SEO migration: What exactly is a site migration and how can you do one?

SEO migration

You’ve probably been a victim of SEO migration horror stories in which websites are severely impacted by the loss of positions in the search engines, with some parts of websites needing some time (or perhaps years) to completely recover.

Migrations of websites can be risky, however, the benefits typically exceed the risks and generally speaking, the process of transferring websites becomes more rather than just a fancy task businesses undertake to use budgets allocated throughout the year.

What is Website SEO Migration?

The process involves moving websites from a hosting system, or control system, to a different one.

In this case, for example, moving your site between http and https will require a significant restructuring in which you will redirect all your visitors to HTTPS pages via a redirect.

These kinds of SEO migrations are technically risky. It’s an intricate procedure.

The rankings will be lowered at the time of the transition and, if it’s not done correctly it can be extremely difficult to recover. The process demands planning, appropriate execution, and constant monitoring to ensure that everything is running as planned.

Why do any site SEO migration?

Despite these risk factors, why do organizations and owners of websites take on-site SEO migrations?

Here are the most important reasons for transferring a site:

  • Technology changes when you wish to change to a more advanced technology, this could mean altering your CMS or updating hardware on-premises and servers, as well as integrating platforms like Shopify as well as WordPress.
  • Website location This is the most commonly used type of move where you must move your website from one location to another. join two websites, redirect a site to a geo-redirect or rebranding.
  • Redesigning minor tweaks to the design is not required in the SEO migration process, however, major overhauls that alter the designs from top to bottom usually require the migration. For instance, establishing the mobile version of a website or constructing different websites to cater to different types of visitors depending on their geographical location.
  • Restructuring The process involves changes to website structure and hierarchy-related changes, like modifications to navigation shifting internal pages and posts, modifying the structure of URLs, and more.
  • The Content changes The fastest increasing type of SEO migration to websites that require you to modify the content, merge or delete content.
  • Hosting company change If you need to switch your hosting provider it is necessary to transfer your site to the new hosting provider.

The 5 Most Common SEO Migration Pitfalls

The Poor planning

Migration of websites is a complicated job that requires careful preparation and documentation. Poor or insufficient planning is the most common mistake that many businesses make when it comes to SEO migrations of their websites.

There are many important factors to be considered before as well as after the site’s migration. This includes:

  • The reason for site SEO migration is to improve the efficiency of your site.
  • Allocation of resources
  • Hierarchy and team structure for centralized and efficient communication and reporting
  • Time to turn around, preferably via the use of a Gantt chart to monitor the other related activities
  • Follow the migration procedure and follow the steps
  • A second plan of action should something goes wrong after the SEO migration of your website.
  • Failure to plan for these aspects could result in irreparable harm to the process of migration.

No SEO-relating reasons

Migration of websites and SEO work hand-in-hand. There are many ways that the migration affects SEO, such as:

  • Redirects
  • Site downtime
  • Index and crawl issues
  • The loss of rankings
  • Reduced organic traffic.

An improper site migration could result in one or more SEO problems and is a common error in migration.

Internal team communicat issues

Teams with multiple employees or individuals are faced with a major problem that could cause numerous issues during the migration process if they’re not all in the same boat.

For example, your marketing team fails to export all contents from CMS in the event of moving to a different hosting provider. That means that your marketing team will have to upload and publish the content manually with the new hosting company.
It’s not just an extremely tedious job, but it can cause a variety of SEO problems in the long term.

Related: 6 How to Optimizing Blog Post URL for Better SEO

The absence of a test

There are certain kinds of SEO migrations where you have to try out the new environment before making the change. This is something that many companies do not understand or lack the expertise or resources required to accomplish this.

For instance, if you’re making significant modifications to the design or content of your website, you could benefit from website staging (a private space that allows you to view and test the changes made to your website before making them live).

Making changes to your site’s current design should be avoided at all times.

