A List of Steps for a Multi Site SEO Migration

by Todd Bailey

A multi site migration can result in a better user experience, increased organic metrics and a simpler long-term management solution.  But many SEO’s get hung up or miss the most critical pieces to a successful transfer.  Having done many migrations I can say there is more to it than you may have previously thought.

Let’s start with the fun part, Research.  
Exactly – Not so exciting.  But this is the most important part of the process.  A professional SEO expert will compound hours of research and data to formulate the best migration plan.  Creating lists of high priority content, looking at search console and evaluating how you will accomplish the project.

Research can be an intangible to a client.  Sending them a spreadsheet of URLs with a roadmap and justification is good document to ease their mind.  But how you come up with that roadmap is part of your strategy, which you should pull from research online from others who have done it.

Here are some of the items one needs to consider for a multi site migration to maintain as much of their SEO value as possible:

  • Internal Content Analysis
    • Prioritize Legacy Content/Posts on age, authority, linking & traffic
    • URL Structure Analysis & Mapping
    • 301 vs. 404 Analysis of Legacy Content
    • Media Mapping (Images, Videos, PDFs +)
    • CMS Plugin/Tool Review
    • Migration Architecture Development (Categories, Tags, Posts)
    • Internal Linking Mapping
    • External Link Analysis
  • Post Migration Consultation
    • Header Check
    • Unified XML Sitemap Development & Submission
    • Analytics Set Up
    • Indexation Monitroing
    • Search Console Analysis (404, Server Errors)
    • Link Reclamation from External Link Partners

NOTE:  It is recommended not to change the following at the same time during site migration:

  • Platform (CMS)
  • URL Structure/Naming
  • Design
  • Content
  • Hosting (whois, IP – Only if Necessary)
Have any other steps?  Drop them in the comments below.

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