Published November 18, 2020
Replatforming your website is a major undertaking. There’s no simple solution or magic button you can press to get the job done quickly and efficiently. It takes a commitment of time, resources, and patience to effectively transition your website.
One of the major concerns for many businesses when going through this process is what will happen to their website once the transition is complete? Will you lose traffic due to the changes? What about your SEO? Will it take a nose-dive because of the scope of changes that are made? How will it affect your ROI and conversions?
All of these questions are important to consider while replatforming your website. All are areas where your business can be greatly impacted. If you aren’t aware of the common pitfalls that go along with a website overhaul, this transition could cost you time, money, and customers.
This blog is a sneak peak into our recently updated report on replatforming your website. This report will help you understand and navigate the pitfalls, as well as detail how to avoid them and how to transition your site effectively while minimizing the impact on your site traffic, SEO, and sales. Claim your copy here!
Potential impact: Affects PPC ads, feeds, sitelinks, and possibly SEO, potentially losing rankings and history associated with a URL and causing wasted ad spend.
How to resolve: From a PPC standpoint, make a list of any URL changes before going live so you are prepared when the transition occurs. Ideally, you would put redirects in place to be safe and then create a list of the old URLs and their corresponding new URLs. From an SEO standpoint, the old URLs must be 301 redirected to the new version to preserve ranking and link equity that’s been received from outside websites with external backlinks.
Product Feed Pitfalls
Potential impact: Since campaigns are broken out by current attributes in your feed, if those attributes change, it may wipe out existing structure even if your IDs remain constant. This would affect all bids associated with the products whose attributes changed.
How to resolve: Diligence in your monitoring process will minimize this. Make sure you are checking your feed for any anomalies and correcting them when necessary. If major attribute changes are necessary, it might be better to do them in very small product batches to minimize the overall impact.
SEO Pitfalls: Organic Search
Potential impact: Depending on the extent of your overhaul, organic performance could see substantial declines. Significant changes to site architecture can cause a loss of historical SEO value and ranking potential associated with specific URLs.
How to resolve: Ensure key pieces of content remain available on the site, with as few changes to URL structure, internal linking, and page layout as possible. If URLs must change due to your site restructure, the old URLs need to be redirected. Ensure that URLs with SEO value in terms of organic traffic, ranking keywords, and backlinks aren’t being scrapped, but rather 301 redirected to the closest-match URLs on the new site. Also, make sure you are emphasizing paid search during this time. If organic traffic suffers, re-doubling your paid search efforts can help “carry the load” for your site. Make sure you are constantly analyzing your site performance through Google Analytics, as well. Massive drops in organic traffic might be fixed with redirects or better tracking.