Deadlines at way too short

The SEO migration of sites is a lengthy process. It is easy to rush through the process, but creating deadlines that are too short is a common error top management can make. It is because they are more focused on getting things running in the shortest time possible, with the least amount of downtime.

Website Migrat Examples

Here are some examples of a website migration to keep you prepared and informed

Unsuccessful site migration examples

Here’s an example of traffic decreased significantly after the jewelry retailer’s website was transferred to a new site (B) and afterward to a different website (C) which had a weak backlink profile.

Successful site migration examples

If a website migration is carried out properly, with the proper planning and inspection, it holds the potential to dramatically improve SERP performance across different search engines:

SEO Migration Checklist: How to Do a Migration?

It’s a risky procedure, but it holds lots of potential if executed correctly. It will help you reach your main goal, and also improve the rankings of your site, and increase organic traffic.

The easiest and most effective way to manage an SEO migration successfully is by using a migration checklist.

An SEO migration checklist provides a checklist of the steps and actions to follow to make sure you don’t skip any crucial actions. Since it’s a long multi-day, multi-day procedure that requires several teams, individuals, and technology, you will likely skip the steps.

The checklist helps simplify the transition process and allows you to keep everyone on the same page. Everyone knows what tasks they must complete and when they must perform them, and when an item on the checklist is completed you’ll know it’s finished and can proceed to the next item on the checklist.

Here are some pre as well as post-migration checklists we believe will help you in the process:

Pre-migrate checklist

The checklist for pre-migration includes tasks to be completed before the process of migration:

Crawl around on the present site

A crawl of your current website can help you learn about the structure of your site and also download a copy of it to make use of it post-migration to compare or import. A standard crawler provides you with information that is related to SEO on-page indexing, site health the URL’s structure, and indexing.

You’ll be aware of the number of pages you’ve indexed as well as your internal linking structure canonical warnings and errors, and other crucial information gathered in a crawl. this can help you to ensure that you’ve got the same structure after migration.

Reports to download to the security of information before migration

Here are the top reports that you need to take a look at and download using the crawler to prepare for future usage:

  • A list of current index URLs, including the complete list of URLs
  • Recent traffic stats. You can utilize Google Analytics or the analytics tool you’re using to download your traffic reports.
  • A detailed report on backlinks
  • Your website’s XML sitemap
  • All content, including tags, posts, pages media, categories, and many more.

Download pre-migrat keyword rankings

Keyword ranking reports are useful to compare and identify issues with SEO migration so that they can be dealt with in time.
There are many ways to download the keywords on your website’s current page:

  • Utilize a tracking tool for keyword rank tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush
  • Utilize Google Search Console and Google Analytics to download reports on keyword ranking reports and traffic estimation.

Mak the redirect map

This is crucial before the migration step.

The process of creating a redirect map involves the method of identifying pages to which existing pages on the current site will be redirected.

You can make a redirect map within Excel using the report on crawls. Make a list of all the pages indexed on the current site and create an entirely new URL for each. The goal of the redirect maps is to make sure that the old URL is not removed from redirection. It should be a 1-way redirect.

Technical audit of the staging site

Does your staging site appear to be functionally safe and ready for deployment?

Conducting a technical audit can help you assess if the website has the technical foundations and is prepared. It is a comprehensive technical audit, not just focused on SEO.

The most important technical checks are:

  • Analysis of navigation and site structure
  • SEO audit
  • Crawl report
  • Analyzing UX and design
  • Speed of site performance
  • Sitemap analysis


A successful SEO migration of your website is a technical procedure! It’s not hard to perform SEO migration of your site on your own. Several companies perform it on their own. It is important to follow the post and pre-migration checklist and stay clear of major mistakes to ensure that you aren’t doing more damage than good for your website.

The probability that you’ll make a mistake is high.

A single mistake and it could take months to repair.

We can help. Let the site migration and technical aspects to us, while you concentrate on your work. Contact Growth Minded Marketing for help in site migration as well as technical SEO assistance.

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