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Don't F*ck Up Your Site Migration - Serena Pearson

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Serena is SEO Manager at Kaizen, with a focus in tech SEO. She has managed to survive in the search industry so far through cake bribery and a keen interest in Analytics and Excel.
Her session is titled "Don't Mess Up Your Site Migration" where she will talk through the process of leading a site migration, with information on common issues and how to manage stakeholders and expectations during the process.

Published in: Marketing
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Don't F*ck Up Your Site Migration - Serena Pearson

  1. 1. @exceldaddy Don’t F*ck Up Your Site Migration Serena Pearson
  2. 2. @exceldaddy Agenda ● Introduction ● Client Background & On-Boarding ● Pre-Migration Preparation ● Staging Environment ● Post-Migration Actions ● Learnings & Analysis
  3. 3. @exceldaddy This is me ● SEO Manager At Kaizen (Content Marketing) ● You can call me Excel Daddy ● Undying love for Technical SEO ● Almost didn’t get my first SEO job because I arrived with a skateboard
  4. 4. @exceldaddy The 5 Stages Of A Site Migration Organic performance Indexation figures Relaying results to different stakeholders What next? Learnings & Analytics Search Console actions Full site audit Check against benchmarking figures Consistent monitoring Post-Migration URL mapping Prioritising SEO changes Full technical and content monitoring Implementation checks Staging Environment Benchmarking Mapping Identifying SEO opportunities Reporting setup Pre-Migration Understand the purpose Manage expectations Relationship with stakeholders Budgeting time On-Boarding
  5. 5. @exceldaddy @exceldaddy On-Boarding
  6. 6. @exceldaddy Understand the purpose of the migration On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics New Legal Policy? Rebrand? New Markets? Closing Markets? New Products? New Target Audience? Helping understand why they are making the changes can impact your activity, and better understand the other changes being made to the site, so that you can monitor and review them.
  7. 7. @exceldaddy Know your stakeholders On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics ● Who is initiating this migration? ● Why are they doing this migration? ● Who are the devs in charge of implementing the redirects? ● Who are the people managing the content? ● Who are the people managing the other digital media channels, and need to update their links? ● Anyone else? ● Who will we need to report to?
  8. 8. @exceldaddy Traffic will always drop On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Manage your client’s expectations. Clients generally understand that one website needs to point to the other. But it’s not just that, make sure you, and your client, understand the risks. The minimum you should expect is for the traffic to return back to normal levels.
  9. 9. @exceldaddy … and how much time you spend fixing another person’s mistake. Budget your time effectively. Do not underestimate how much time you will need On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics
  10. 10. @exceldaddy @exceldaddy Pre-Migration
  11. 11. @exceldaddy Pre-migration activity summary On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Review Staging Environment Ensure that it is non- indexable or accessible with searchbots, noindex tags, password protection, etx. URL Mapping Identify Priority Pages The most valuable assets that can’t afford to lose visibility - top traffic drivers and backlink magnets. Review Analytics Setup Ensure all analytics, including advanced (e.g. event tracking) features are properly set up. Benchmarking Page Load Speed, Rankings, Traffic & other KPIs Keeping Old Crawls To compare post- migration, this includes Search Console.
  12. 12. @exceldaddy Benchmarking & analytics review On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics What is your pagespeed score for priority pages? Which analytics view are you going to use? Why? Is this going to change? Benchmark your traffic levels. Anything else relevant to your client.
  13. 13. @exceldaddy Reporting setup and benchmarking On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Set up an automated report which your client will have access to. Data studios or Sheets with full visibility across different markets & pages, with all your KPIs.
  14. 14. @exceldaddy Put your roadmap together On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics
  15. 15. @exceldaddy URL mapping and identifying priority pages On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Wireframe Review Map all the URLS from the old domain into the new domain. During the process, this coincides with the SEO content audit to prune out and re- structure where possible.
