Internet users today always want a website that can load quickly. Therefore, migrating your website is highly recommended if your current website still feels slow to open. However, does that mean you will eventually lose traffic?
Fortunately, the answer is no. However, in order to enhance your website's traffic after the migration process, there are several SEO steps that must be taken. What are the steps?
Tips for Migrating a Website Without Losing Traffic
The following are the 8 SEO website migration steps that you need to follow.
1. Careful Planning
Your website's rating may decrease after migration because it takes search engines some time to process website changes and properly updates their indexes. However, it's a different case if you migrate your website with careful planning.
You may reduce the risk of traffic fluctuations through careful planning. Additionally, Google will be able to treat your website on the new hosting as an up-to-date website and may even give it top search engine rankings.
2. Sandbox Testing
Be sure to test everything on the sandbox server before migrating the website. In this manner, you can guarantee that the website will continue to operate normally even after the hosting migration.
So, before starting the migration officially, do a complete internal audit. The objective is to ensure that everything is accurate and seamless while minimizing risks that could negatively impact the website.
3. Run Migration When Traffic is Low
Migrating websites when there is low traffic is another factor to consider. This is to avoid losing too many website visitors.
Consider what would happen if the website migration process was carried out when website traffic was normal or high. In this case, the website migration would cause the website to lose traffic.
4. Identify All Website Data
If you already have a complete list and data regarding URLs on the old website (current website), ensure that all links function normally. By doing this, the chance of link errors occurring when the website loads can be reduced.
Also, use this opportunity to look for crawling or redirect errors on the old website. Usually, there are several error links that are redirected during the website migration process.
If it turns out that a link leads to a 404 error page, remove it immediately or change it during the migration. Update all links that point to the old website as well, so that when your old hosting provider stops, there won't be any broken links.
5. Make sure Google Analytics is working properly
Don't forget to install Google Analytics on your new domain. The analytics tool must be installed and tested to ensure it can analyze data effectively.
Perform this before the launch of your new website, and then monitor any changes in traffic during the migration process.
6. Compare Website Analytics Data Before and After Migration
Make a copy of the data from Google Analytics; if the website starts to lose traffic after the migration, this data may be crucial in assisting you in figuring out what is wrong.
Then, compare that data to the previous website data; by comparing the two, you can accurately identify the areas where traffic is missing.
Additionally, compare and evaluate how well high-traffic landing pages performed following the migration, as these pages greatly impact how websites rank in search engines. By doing this, you can minimize losses due to lost traffic so that the impact is not significant for the overall website performance.
7. Update Internal Link
You should update links that are still functioning in addition to removing or replacing all broken links. All these links will now point to your new website rather than the old one.
Although it seems simple, this process can actually be extremely challenging. One of the key reasons is that you need to identify all the URLs, especially if your website turns out to be quite complex.
Try directly updating the internal link URL from the website database. That way, you will be able to change the internal URL of the link without having to open the pages one by one. Obviously more practical, right?
8. Pay attention to the Sitemap on Google Search Console
Save the old website sitemap in Google Search Console before running website migration. And after the migration is complete, re-crawl your new website's sitemap. The simplest way to do this is to request Googlebot to re-crawl the old sitemap and then find a new URL link to speed up the search engine crawling process.
Signs You Should Migrate Your Website
You must constantly check on the performance of your website as a website manager. Even if you use SEO services for your business, there must be experts who do that. By constantly checking the performance of your website, you can make the right decisions, including when you need to migrate your website.
Frequent server downtime, slow website speed, bad customer service, increased space requirements for website hosting, and high-security risks on the website are all signs that you should migrate your website. With that, you can also conclude that a website's migration decision should consider other factors besides performance and SEO, such as website security and visitor convenience.
Those are the steps for migrating websites without losing traffic. It is normal to worry about traffic loss when migrating websites. However, if you take the necessary precautions and plan carefully, there's no need to worry about losing traffic, and the migration process will run without a hitch.