SEO website migration: tips for moving your website to a new domain

Have you ever wanted to move your website to a new domain? It can be an intimidating process, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing it. But by following SEO best practices and understanding how search engines view URL changes, you can make sure that all of your hard work won't go down the drain. In this article, I'm going to provide tips for migrating your website's domain in order to ensure minimal disruption to its ranking power.

Marc Edun
Marc Edun

Moving domains isn't something that should be taken lightly - it requires careful planning and implementation in order to avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. With the right guidance, however, you can rest assured knowing that your website will remain indexed and visible on major search engine results pages (SERPs).

Whether you're moving from one TLD (top-level domain) or subdomain to another - such as .com or .org - these SEO strategies will help keep your rankings intact during and after the migration.

Finally, we'll look at some ways of monitoring post-migration performance so that you can track any improvements or drops in organic visibility. So let's get started! By following the steps outlined here, you'll be able to migrate your site confidently without sacrificing its current rankings.

So, how do you migrate your entire site and new website? Let's find out in this SEO migration guide.

What is a site migration

Moving a website from one domain to another is known as site migration. It's an important process when it comes to managing websites, and there are several types of migrations that can be performed.

Website migrations involve transferring data and content from one domain to the next, while ensuring that all links remain intact. Site migrations also require creating a thorough checklist before beginning the transition in order to ensure successful completion.

This includes everything from making sure the new domain is correctly configured, verifying API keys, testing redirects, and more. Preparing for a site migration requires time and effort but having a plan in place makes the transition much smoother. Knowing what needs to be done ahead of time helps avoid any issues or delays during the process.

With careful planning and organization, you'll have your website migrated successfully with minimal disruption. Now let’s look at understanding domain migration so we can make sure our website transition goes smoothly.

Understanding domain migration

Now that you have the definition of domain migration covered, let's look at understanding it. Domain migration is essentially the process of moving your website from one domain to another while maintaining its content and structure intact. This can be done for a number of reasons, such as migrating to a new platform or improving site performance.

No matter what the motive is, there are few steps to take in order to ensure successful website migration. First and foremost, you need to transfer all elements on your old website over to your new one - this includes text, images, videos and any other media files associated with your site.

You also want to make sure that you maintain the same site structure; if links were pointing to certain pages on the old domain, they should point to the exact same page on the new domain. Finally, once everything has been transferred over successfully, set up Google Search Console for both domains so that search engines will be able to index them properly.

If you follow these steps diligently when undergoing domain migration then it won't only help preserve your SEO efforts but also allow users who visit either version of your website (old or new) access any page they're looking for quickly and easily. It’s important that during this transition period you monitor analytics closely so that any potential issues can be addressed promptly before they affect overall user experience negatively.

As we move forward into our next section about benefits of switching domains keep in mind how important proper planning is when executing changes like this across an entire website ecosystem.

Old URLs vs New URLs - how a migration helps increase organic traffic

Benefits of switching domains

You may be wondering what the benefits are of switching domains. After all, it can seem like a lot of work to migrate from one domain to another. But there are several advantages that make this process worthwhile.

First and foremost, with your new domain comes the potential for higher organic search results and rankings due to improved site architecture and page structure. Plus, if your old domain was associated with any penalties or negative signals within Google Search Console property, moving on will give you an opportunity to start fresh!

The key is planning ahead before making the move so that all existing pages get mapped properly over to the new domain - ensuring no SEO value gets lost during the transition period. Allocating enough time upfront also helps ensure redirects are handled correctly so users don't land on error pages after clicking through from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

By taking advantage of these benefits now, you can set yourself and your new website up for success down the line as your website continues to grow and you see your traffic increase in Google Analytics as you migrate away from your old site domain.

Planning & preparation

Now that you understand the benefits of switching domains, it's time to start planning and preparing for a successful website migration. This includes creating a site migration strategy, informing search engine crawlers about the new site, setting up 301 redirects from your old URLs to the new ones, and other technical details.

A good starting point is to create an inventory of all existing content on the old domain so you can plan accordingly for the move. For example, if there are pages with outdated or duplicate content, decide whether they should be left behind or redirected to newer versions on your new domain. Once this has been done, you'll have a better idea of what needs to be migrated over and how much work will need to go into it.

