We talk a lot about search both in the office and this blog. There’s really nothing quite like it. Search engines are neither customer nor analytical tool, yet they’re just as telling as each. The keywords you rank for are like possessions, and you should guard them as such.
If you were to consider moving your website to a new platform (website migration), you would need to take your keywords with you. Think of the ‘spiders’ that crawl a website for indexing purposes. If a door is replaced with a wall, the spiders can no longer crawl through. Sure you’ve placed the door elsewhere, but they don’t know that, and your position in search results suffer as a result.
We’ve learned there are ways to move a door without causing a ruckus. Here are some tips for SEO friendly website migration.
- Plan it out- Anticipate where SEO objectives may go awry and plan accordingly- even if it means calling in outside help. When dealing with an older website, SEO must be the first consideration.
- Thread it through the whole process- Let the SEO team sit on your shoulder. During the phases, the SEO team should contribute and edit the website requirements, speak with designers to ensure graphics are SEO friendly, instruct the developer and allow him to conduct code checks. QA testing is also imperative before and after the launch.
- Give it the okay- Decide which changes make it impossible to go forward and which changes can be implemented after you go live. Things like URL issues or spider traps are serious problems that should be addressed immediately. Once these have been fixed, do another QA test, check for major issues, and let it fly.