How to avoid loss of traffic when changing CMS site
The process of transferring the site to another CMS is accompanied by difficulties. But if the technical side is taken up by programmers, then separate work will have to be done to save traffic and positions in the results of the issue. How is it necessary to act so that the promotion does not pass in vain?
Establish communication between developers and SEO specialists
To get started, try to involve SEO-specialist in the preparation of technical specifications. He will be required to select the pages that are important for optimization and to demonstrate to the programmer the methods of their processing. First of all, these are pages that are able to attract the target audience, to ensure conversion. Of no less importance are the most frequently visited pages with links placed. Their transfer must be done carefully so that the indicators do not suffer.
Subsequently, the SЕО-specialist monitors the fulfillment of the assigned tasks by conducting tests, and also instantly notifies other participants in the process when errors occur. For large web resources with multiple pages and links, a search audit will be required to get rid of non-working links.
Try to keep the design and structure of the site.
At the moment of switching to another CMS, many changes cannot be avoided, since the initial code is being changed, try to minimize them. There are two reasons for this. The first is the reaction of the search robot. Major changes can hurt traffic and significantly lower the website by position.
And the second – users can react negatively to this. It is not necessary to eliminate the functionality already familiar to them and to make major changes in the structure, and even more so the directionality of the contents.
Control the setting of redirects
Redirect is one of the main tools that helps to preserve previous indicators after changing the content management system. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully monitor their settings and prescribe the importance of using the 301 redirect in TK. With its help, site visitors will be able to see the same information so that they are at the previous URL, and the search engines will learn about the transition to the new one.
For example, for each online store redirects are mandatory, although they require time-consuming. If the web resource is small and simple, redirects will also be needed everywhere. And if the website has a confused structure, or there are pages that need to be removed soon, only the most important addresses will be redirected, the rest will only be sent to the main one.
Use the test site
Create a separate test web resource on a closed domain and test all the changes made with it. Then the subsequent work and timely detection of defects will not entail unpleasant consequences.
Monitor performance after the transition
Sometimes in the course of work, counters and analytical systems get lost, so you should check their correctness. Track attendance and monitor conversions, and compare these figures with the past. You should not worry if one or two positions are lost, or traffic is lost no more than 20%. If all work is done correctly, the previous figures are restored in the near future.
To avoid some omissions and serious errors, it is recommended to develop a specific verification algorithm and act strictly on it. An approximate algorithm may be:
- analysis of the current state of the website and drawing up a list of the most important pages;
- drawing up technical specifications, taking into account the first paragraph, and the table of correspondence of URL-addresses;
- creating a test resource;
- content transfer and setting up redirects;
- check for detecting pages with error 404 and search for broken hyperlinks, make sure that the structure is safe (the presence of meta tags, design);
- reconfiguring analytical systems and creating sitemap.xls;
- at the end – tracking performance.
The algorithm is supplemented individually depending on the specifics of the website, for a smooth transition to a new CMS, it is strongly recommended to adhere to it.