It's also important to set realistic expectations when it comes to timing; depending on the size of your website and complexity of its structure, migrating everything could take anywhere from weeks to months. However, taking things step-by-step in advance will ensure that any potential disruptions caused by the process are minimalized as much as possible.

With careful planning and preparation upfront, you’ll be well equipped for a smooth transition during the actual site migration process – paving way for a successful result! Setting up 301 redirects afterward ensures visitors continue finding their way around your site with no trouble at all.

Setting up 301 redirects

We've all been there: We've just moved our website to a new domain, and now we're stuck trying to figure out how to set up 301 redirects. It's an essential part of the process that can't be overlooked - but what does it actually entail? To navigate this tricky step in your website migration journey, read on!

When setting up 301 redirects, you'll need to create individual rules for each old URL pointing towards its corresponding new one. This ensures that visitors will still find their way around your newly designed site while allowing search engines to properly index your content.

Without these redirects, users may land on error pages or become completely lost when navigating through the existing site. Common pitfalls include forgetting about subdomains (like or not realizing that some of your URLs contain query strings associated with specific functions on the page (e.g.,

It's important to note that migrating a website without taking advantage of SEO-friendly 301 redirects could result in serious setbacks such as decreased rankings and higher bounce rates due to 404 errors appearing throughout your existing site.

Fortunately, most web hosts provide easy ways to manage redirects so make sure you take advantage of those tools before launching your refreshed online presence! With careful planning, implementing a successful sitemap should be simple and straightforward – so let’s get started!

Set up redirects to prevent search engines from running into a 404 error

Establishing a new sitemap and robots.txt file

Creating a new sitemap is an important step in the website migration process. This will help ensure that all of your content on the new website is properly indexed and accessible by search engines. An XML Sitemap should be created as part of this process, which contains information about all of the pages on your site including their relative importance to each other and any additional media such as images or videos.

The purpose of creating a new sitemap for your website is to make sure that it's easy for search engine crawlers to find and index all the pages on your site. It also helps keep track of the internal links between these pages so they can easily navigate through them during the crawling process. The sitemap gives you control over how often these pages are crawled, which can be tailored according to what type of content you have on each page.

Once you've created a new sitemap, make sure to submit it to major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! so they know where to look when indexing your site's content. With a well-structured sitemap in place, you'll be able to manage the SEO domain migration more efficiently and with less effort than before. Updating internal links then becomes the next step in ensuring successful SEO migration for your website.

An XML sitemap helps Google and other search engines index your pages

Updating internal links

It's estimated that over 50% of site traffic comes from internal links. This means updating a website's internal linking structure is essential when migrating to a new domain. Here are ways to ensure your site's internal linking remains intact:

  • Update the URL parameters of any existing links, so they point to the most relevant page on the new domain.

  • If you have legacy pages that remain in their original form within the old domain, create redirects for them and include these redirects in the updated link structures.

  • Consider using experienced site migration consultants who can help with optimizing your link structure and assist in making sure all changes are properly implemented and tracked.

  • Check out tools such as Screaming Frog that can crawl through both domains and compare any discrepancies between them.

By taking time to update your website’s internal linking during a SEO domain migration process, you will be better positioned to improve user experience after moving your website and maintain or even increase organic search engine rankings, over time. This leads us into an important step – monitoring how well your newly migrated site performs on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Monitoring site performance during website migrations

Once you have completed the process of updating your internal links it’s time for google analytics and to start monitoring your site performance. After a domain migration, search engine visibility may be affected and you will want to track any changes in website traffic or rankings. To do this, use your analytics platform as well as monitor your search engine results page (SERP) position for specific keywords.

Keep an eye on how Google crawls your new URL structure by using its Search Console tool to check for errors or warning messages that can indicate something is wrong with the way the pages are being indexed. Additionally, make sure that all elements of the page such as images and scripts load quickly; slow-loading websites are penalized by both visitors and search engines alike. Utilize tools like GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights to measure site speed and determine if there is anything slowing down your loading times.

Finally, keep an eye out for any unexpected shifts in organic search traffic ranking or referral traffic so that you can address them immediately should they occur. Moving forward, ensuring ongoing optimization efforts through maintaining high quality content and improving user experience should help maintain good SERP positions. Ready to take the next step? Notifying search engines about the change in URLs is another important part of successful SEO domain migration.

