The words ‘site migration’ get tossed around a lot for a number of website upgrades. There’s the completely new site and there’s the refresh or site improvement, which might consist of a new look-and-feel, the addition (and subtraction) of some pages, and so on. Regardless of the site migration you are referring to it can be a daunting task. There are page additions that need to be added the navigation. Pages may be coming down that were getting at least some hits. How does all this affect your search engine optimization?
Even if you’ve never held much stock in search engine optimization strategy and tactics (and I get that there are naysayers out there), if you’re site’s been around for any length of time it likely ranks on key terms and phrases that help people navigate your way. Depending on the type of site upgrade you’re making, the changes that inherently come with any site alteration can potentially have a big impact on whether you retain your current search engine rankings. Navigation changes, new page elements, URL naming; all of these can change in a new site, opening a potential hole through which your search engine traffic (and possible new business) can escape.
Check out one of our more popular SlideShares – Website Migration SEO Best Practices Checklist. In it we provide a fairly detailed pre-migration checklist along with 12 SEO best practices for site migrations. There are also some helpful tools at the end that can help keep your migration on course and your SEO intact.