Whether your startup business has grown exponentially over the years or its current platform lacks the latest design trends, there are so many reasons that e-commerce companies consider website migration. Outdated platforms are inefficient builders that are unable to keep up with intuitive designs, lagging behind in performance with slow delivery times. However, a large-scale website migration can help to streamline internal processes, updating the old technologies. That said, website migration is a beautiful thing when it’s carefully planned and orchestrated, but when key elements such as search engine optimization (SEO) are overlooked, it can destroy a once great site’s performance, plummeting its place among search results and taking a major hit to organic traffic. In case you’re looking to perform a website migration in the near future, consider reading our SEO checklist below to ensure that you’re prepared with a migration game plan for your e-commerce site.
A brief look at website migration
From an SEO perspective, website migration is a phase that’s coined to describe any event where a website undergoes substantial changes to areas that affect its search visibility like the site’s location, platform, structure, content, design, or UX.
Why is website migration a good idea?
- Improves customer satisfaction: Building and maintaining a strong customer base is the foundation of any successful business and website migration offers a smoother, faster shopper experience.
- Consolidates technology costs: Operating on several application platforms is costly and requires web designers and developers to support and maintain multiple interfaces. A migration can move production to a single platform.
- Modernization: Outdated websites lack conversions and consumer trust, whereas modern design principles encourage shoppers to spend more time on your website.
- Improves the quality of your SEO: SEO is arguably one of the most important aspects of a website, and when it’s underperforming, it isn’t driving organic online business or revenue. Website migration allows e-commerce business owners to work on a platform that’s higher-performing, offering an opportunity to rank higher on search engines.
For the purpose of this blog, we will be highlighting SEO considerations when migrating from one platform to another.
What’s data migration and how can it affect your site’s SEO?
Data migration is the process of moving data from one location to another, one format to another, or from one application to another. Generally, when a website undergoes a large-scale migration there are major content changes such as content rewrites, content consolidation, and/or content pruning that foresees a huge impact on that website’s organic search visibility. These changes can also affect the taxonomy, navigation, and internal linking of the site.
Here is a breakdown to define the types of data migration related to SEO that your site undergoes:
- Storage migration: The process of moving data off the existing platform to a modern one in a way that enables new systems to access it.
- Cloud migration: The process of moving data, application, or other business elements from an on-premises data center to a cloud or from one cloud to another.
- Application migration: The process of moving an application program from one environment to another. This may include between clouds or simply moving the application to a new software provider.
How to successfully migrate data content
Data migration—meta data, product data, image data, etc.— can be done in three steps: extracting, transforming, and loading each type of data to the new platform. Regardless of the type of data you’re moving, when it comes to e-commerce businesses, most data is sensitive which is why a migration checklist is a must before any plans to conduct the migration process.
Definition of the types of data you may be moving:
- Meta data: the data that provides information about one or more aspects of the data (means of creation, purpose, time and date of creation, file size, etc.)
- Product data: the data that contains information about each product and/or service that can be measured into a viewable format for the consumer
- Image data: the data that results in the redirecting of images and/or search results.
Here is a sample plan to get yourself prepared before conducting a migration:
- Determine what data to move.
- Evaluate the data to check for stability before it’s moved.
- Identify and brief stakeholders before the website migration.
- Code the migration logic and test it with a mirror of the production environment.
- Demonstrate that the migration has complied with requirements and that the data moved is still viable.
- Shut down and dispose of old systems.
This may appear to be an overwhelming amount of work, but not all these steps are needed for every migration. Each situation is unique, and each person and/or company approaches the task differently.
Interested in learning more about website migration? Drop a comment below for an answer from the Numinix team.