Have you recently migrated your e-commerce site to another platform? Are you worried about the significant drop in Google rankings? Well, migrating your e-commerce platform is one of the riskiest things, as it may affect the search engine rankings negatively.
Despite hiring the best SEO services agency and investing a good amount on e-commerce migration, if you have noticed a drop in Google rankings – you must go through this post. It takes a lot of time and effort for e-commerce sites to build page ranking and you can never be sure that the ‘Search Bots’ will re-assign the page rank you have earned before migration.
Here, we have compiled a list of guidelines for any e-commerce portal looking to upgrade their platform. These steps help you migrate your e-commerce store without losing it tanking.
Make a project plan for SEO migration
Create a detailed plan for SEO migration that includes – marketing, development, task tracking, assignments etc. Write a list of every possible itemize, tasks and responsibility. Split major tasks into chunks and assign a project manager for SEO.
There are many project management tools such as – Asana, Trello, Zoho, Smartsheetetc that helps you track tasks across time. These tools take you across different phases, resources, milestones, and tasks.
Make sure to include the start and end dates of the existing e-commerce platform along with future marketing goals.
Create a list of URLs on the existing e-commerce portal
Making a list of URLs will help you maintain a record of every URL on your existing site. Create a list of broken links as well as redirects on the site. Avoid introducing redirect chains if the URL structure changes because of site migration.
You can use tools like – Screaming Frog, Scrappy, Xenu, WildShark, Visual SEO Studio, etc. Any web crawling tool that helps you find the broken links and redirects will do the job.
Moving the Data
To move data from one e-commerce platform to the other, you must first clean the data in the existing platform. You must have a well-organized dataset for migration. Remove inactive, old and outdated products to make the whole process easier to manage.
You can do the same for customer data. Remove inactive and recurrent user data, as it won’t make sense to migrate such data. Consider the data migration process as an opportunity to revise the product content and make necessary changes if needed.
Create 301 redirects to redirect old URL to new URL
This is a crucial step as it helps you migrate each and every page successfully. Use Google Analytics to find out the top landing pages and test the 301 redirects by stimulating a bot to visit previous URLs.
A 301 redirect is a way to tell search engines that the URL has been changed It will also ensure that the bookmarks and social links will work when the website goes ‘live’. You can use the URL list created in step 3 and define the new URL for each page.
Remember that static links are not automatically updated. However, if you create the redirect map well, your manually created links are redirected to appropriate pages. Avoid linking to any page on your own site.
Secure the certificate to prevent significant drop on Page Rank. If you have SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate associated with your e-commerce portal, you must move it to the new server. If you are not sure about the SSL certificate, go to the website URL and check if it shows https:// followed by the domain name.
Check if the new platform provides the same certificate or if you have to buy a new one. Moving your certificate requires some technical knowledge. Do not leave this step for last minute, as it is a bit time taking. Moreover, not all certificates are compatible with all software and servers.
Re-submit sitemap to search engines
Re-submit your site XML to reputed search engines like – Google, Yahoo and Bing to help then index your redesigned website faster. Use a ranking tool to monitor the performance of your website. You can even hire an SEO service agency to monitor the ranking and performance of your eCommerce site.
It is normal to see a significant drop in Page Rank initially. If you see a sudden drop in ranking, don’t panic. Wait for a few weeks to see an increase in Page Rank.