Ep. 95 | Planning Your Next Site Migration

In this week’s episode, we talk with Carolyn Shelby (@cshel) about planning for your next website migration. 

Launching a new website is a large undertaking and an extremely huge challenge. Whether building from scratch or redesigning your existing site, you website requires a strong foundation. This involves extensive planning, research, and monitoring, and you’re still bound to have some ‘gotchas’ along the way.

If not done well, it could result in a serious loss of traffic. Some companies have lost 60-70% of their natural search traffic after a redesign or migration.

Shelby, managing partner for CSHEL Search Strategies, is the former director of SEO for 10 daily newspapers, including the L.A. Times, New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune among others. She was in Portland this past spring for the Engage Conference, where she and her husband talked about the SEO issues from an enterprise and small agency perspective.

We talked about website migrations and some things to think about when taking on such a project.

Picture of Carolyn Shelby for the Rethink Marketing Podcast where she talks about site migration

This week, Act-On updated its website. That overly simplifies all the work that went into the project over several months by many folks across the company and led by Josh Cherian. Thanks, Josh. So far, so good. You can check out a couple of screenshots below from the home page in 2010 and the home page this week. 

Screenshot of Act-On's website home page in 2010
Screenshot of Act-On's website home page in 2018

You won’t know what you don’t know. And that’s the truth, too, with website redesigns and site migrations. It might be your first time overseeing a project of this magnitude so there’s a lot of unknowns, but that shouldn’t discourage you. Let the unknown empower you to learn instead of allowing it to be an excuse. Many online resources exist; we encourage you to take the time to get to know the process. That doesn’t mean you can get away with reading one or two articles and be an expert. It means you really need to dive into immersing yourself in the process. Moz has a great site migration guide you can check out. You can also check out our website launch planning guide blog post.