Content Migration SEO Services
What Is Content Migration?
Here We Define “Content Migration”
Content migration differs from website redesign SEO services or even an SEO audit. A content migration is when you are simply moving the existing content to a new web platform. The design is staying the same, or just being tweaked, but the underlying content management system is being changed.
Usually, a business decides that a different technology will suit their publishing needs better. Many times it is a transition to something like WordPress or an advanced framework that can be customized.
Why Do Organizations Do This?
Some examples include:
- The IT department wants more cybersecurity. Maybe the current site got hacked and there is a need for something more secure.
- The digital marketing team wants to be able to publish highly configurable articles at any time: separate the publishing process from the daily site process, do it without a developer being involved.
- You have identified a toolset that can improve user experience metrics such as conversions, bounce rate, time on site, etc.
- The SEO team has found a framework that will improve Core Web Vitals.
- The existing site was built by a former employee and no one knows how to update it.
Regardless, this process is less about technical optimization and more about switching to a new tool kit.
Why Does Your Company Need This Service?
Migrating to a new platform can be tricky. These are the reasons to consider an expert.
We have been hired to fix a few flawed content migrations, and here are some of the mistakes we have seen.
- HTML tags stripped – content was moved over without basic HTML container tags or headings tags (paragraph tags, heading 1 tags, div tags, bold tags, etc.)
- Hyperlinks removed – internal linking within copy was removed, thereby negatively impacting keyword rankings
- Source code vs. screen copy – an admin simply did a copy and paste job from the web browser instead of the source code (usually causing the issues above)
- Pasted directly from a Word doc – content was pasted into the CMS from a Word document. The CMS was set to “visual” mode as opposed to “text” and so all kinds of wacky special characters were added to the new pages.
- Character limitations – pages on new platform contained arbitrary character limitations that cut off the length of the copy
- Broken images – illustrative media assets are no longer displaying because the original file paths don’t match the new ones. One client once lost over 20 links because of the popularity of an infographic no longer displaying.
- Running out of time – the internal team assigned to move the copy just couldn’t meet the deadline and so abandoned subcategory and third-level content.
- Meta data lost – this consideration gets more into the realm of SEO for redesign services, where optimization is included in consulting, but detailed and complex title tag schemas were deleted on the new platform.
If your site is more than 50 pages (and most of the ones we have worked on are in the 1,000+ range), a significant amount of labor is required to do the actual content migration work. The bottom line is that there is a lot of “pick and shovel work” involved. Ideally, the transfer happens using the backend. The database of content is exported from the old platform and uploaded into the new information architecture. This is how you ultimately want to do it. It can save time, but often it just doesn’t work.
Sometimes, the content makes it to new the site, but it still needs to be massaged on a page-by-page basis. Maybe it needs to be assigned to the right category or tag, or maybe it was saved in “draft” mode and someone has to hit the actual “publish” button. There are so many of these wacky contingencies that you have to account for.
Let your teams focus on their main jobs. Assign the heavy lifting to us. We do the heavy lifting by backing up your content, ensuring each part is formatted correctly, and integrating your text, images, and meta data into your new site with as little impact on your traffic and search rankings as possible.
You Want to Offshore It
Maybe you have some partners that you outsource software development to. Management wants to save money by having them work during your after hours. Nothing wrong with that, but this scenario requires extra attention to detail and hyper clear communication. The only way to accomplish this successfully is with bulletproof documentation and meticulous follow-up by your SEO team. Offshore teams are great, but if they don’t have a real stake in the outcome, you need to have a third party who does. We have a stake in the process, because we have a reputation to uphold, and we want to earn more business from you down the road.
We have done more than just a handful of migrations, and we have learned a few things along the way. For example, you need a backup of the old site saved to a computer somewhere. We have seen a few instances of a development environment not matching the final production environment.
In other words, the dev site that we signed off simply didn’t match the final site in production. Why? Who knows. There is always some kind of problem at the last minute when the developer makes the final pushes from a local environment to the cloud. The last time this happened had something to do with an error in a branch in a repository on GitHub. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Someone needs to take an inventory of each article and literally account for its existence on the site. Checklists, organization, and uninterrupted focus are key here.
The Business Goals
What Are Your Specific Objectives for the Content?
Internal Stakeholder / Point of Contact
Before moving content, you’ll need to plan accordingly. To get started, choose a person to lead the project: you’ll need someone who knows all the ins and outs of your website’s technical setup.
Then answer the following questions to determine your content migration goals:
- Do you just want to transfer content without making any changes?
Great, then you are on the right page because this is the definition of a content migration.
- Do you want to update your existing content during the migration? Then you are really looking at an SEO for redesign project.
Now contemplate these content migration considerations:
- Do you have a list of current URLs that you want to move?
- Do you need help identifying high-performing content pages via Google Analytics?
- Are you shifting to a new content management system (CMS)?
Moving from WordPress to Drupal or another CMS involves more work on the backend during migration.
- What is your content migration timeline? When do you want to start moving your content?
Text, images, and URL transfers should occur shortly before launch after your new site’s page templates have been finalized.
Once we understand your goals for migrating to a new platform, we can help you with your content transfer plan, determine benchmarks and deliverables, and put together an efficient timeline. Then, we’ll move content to your new platform. Once the transfer is complete and checked for quality and consistency, you will be one step closer to launching your new website.
Common Questions / FAQs
How long does content migration take?
Content transfer timelines depend on a number of different factors, including:
- The number of pages being migrated
- The content’s complexity (length of webpages, number of images, updates, etc.)
- The current platform and new CMS, if applicable
- Any delays due to design or development issues
- The importance of your content for current organic traffic
In most cases, you should begin moving content after your new website layout is complete. However, if you are migrating a large amount of standardized content, such as a text-heavy blog, you can start transferring content while specialized development is underway.
When Will You Start Moving Content?
We can start the content migration process once we have reached an agreement on terms of work and have received all necessary website and software logins.
What Deliverables Do You Provide?
Deliverables vary based on your company’s unique needs. In general, you can expect one or all of the following on top of the actual moved content:
- Discussion/updates over video call, email, or phone
- Structured plan outline or one-sheet
- Spreadsheet data exports showing progress and workflow of migrated content
What Should My Company Provide for Content Migration?
For content migration, we’ll need access to at least one individual who knows the website’s technical side both now and after the redesign/relaunch. We’ll also need login access on the backend of all the sites involved in the content transfer.
Our experienced content migration SEO team is here to assist you when you need to transfer digital content without losing traffic or potential leads. From moving blogs and articles to a new platform to reconfiguring content delivery systems, our content migration services make it easier than ever to relaunch your website.
The process of transitioning from an existing website to a newly redesigned one is full of unique challenges and potential pitfalls. Let the experts take the stress out of moving all your text, images, and metadata to their new home.
Contact the content migration SEO team at Clark Optimization to ensure your website launch goes as smoothly as possible.
Use the form below, email us at steve @ clarkoptimization.com, or call us at (234) 300-2542.