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Avoiding a website migration disaster

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Watch my site migration talk here: https://goo.gl/jP1PIM

BrightonSEO deck September 2016 featuring examples of failed migrations and top tips on how to get a website migration right.

Published in: Marketing

Avoiding a website migration disaster

  1. 1. How to avoid a site migration disaster Jon Earnshaw @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com September 2016
  2. 2. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com What and why?
  3. 3. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Potentially one of the most dangerous online marketing adventures
  4. 4. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com Here’s a classic example
  5. 5. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Platform Migration - unnamed website loses all organic visibility
  6. 6. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com And here’s another
  7. 7. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics A high street bank - appears to suffer a loss of visibility
  8. 8. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Turns out to be a ‘straightforward’ TLD migration
  9. 9. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com The Overall Outcome?
  10. 10. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Organic Visibility After 15 days 28% visibility loss
  11. 11. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Organic Visibility After 75 days 35% visibility loss
  12. 12. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Pre Migration Visibility Index - grouping the terms together Original TLD
  13. 13. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Pre and Post Migration Visibility Index - grouping the terms together Original TLD New TLD Never quite recovered from the loss
  14. 14. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com And this is where the rumours start! www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics
  15. 15. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com The old ‘migration myth’
  16. 16. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics 60% - 70% It depends 45% it could die
  17. 17. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com But… It doesn’t have to be this way!
  18. 18. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com This is a great opportunity!
  19. 19. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com Five key things to get right
  20. 20. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com 1. Involve SEO from the start 2. Redirects and mapping 3. Utilise DATA 4. Make sure there’s an owner 5. Keep the stage from getting out
  21. 21. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com 1. Involve SEO from the start
  22. 22. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics ● Project resources and scope normally set very, very early on ● Involve SEO in scoping and planning to build SEO in at all appropriate touch points ● This person MUST be experienced in migrations ● Allow SEO person to build relationships and establish credibility with the team
  23. 23. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com 2. Redirects and mapping
  24. 24. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics ● Crawl your site ● Check for old subdomains and orphan pages ● Create a detailed redirect map ● Every page matters - especially the priority ones ● If you’re in pre-build phase - review the theming ● Thoroughly test in staging and after launch
  25. 25. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com And if you don’t? @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com
  26. 26. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Incorrectly migrated content The result of a failure to preserve authority Many old URLs still indexed - months on Steady rise in soft 404s
  27. 27. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Impact on the SERPS? High value terms 01 April 2016
  28. 28. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics The cause and the fix ● Highly inappropriate redirects ● Substantial number of pages 302 to home ● Audit to determine appropriate redirects ● Regaining authority will take time!
  29. 29. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com 3. Utilise DATA
  30. 30. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics ● Benchmark current visibility early on ● How are we performing? ● Look for opportunities and feedback ● Determine current extent of conflict ● Who’s doing better and why? ● Find/modify existing redirects to avoid chains ● Monitor the migration window
  31. 31. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com The migration window What to expect...
  32. 32. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com Imagine you were #1 for “Best Bollywood Movies”
  33. 33. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics
  34. 34. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Straight switch Original domain New domain migration window
  35. 35. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Brief coexistence then switch Original domain New domain migration window
  36. 36. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Good uplift New domain Original domain migration window 30 position upliftPrevious conflict resolved
  37. 37. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Another good uplift New domain Original domain migration window 20 position uplift Previous ‘glass ceiling’
  38. 38. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com 4. Make sure there’s an owner
  39. 39. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics ● Give one person responsibility to run the migration ● Involve them throughout the project to ensure they grasp the architecture and the quirks of the site ● Empower them to make and enforce decisions
  40. 40. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com 5. Keep the stage from getting out
  41. 41. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics ● Remember that robots.txt only blocks crawling, NOT indexing ● Use IP whitelisting ● Require a login ● Noindex meta
  42. 42. @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com Summary
  43. 43. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics ● SEO is not the icing - it’s a key ingredient ● You can’t just SEO it! ● Get expert help from the start ● See this as an opportunity ● Don’t always believe the old ‘migratory myth’ ● Utilise data - before, during and after
  44. 44. www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics Use this as your business case www.pi-datametrics.com@jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics
  45. 45. Thank You Jon Earnshaw @jonearnshaw @PiDatametrics www.pi-datametrics.com September 2016

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