  16. 16. @exceldaddy Identifying SEO opportunities On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Full SEO Audit Conducting a full technical and content SEO audit of the existing website to identify any issues and provide recommendations accordingly. This depends on the size of your website. If it’s small and easy enough to implement within the CMS, definitely push for this to be fixed. If you think this will cause issues with crawling and indexation, such as with JS or duplicate content, push this to be fixed. As you map your URLs, you should begin to get an understanding already of the site architecture and areas of opportunity, if there are changes which you think will be very beneficial, push for it.
  17. 17. @exceldaddy @exceldaddy Staging Environment
  18. 18. @exceldaddy Full Site Review On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics robots.txt Response Code Audit Canonical Tag SERP Review XML Sitemap Parameters & Fragments Duplicate Content Pagination Page Load Speed HTTP & HTTPS .htaccess file Accessibility & Indexability Mobile Friendly Javascript Coding Internal Linking Conducting a full SEO audit of the testing environment, including checking whether or not SEO recommendations and guidance has been implemented, and ensuring that it is suitable for it to go live. This also applies post launch.
  19. 19. @exceldaddy URL Mapping On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Don’t assume the developers have implemented everything correctly. You will more then likely have to make these checks, again and again and AGAIN. Create a table which maps A to B, and keep updating as things change (Because they will). Automate the process. Wireframe Review Map all the URLS from the old domain into the new domain. During the process, this coincides with the SEO content audit to prune out and re-structure where possible. Remember this? This is your new best friend
  20. 20. @exceldaddy Once you’ve completed your technical audit, you will most likely hear: ‘We don’t have the resource to implement all your changes, what do you recommend for us to prioritise?’. Be ready. Prioritising key SEO opportunities On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics
  21. 21. @exceldaddy @exceldaddy Post-Migration
  22. 22. @exceldaddy Have all the pages moved over? Are 301 redirects in place? Is all the content there?
  23. 23. @exceldaddy Google Analytics Disavow File Change Of Address Sitemap Submission URL Inspection International Targeting Coverage Tool Mobile Usability GTM Container 301 Redirects In Place Tier 1 Content Tier 2 Content XML Sitemap Check Status Code Audit noindex, noarchive Soft 404 Check Canonical Tag Review Meta Data Moved Navigation Check .htaccess 404 Migration Day - Priority Checks
  24. 24. @exceldaddy Search Console Actions On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Use the Blocked Resources report to check for critical issues. Use Fetch as Google on every single page type across desktop and mobile. Upload a separate sitemap with the old site’s indexable pages to help search engines discover the redirects that are in place. Configure the URL parameters to deal with duplicate content issues. Use the change of address tool.
  25. 25. @exceldaddy Full site audit & implementation checks On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Keep Your Old Crawls Ensure that you properly check the SEO of the new website, and compare it to your old ones with your standard Screaming Frog data. Canonicals Redirects Etc.
  26. 26. @exceldaddy Check against benchmarks On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics What is your pagespeed score for priority pages? Which analytics view are you going to use? Why? Is this going to change? Benchmark your traffic levels. Anything else relevant to your client.
  27. 27. @exceldaddy Consistent monitoring schedule (automated) On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Reporting Monitor key SEO KPIs, including… Keyword Tracking Desktop & Mobile visibility Organic sessions Bounce rate Conversion rate Revenue Total number of indexed pages Submitted vs Indexed pages submitted via the XML sitemaps Pages receiving at least one organic visit Number of ‘not found’ pages Site speed scores and metrics.
  28. 28. @exceldaddy @exceldaddy Results
  29. 29. @exceldaddy Results and performance On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics
  30. 30. @exceldaddy Performance report On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics
  31. 31. @exceldaddy @exceldaddy Learnings & Next Steps
  32. 32. @exceldaddy Relaying information to different stakeholders On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Remember this?
  33. 33. @exceldaddy Learnings On-Boarding Pre-Migration Staging Environment Post-Migration Learnings & Analytics Things don’t always go to plan. Be patient with your migration coordinator. Automate as much as possible. Create templates. Create a checklist with all actions and stakeholders. Be as clear as possible when communicating with other people.
  34. 34. @exceldaddy What next?
  35. 35. @exceldaddy You’ve Proven Your Worth
  36. 36. @exceldaddy You’ve Identified The Opportunities
  37. 37. @exceldaddy You Have The Power
  38. 38. @exceldaddy Thank you :)

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