES WHEN MIGRATING CONTENT
This is a big one. Effective migration can be paved with all manner of different hurdles, so it’s important to know what to watch out for before your migration begins. We recommend keeping the following obstacles in mind…
If you’re migrating content from one WordPress installation to another, consider yourself lucky – there are tools at your disposal to help automate the export and import of pages and posts which you plan to bring across, but you’ll still need to identify exactly what gets pushed live in the new build and subject your content to a thorough QA review.
If you’re migrating across different platforms, it’s always a good idea to discuss migration strategy with your development team to see if they can produce scripts or access off-the-shelf integrations which reduce your team’s manual efforts.
If you’re conducting the whole process manually, it’s essential to ensure you know the differences between your old CMS and the requirements of the new one so that you can plan population effectively.
ISSUES WITH SEO
We won’t lie, content migration will affect your SEO performance if you don’t properly plan things out and migrate to a high-quality standard. Traffic, engagement and page performance can all take a hit if the new version of a page isn’t deemed to be as high-calibre by search engines as the previous. We’ll look at some key SEO considerations to be aware of later in this article.