SEO Essentials for Migrating Websites


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SEO throughout the migration process CAN result in little to no loss in rankings and traffic, improved impressions and CTR, and minimal fallout!

Dana Lookadoo's presentation at SMX West 2012 presents a high-level overview and checklist for avoiding possible fallout of a website migration.

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SEO Essentials for Migrating Websites

  1. 1. SEO Essentials For Your Website Migration SMX West 2012 Dana Lookadoo . @lookadoo . March 1, 2012 @YoYoSE
  2. 2. Avoiding Migration FalloutSEO throughout thesite migration processcan result in little to noloss in rankings andtraffic, improvedimpressions and CTR,and…minimal fallout! @YoYoSE
  3. 3. Close Your EyesImagine you’re an SEO andget the client announcement…Your client explains that they"had no idea it would bethis involved!" @YoYoSE
  4. 4. True StoryClient story from hell via @netmeg – A relaunch takePLANNING! @YoYoSE
  5. 5. Give me a “P!”It’s all about… P L A N N I N G ! Either plan details of your site relaunch or loose rankings & traffic @YoYoSE
  6. 6. SEO Website Migration Stages Discovery & Data Collection Variables Baseline Metrics Planning & Implementation Content, Keywords, IA URLS & Redirects Launch & Clean-up Go-Live Gotchas LinksMigration steps: Gather your facts, plan content structure &URLs, go live & clean-up links. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  7. 7. Discovery & Data Collection Uncover Migration Variables Benchmark Site MetricsPhase 1 of a site migration is to discover the variables& collect benchmark data. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  8. 8. Migration VariablesWhat’s going to change? Design URLs IA Structure Content & Meta Plug-ins & FunctionalityGather all your facts BEFORE developers & designers gettheir hands dirty with a relaunch. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  9. 9. To Design or Not To Design? Mirror the content order. Keep home page links. Retain link structure.Hold off on redesign by 1-2 months after migration. Neweverything to search engines will kill kittens. @lookadoo @YoYoSE
  10. 10. Know Thy Internal Links!!! Maintain link juice to key pages by preserving navigation, fo oters, home page links. Do not launch to find an entire section is only linked to from deep pages & not from the home page anymore! @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  11. 11. Know Thy Top Pages Google Webmaster Tools: Your site on the web > Internal links > Download CSV of key Which target pages and how many links are pointing to them. pages Open Site Explorer have the (.org): most Link Metrics > Top Pages > Download CSV > sort by Inbound links? Links. Bonus Metrics: Page Authority, Linking Root DomainsUncover top pages w most internal links via GoogleWebmaster Tools or Open Site Explorer. @lookadoo @YoYoSE
  12. 12. Uncover Top Pages – Google Webmaster Tools @YoYoSE
  13. 13. Uncover Top Pages - Open Site Explorer @YoYoSE
  14. 14. Weekly Baseline Metrics Pages Indexed | Cache Date | Page Rank | Home Page Authority Domain Authority | Google Webmaster Tools Errors Image & “Strategy” Credit: SEER Interactive checklistBaseline Metrics - SEO Website Redesign by @SEERInteractive @lookadoo @YoYoSE
  15. 15. Monthly Baseline MetricsTraffic Sources | Key Pages | Unique Visitors | Pages/Visit | Bounce Rate | Time on Site Track baseline KPIs monthly: traffic sources, key pages, pages/visit, bounce rate, time on site @lookadoo @YoYoSE
  16. 16. Monthly Baseline MetricsTraffic Sources | Key Pages | Unique Visitors | Pages/Visit | Bounce Rate | Time on Site Track baseline KPIs monthly: traffic sources, key pages, pages/visit, bounce rate, time on site @lookadoo @YoYoSE
  17. 17. Organic TrafficTraffic Sources | Key Pages | Unique Visitors | Pages/Visit | Bounce Rate | Time on Site Chart out organic traffic to measure pre & post relaunch visibility. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  18. 18. Social TrafficTraffic Sources | Key Pages | Unique Visitors | Pages/Visit | Bounce Rate | Time on Site Measure impact on social. Chart out LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Google+. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  19. 19. Planning & Implementation Content Audit Keywords & Information Architecture URLs & RedirectsPhase 2 of a site relaunch = auditing content, mappingkeywords, IA & URL structure & 1-1 redirects. @lookadoo @YoYoSE
  20. 20. Step 0 – Put the Dev Site into Protective Custody robots.txt - Disallow User- Password-protect User-agent: agent: * the staging site. * Disallow: / Disallow: / Bad robots & good people can still get in & run the stop sign. Put up barriers. Password-protect your baby!Don’t leak your staging site to Google. Step 0 is to put aDisallow in your robots.txt. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  21. 21. Content Audit – Whatcha Got?What types of content? Text Images Video PDFs RateWhat’s moving Does page pages:to the new need Redundant prominentsite? Outdated link focus? TrivialWhat’s indexed? filetype:pdf @YoYoSE
  22. 22. IIS SEO Toolkit – Content TypesUse IIS SEO Toolkit to identify types of content on the oldsite – text, images, PDFs, etc. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  23. 23. IIS SEO Toolkit URL Heading Status code Is External Title Keywords Description Last Modified Canonical URL Linked By Count Content Encoding Linking To Count Content Length Time taken Content Type URL-Directory Content Type URL-Host Normalized URL-Scheme Has Links Violation Has Violations Count Hash HeadersExport URLs from IIS SEO Toolkit to get a CSV scrape ofthe site to build a content audit. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  24. 24. Keyword ResearchRedesign?New URLs?Revised IA?Strategize &map thosekeywords! Image Credit: SEOGadget migration/Surviving a Site Migration by @richardbaxter via @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  25. 25. Redirect 1-to-1Say “NO!” to site-wide redirects! Map page-to-page. Retain site hierarchy & structure. No time for 1-to-1 Large or e-commerce redirects? site? Redirect top (key) pages. Set automation rules.Download @YoYoSEO’s Redirects via @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  26. 26. Launch & Clean-up Final Days Before Launch Go-Live Gotchas Links @YoYoSE
  27. 27. Final Days - Launch Labor Pains Try to break the site!  Broken links  Multiple browsers New Domain? Keep both active. 503 (Service Unavailable) Mail Server? Secure Login Areas?  Notify users!DO NOT turn off the old server! DNS propagation can take time.@lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  28. 28. LaunchYou can expect a drop in rankings for 2-4 weeksafter relaunch. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  29. 29. Post-Launch Clean-up Remove the robots.txt Disallow. Update/submit your XML sitemap. If a new domain, add and verify your site in Google’s Webmaster Tools. Fill out a change of address in Webmaster Tools for a domain switch. Check Header Response codes. Keep track of crawling errors in Bing & Google Webmaster Tools to detect 301 redirect problems @YoYoSE
  30. 30. Thank God for Google Webmaster Tools BEWARE of the unknowns… Check those 404 errors Check indexation @YoYoSE
  31. 31. Links… Monitor 404s often Reclaim linksKeep the juice flowing toyour relaunched baby!Clean-up links after launch. Stay tuned for @Rhea’s juicyinsights on link reclamation. @lookadoo #SMX @YoYoSE
  32. 32. Dana Lookadoo SEO Consultant, Trainer Yo! Yo! SEO Agency focus is Word-of-Mouth SEO, helping clients optimize their online conversation. . @lookadoo . @YoYoSEO