Site Migration SEO Checklist to prevent a Website Knockout

Have you migrated your website? And worried if SEO had a negative impact?I was worried. So, I wrote this post for folks like me."The Only Thing that Is Constant Is Change." And it is the same for domain names.Even though your current website is running smoothly, you may feel the need for a new domain because of a new business plan, rebranding or a better URL comes along. Six months ago, the popular social media management tool Buffer finally moved to buffer.com.Changing domain names is a big decision that requires a great deal of planning and we are here to recommend some important tips to keep in mind when planning your updation of domain names. It is no walk in the park. See what Matt Cutts has to say about it in the video below.

Thus, comes another puzzle that is SEO. Do you think migrating sites won’t affect your rank on google or other search engines?It definitely has an impact, and usually negative.But, if you are like me, and have planned at the last moment, or not planned at all, there is still help.Your answer might be wrapped in Site Migration Seo Checklist (refer below) which plays a key role for every website migration because redirecting to the new domain isn’t a big deal but maintaining the old reputation on search engines is a big task.

The Ultimate Site Migration SEO Checklist

With the arrival of the new top level domains many business owners change their websites domain name to a more memorable, shorter and brandable domain name.And it looks cool too, easy to remember, easy to tell anyone and easy to type without bookmarking the website.But before all these, you need to know how you can change domain name and keep the website rank as it is on Google and other Search Engines.We have 11 points to discuss. Let’s start with the very first.

1. Setup 301 RedirectA proper 301 redirect is key to maintaining your search rankings as it lets search engines and others know that an old link has been replaced by a new one.It's the recommended method for permanently directing traffic from an existing page.

2. Update Webmaster ToolsAfter moving your site to a new domain, use the 'change of address tool' in Search Console. Below are the steps to change address in webmaster tools:

Step1: On the Search Console Home page, click the site you want to move from.

Step2: Click the gear icon, then submit Change of Address request.

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When you are done with this don’t forget to submit your new XML sitemaps to Google.Simply navigate to Crawl > Sitemaps and submit the sitemap.

3. Monitor 404 ErrorsA 404 Error will occur when a page doesn’t get redirected properly. Be sure to check and fix them, regularly.

4. Add website to Bing Webmaster toolsAdd your new website to Bing Webmaster tools to manage your site in Bing search too. It will surely improve you ranking in Bing Search Engine and you will get traffic.

5. Update Google AnalyticsIt’s mandatory to update your Google Analytics account. Below are the steps:

Step1: Select the property for the old domain from your Account Home page.

Step2: Click Admin from the top-right corner of the page and select Property Settings.

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Step 3: Edit the URL from http://olddomain.com to http://newdomain.com and click Apply.

6. Change Feedburner Feed URLFeedburner is a very important part for SEO as it provides easy feed management and custom RSS feeds for your blog which gives more easy visibility to your visitors. If you change your URL, change your Feedburner Feed URL too.

7. Update BlogsYou are moved to a new URL, it’s really great but what about the blogs containing internal links? Just update your existing blogs for internal links.Also, change the Old Brand Name to New Brand name in SEO, Title, images, Meta Description and content.

8. Update EmailsIt is pretty obvious if you are changing your domain name your email address won’t stay unchanged. So, emails should be updated with the new domain as it maintains the realness.

9. Change Social Media AccountsSocial media is the only way to gain more traffic to your website and that’s why it’s important to change your social media accounts with the new Brand Name.

10. Update BacklinksIt’s good to check all your Inbound links you made so far and try to contact the webmaster to change it with new brand name with new URL.

11. Plan Big MarketingYou know what to do here. If you do not, please wait till my inbound marketing colleagues write about it.

Conclusion: Website migration is a sensitive affair. It could happen that there is disturbance in your normal website traffic.Don't worry. Don’t think google will bring your site down. Of course, google will take time to rank your site, so keep the faith.Have you been in the middle of any such website migration? How did you do? What steps did you take? Did you goof up? Is there anything that we have missed?Please tell us about it, in comments. Also, please feel free to share this article to help someone in need.  

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