There are a range of reasons why you might be undergoing a website migration, from rebranding to changing CMS, but whatever the reason, and whatever the size of your website, migrations are challenging and complex projects that can really damage your SEO if not done properly. So, how can you perform one without your website crashing out of the search results and losing all that valuable website traffic? Simply put, you need to involve an SEO expert throughout the website migration process. By involving SEO in the project from start to finish, rather than just having them tacked on there at the end, you’ll greatly reduce the SEO risk associated with website migration and everything will run more smoothly. The process is too involved to explain fully in-depth here, but these are some of the key stages where SEO plays a major role. At the very start, you need a website migration guide tailored to your website and the goal you’re trying to achieve with the migration. This should outline all potential issues that may occur and any legacy problems which need fixing before, or as part of, the migration. By knowing about these potential issues upfront, you can work to avoid them from happening or work them into the plan, which is much better than having to fix them after the fact. Another key stage is a comprehensive redirection plan, to ensure that all URLs in your website are logically mapped to the new one, so you won’t end up with duplicate pages, 404 pages and other issues which will impact user experience as well as your performance in search results. It’s worth conducting an SEO audit once the migration is carried out in a development environment, so that the team can check implementation has been done correctly and identify any issues before launch. And of course, once it’s gone live, it’s vital that an SEO conducts a redirect validation to ensure no URLs have slipped through the net, and monitors the website and all key metrics to flag any issues immediately. Within all of these stages, there are many checks, recommendations and fixes SEOs will make and suggest in order to limit negative impact and get the best performance from the new website. Cutting SEO out of the process, or waiting until you’re losing traffic, will be much more costly and time consuming in the long run. Our SEO and development teams work closely together on all migration projects, and have achieved great results for clients, minimising disruption and SEO impact. So, if you’re embarking on such a project, why not see how we can help?