Keep track of errors in Google Analytics and Google Search Console during site migrations

Notifying search engines and submit the XML sitemap

Search engines are like a lighthouse on the web, guiding users to find our websites. When migrating your domain from HTTP to HTTPS, it's essential for us to make sure Google and other popular crawlers know about this change – and that’s why notifying them is the second step in SEO Domain Migration.

The first action we must take is submitting new sitemaps with updated URLs through Google Search Console. This will help Google understand the URL structure of our website better, so they can index all pages correctly. After doing this, an inspection request should be made to confirm if everything was set up properly. Other search engines also offer ways to submit sitemaps and inform them about changes in our website. Bing Webmaster Tools provides similar options as Google Search Console does, while other search engine have their own methods too.

To keep things running smoothly during the migration process, updating social media profiles is key; making sure links point out to the right page on the new domain helps maintain user engagement levels even after changing domains.

Use Google Analytics to monitor the sitemap for your new website and new pages

Updating social media profiles to remove the old site link

When migrating a website, updating your social media profiles is an important step to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Once you have set up a test server and moved all of the old pages to their new locations, it's time to update your social media accounts with any changes you made. Start by changing the user agent for each account so that visitors know they are being sent from the same website. This will help maintain consistency across all of your webpages and make sure everyone lands on the right page when clicking links from one platform to another.

Test site speed and mobile usability

Next, review any mobile usability issues in order to optimize how users view content on smaller devices. Make sure all images display correctly on both desktop and mobile versions of your live site now, as well as check if there are any other accessibility concerns that need attention before making it live. Finally, consider adding resources such as blog posts or videos which can be used to inform followers about what they’ll find once they visit your newly migrated website. Once you've done this, make sure your website hasn't slowed down and the site speed is consistent on the equivalent page for each legacy site URL you migrate.

With these steps taken care of, you're now ready to look at factors related to domain migration that should be considered prior to going live.

Test the desktop and mobile performance of your new site

Factors to consider before migrating your new website

Who would have thought that uprooting your website from one domain to another can be so complicated? Moving a website is not as simple as transferring files from one folder to another. There are several factors you must consider before making the jump, and it's best to do this prior to migration for maximum success. After all, you don't want your traffic or search visibility taking a nosedive after migrating!

The #1 item for each site migration checklist

The first thing on any website migration checklist should be an audit of all important pages and site crawl data such as title tags, meta descriptions, h1s, canonical links, etc. All these elements need to remain consistent between the old and new domains if you want the same pages ranking in Google's SERPs (search engine results pages). Make sure to run tests with different a different user agent and browser to ensure your most important pages work well across all devices and browsers.

Consider testing on a staging website before migrating the live site

You can always create a staging website before you move to your new site's domain, to avoid issues on your new site's domain. Redirecting users properly by setting up 301 redirects will help prevent Google from flagging content as duplicate or outdated. It's also recommended that you create a robots.txt file with instructions on how bots should crawl and index your site post-migration. You can find more detailed guidelines in Google's documentation regarding successful migrations and browse through guidelines that help you configure a robots.txt file or generate an XML sitemap.

Finally, it's essential to keep track of the progress made during each step of the process by keeping regular backups of everything and mapping out both pre- and post-migration analytics reports. This way you'll know exactly where you stand after migration takes place so there won't be any surprises down the road when evaluating performance metrics like organic visits or conversions generated through SEO efforts. Now let us move onto discussing SEO best practices to follow during migration!

SEO best practices to follow during site migration

As you plan your website migration, it’s important to keep SEO in mind. You want to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible so your organic traffic isn’t affected. There are quite a few best practices when it comes to migrating and optimizing your new domain for search engine success.

Add redirects or maintain the URL structure

First of all, create redirects from any old URLs to their corresponding pages on the new site. This will maintain continuity with any indexed links pointing to your previous content. Also, use Google Search Console or a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to check if there are any 404 errors that need fixing.

Google Tag Manager can also come in handy during the website migration process. Google Tag Manager gives you an easy way to update tracking codes across all pages of your new website without having to manually edit code every time something changes. It's also helpful for quickly deploying 301 redirects and setting up canonical tags—both key elements of successful SEO migrations.

Now that we've covered some tips for how to get started with a successful site migration, let's look at how you can verify that everything went smoothly once it's complete.

Verifying your migration is complete with a website migration checklist

Once you have your SEO best practices in place, it’s time to start verifying that the migration is complete. This is an important step that should not be skipped and will ensure a successful website migration.

