In a migration, planning and having a strategy is equally important as knowing what you need to do from a technical point of view. Planning can be even more crucial in a large organization where the developer team is often not in the same location as the project manager/project owner responsible for the website. For this reason, the ideal situation is for an SEO to be included from the beginning of the project.
Below are 5 tips that will help SEOs better plan their migration:
If an SEO is involved in a migration, there is a good chance that this is because it’s a complex website migration which implies a new server, CMS, design, content and URLs. In a perfect world, you would migrate one step at a time, but most of the time, everything happens at once. That’s why it’s important to plan as much as possible to minimize the risk. It’s not just the SEO who needs to plan, but also the person responsible for the new website. This will result in a project planning (see image below).
By looking at the planning, an SEO can see when developers are working on a project and define when the SEO jobs cross the developers’ work. The two most crucial moments in the project planning are the tech set-up and the go-live.
- Go-live: There are some obvious reasons that explain why it’s important to know when a website goes live, such as knowing when the job needs to be delivered. Nevertheless, there are some less obvious reasons, such as knowing when it’s the right time to test everything with developers and knowing when it’s possible to ask for some more changes. The closer developers and POs/project managers are to the go-live, the more they feel the pressure and less time they will probably dedicate to SEO issues. That’s why it’s important to test everything in advance and not on the day before the go-live.
While the two previous steps are fundamental for an SEO, it’s also important to plan when to test. The more tests done on the staging website, the less the risk of discovering a problem during the go-live. Some things such as the redirection map need to be tested with the support of the development team, so it’s important to also plan the dependencies.