How Content Affects Migrations
- To capture the same search traffic as the old site, the new site needs to be optimised for the same keywords.
- Best practice is to re-use as much content as possible from the old site - and place the same content on the new version of each page.
- If you make significant changes to your content, you introduce more variables for search engines to process. This can increase disruption caused by the migration.
- Improving content quality is fine, but avoid making unnecessary changes.
- In particular, try and make your new URLs use the same page titles as the old URLs.
- Try and have the same internal linking structure as much as possible.
- Traffic-driving pages from the old site need to exist on the new site. If you redirect traffic-driving pages to your new site’s homepage, you’ll probably lose that traffic.
How To Review Content
You need to review the content on the new site.
The primary things you need to check are:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- On-page text
- Internal links
For large sites you’ll need to crawl the dev site to review this information.
We don’t advise running a crawl in spider mode because the crawler may try and crawl admin links. This could result in the crawler inadvertently making changes to the site.
You can configure the crawler to ignore admin URLs but you need to apply the configuration for this yourself.
We prefer to crawl the core URLs from the new site in list mode. This allows you to capture the essential crawl data, without the risk of the crawler clicking on admin links.
Once the crawl has finished, you should review the core elements listed above for all the pages:
- Do they use the same (or similar) content as the old site?
- Is the core content on the most important pages still optimised to preserve its existing search traffic?
GO TO PART 5 - TRACKING AND MEASUREMENT
BACK TO PART 3 - REDIRECT MAPPING
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