First, check all of the new pages created on the test site's URL to make sure the site architecture is still correct. Make sure they are working properly and contain all of the necessary elements such as images, HTML tags, titles and meta descriptions.

Make sure to test the new pages across multiple devices

You may also want to run some tests with different browsers or devices like mobile phones so that you can confirm how everything looks across platforms. Additionally, make sure any internal linking has been done correctly and double-check that there aren't any broken links within each new page itself.

Finally, once you've gone through all of these steps thoroughly, take one more look around before pushing live just to make sure everything is up to par. After this last check, you'll know for certain whether or not your site migration project was successful! With a few simple steps and careful attention to detail, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your site has migrated successfully from one domain to another.

Troubleshooting post migration issues

After you've moved your website, it's important to troubleshoot any issues that arise. First off, check for broken links on the new site and make sure they're fixed right away. If your old site had a lot of backlinks pointing at it, those will now be broken so you'll want to create redirects or update them if possible. Additionally, look out for search engine spiders crawling your new site and ensure they can access all the pages without any problems.

Keep monitoring performance on desktop and mobile

Finally, pay close attention to your site's performance and how well it is ranking in search engines post migration. This could take a few weeks to settle as Google gets used to where everything has moved to. Keep an eye on traffic levels too - this should give you an indication of whether all the changes have been successful or not. To get the most from these efforts, focus on maximizing your SEO after migration by optimizing content and improving page speed.

Maximizing your SEO after migration

After successfully completing your website migration, you’re ready to maximize your SEO efforts and get the most out of your new domain. It’s like a breath of fresh air for your online presence! But before diving in, it is essential to ensure that all requirements are met to protect against any issues arising later on. Here’s what you need to do:

First and foremost, check if everything moved over correctly by running through a detailed site migration checklist. This will help identify any problems or gaps between the old and new site. Make sure there are no temporary website blocks set up which can negatively affect your SEO rankings.

Once this is complete, take a look at the new site's main templates so they meet all necessary technical requirements such as properly applied meta descriptions, titles tags and other important elements related to search engine optimization (SEO).

Next, use search analytics queries to analyze how visitors found their way around both sites before and after migration. This allows you to see if anything needs tweaking or adjusting for better performance post-migration. Finally, work with developers on implementing essential SEO requirements across every page - from optimizing images and videos to checking redirects are functioning properly.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way towards making the most out of your newly migrated website – and reaping the rewards!

Monitor Google Analytics and Google Search Console during and after your website migration

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does it cost to migrate a domain?

Migrating a domain can be costly and it's important to understand the cost before you decide it's something that you want to do. Generally, the cost of migrating your website will depend on what type of work needs to be done. For example, if you need help with transferring files from one server to another or setting up redirects then this could add extra costs compared to simply registering a new domain name.

Be careful with third-party fees

It is also possible that there may be additional fees associated with using third-party services such as web hosting companies or transfer agents who are helping out with the migration process. In addition, depending on how much time and effort has gone into developing your current website, there might even be some design costs involved in updating any visuals for the new site.

In order to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the transition period, it’s essential that you research all potential costs thoroughly so that you can plan ahead and budget accordingly. It’s also worth noting that sometimes free domains come bundled with certain packages, so taking advantage of these offers can save money in the long run too.

Average website migration cost

How long does the average SEO domain migration process take?

Migrating a domain can be a big undertaking, so it's important to know how long the SEO domain migration process takes. It is especially true when you're trying to minimize disruption to your website and maintain its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Fortunately, there are ways to make sure that the process runs smoothly and quickly.

The amount of time for the entire migration depends on several factors such as the size of your site and whether or not any design changes need to be made. A smaller website with no major design modifications should take no longer than two weeks from start to finish. However, if you have a larger site with more complex elements like custom coding or eCommerce solutions then you may require up to four weeks for completion. Additionally, if you're making major design changes while migrating domains this could extend the timeline even further.

Create an action plan to outline the website migration tasks

It's recommended that before beginning any type of changeover, you create an action plan which outlines all associated tasks and timelines. This will ensure that nothing gets missed during the transition period, helping keep things running smoothly and efficiently throughout the process. With careful planning and execution, a successful SEO domain migration shouldn't take longer than necessary while still delivering positive outcomes.

Are there any risks associated with SEO domain migration?

You might be wondering, are there any risks and can it negatively impact my online business? While it might seem like a daunting task, moving your website from one domain to another can be relatively straightforward - but that doesn't mean the process is risk-free. Let's take a look at some of the potential pitfalls you should consider before making the switch.

To start off on the right foot, let's go back in time and reflect on what could have been done differently if we had just taken all these considerations into account beforehand. First things first, when planning for an SEO domain migration you need to ensure that your new URL structure will not negatively affect your page rankings or user experience. Additionally, think about how much time and effort would be needed to update all third party links pointing to your old site.

Nowadays, there are plenty of resources available to help make sure everything goes smoothly during the transition period. Here are a few key steps that should be followed:

  • Ensure proper redirection setup

  • Use 301 redirects for pages with existing content

  • Set up 404 error pages for non-existing URLs

  • Monitor changes in organic traffic and performance metrics

  • Update external links such as social media profiles, directory listings etc.

It is also important to note that depending on the size and complexity of your website, switching domains may require additional technical expertise since different types of sites (e.g static vs dynamic) can require different approaches while migrating data between servers. Therefore, it’s always best practice to reach out to professionals who specialize in this field so they can answer any questions you may have along the way and provide guidance throughout the entire process.

Domain migrations don’t come without their own set of challenges; however careful preparation combined with professional support can minimize any potential problems down the road. By taking proactive measures now, you'll save yourself lots of headaches later!

website migration infographic showing how long a successful site migration takes

Is it necessary to update external links when switching domains?

Switching domains can be a complicated process, and one of the biggest questions many people have is whether or not they need to update external links when making the switch. It's essential to understand why this step is so important if you're planning on moving your website from one domain name to another.

First off, all of the existing links that point to your old domain will no longer work once you migrate sites. Updating these links ensures that visitors are directed to the new URL instead of getting an error page, which could damage their user experience. Additionally, any search engine bots crawling through your site won't be able to find it properly if those external links aren’t updated - meaning your SEO efforts may suffer in the long run.

It's also worth noting that while some link-building strategies involve creating backlinks from other websites, updating these links as well isn't strictly necessary since Googlebot typically follows redirects automatically. But depending on where exactly these backlinks originate from and how powerful/authoritative they are, it might still be beneficial to manually change them over just for consistency sake.

In short, updating external links when switching domains should definitely be part of your migration plan as failure to do so could potentially lead to lost traffic and poor indexing by search engines – both things you want to avoid!

What is the best way to prevent SEO issues when migrating domains?

When it comes to migrating domains, one of the most important things you can do is prevent SEO issues. This requires careful planning and execution from start to finish. But how? What's the best way to make sure you don't suffer any SEO-related setbacks when moving your website?

First off, updating external links is a must. Whenever something changes on your website - whether that be new content, images or even just altering the layout - any external link pointing at it needs to be updated too.

Not only will this ensure visitors are directed correctly, but also help maintain your rankings in search engine result pages (SERPs). Additionally, try submitting a change of address request with Google Search Console so they know of your domain switch. This should alert them that you've made a transition, limiting any potential disruption caused by their indexing system.

Finally, creating 301 redirects for all existing URLs is essential if you want to keep as much of your organic ranking power alive as possible. Put simply; these are permanent redirects which tell search engines where certain webpages have moved to now. If done properly, it helps preserve both user experience and backlinks - two aspects key to successful SEO performance post migration!


Migrating a domain is an important step for any website owner, but it can be intimidating. With the right guidance and preparation, however, you can make sure that your SEO doesn't suffer in the process. By understanding the cost of migration, timing the move carefully, being aware of potential risks, updating external links correctly and taking preventative steps to avoid SEO issues, you'll be able to ensure a smooth transition.

You will want to take advantage of every opportunity available to maximize the success of your new website domain. It may require some extra effort up front; however, this investment will pay off in spades when you are all set up on the new domain and reaping its rewards. Site location and structure are an important part of SEO, so make sure you don't lose track of essential SEO requirements developers need to know about.

After all, who doesn’t want their website to perform better after a website migration?

By following these tips for successful SEO domain migration, I'm confident that you'll be able to migrate smoothly to your new site's domain without experiencing any major setbacks or losses in site traffic. Good luck! If you're still worried that you'll not be able to avoid some of the common site migration pitfalls, schedule some time with our team. We're here to help if you need more assistance after reading our SEO site migration guide.