Site Migration SEO

Protect your Google keyword rankings and organic traffic when you relaunch your website or migrate to a new platform

The internet is constantly evolving, with even today’s most cutting-edge sites likely to become outdated in a few years and in need of a major update, relaunch, or platform shift.  As new web development tools are released and e-commerce platforms design fun and interesting new tools, it’s quite common for businesses to migrate to a newer platform, domain, or relaunch their sites with an updated look and feel.

Updating your website to meet current standards can bring with it huge benefits. However, a mismanaged migration, even to a great new website, can lead to a significant drop in page rankings, growth, and ultimately, your revenue.

If you’re updating or moving your business’ website, having an experienced and proven migration SEO expert by your side can significantly increase your chances of maintaining and even enhancing your online presence throughout the process, as well as help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. 

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

What is a website migration?

Website migration refers to the process of making substantial changes to a website. This could include areas such as the underlying platform, structure or site architecture, content, design and layout, or location (URL). It could also include changing the site domain or transferring hosting to a new server.

There are plenty of reasons to migrate or make major changes to a site from time to time. Some of these include:

A website migration often leads to an improved UX, better search engine rankings, enhanced functionality, and a higher conversion rate.

Migrating your site with Convert Digital means migrating with confidence, knowing that your SEO efforts and hard-earned rankings stay intact.

What's the link between SEO and site migration?

Earning the top spots for any Google search is typically a big task that involves extensive collaboration between the client, SEO agent, content creators, web developers, and any number of other third parties. Although it can have many benefits, the reality is that a site migration carries substantial SEO risks. 

Poorly managed migrations can very easily lead to a number of serious issues that will cause SERP rankings to plummet almost immediately. Changes made to the site might improve the design and user experience or provide access to modern e-commerce tools, but changes to site architecture could just as easily lead to broken backlinks, 404 errors, indexation issues, title and other tag discrepancies or duplication, and various other issues. 

All of these issues can, and often do, lead to near-immediate drop in SERP rankings and a loss of ranking for specific keywords. If this happens, what should have been a big moment for your business—making major updates to your website—can quickly turn into a headache as traffic suddenly drops and leads or sales dry up.

Having an experienced site migration SEO specialist guide you through a site migration means:

Minimal risk of losing existing SERP rankings and keywords

Expert guidance on SEO best practices for web-dev team

Identifying new SEO opportunities on new platforms

24/7 Monitoring and pro-active response to any issues

Migration management and accountability

Our site migration SEO experience

Over the past decade, Convert Digital has been instrumental in helping a wide range of businesses operating in varied industries successfully migrate or relaunch their sites. In just the last year, we helped an e-commerce business migrate to a more modern platform, managed a complete web rebuild for a rehab clinic, and restored lost rankings for a client who went through a web relaunch without a site migration SEO expert by their side. 

Case Luggage

Case Luggage approached Convert Digital looking for SEO guidance in migrating to an updated e-commerce platform.

While overseeing the technical aspects of migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2, a detailed SEO audit identified a range of additional SEO concerns and opportunities. While they would benefit from the migration from a UX standpoint, issues such as keyword cannibalisation, duplicate content, and other onsite issues would still be anchors in the rankings race.

After just a few short months, we managed to migrate to their updated platform without losing rank for any of their competitive keywords, while at the same time guiding their web development team in addressing all their technical SEO issues. 

Our confident and decisive site migration SEO services led to a significant increase in high-value keyword rankings,  and in many cases, to the number one spot on Google. 


Gladstones Clinic

Gladstones Clinic, a long-standing Convert Digital client, relaunched their functional, but dated, website with a more modern and updated design, layout, and content. In just over 6 weeks, the new site went live while keeping all existing rankings, backlinks, and keyword competitiveness intact. Soon after, they reported a significant increase in their website conversion rate, setting 2024 off on the right foot.

By guiding the client on which pages actually generated most of their views and visits, we were able to collaboratively build a new website that has a fresh new user interface and sales-funnel experience, has a coherent and easy-to-follow site architecture, and already outranks the old site it replaced. 

Although we haven’t written an in-depth case study of what we learned from our experience with Gladstones Clinic, the overall improvement to their site is undeniable. These obvious improvements, coupled with strong SEO outcomes, means another successful site migration.

The screenshots on the left demonstrate how we managed to hold onto and improve existing keyword rankings during their migration, as well as start ranking for entirely new keywords. Click to enlarge images.


First Step Designs

First Step Designs, designers and manufacturers of bespoke staircases, relaunched their website in October 2023. Despite their new site being visually stunning with a sleek and modern UX, they suffered significant ranking drops for several of their high-value keywords, including ‘designer staircases’, which went from the number 1 position down to a low of around 30. After an audit that quickly identified many urgent areas of concern, they signed up for monthly SEO services in January 2024.

Our immediate objective was to restore their lost high-value keyword rankings. Manually comparing the old and new sites in the back end, we saw that their web developer had changed a key title tag without taking the SEO impact into consideration. By reverting the title tag back to its original text, something that site users won’t see or notice at all, we managed to quickly regain much of the lost ground. 

While this single-keyword example is very specific in how site migration SEO expertise can ensure a smooth migration, in reality, there are hundreds of technical touchpoints that will affect the new site’s overall SEO performance. For First Step Designs, bringing an expert into the fold has significantly improved (and continues to improve) the experience of developing their wonderful new website. 

How much does site migration SEO cost?

Migration Guidance

Small websites with minimal pages
£750-£1,000 +VAT
  • Protect current keyword rankings
  • Understand key pages to preserve
  • Video guidance for web-dev team

Migration Support

Medium sized websites
£2,000 +VAT
  • Protect current keyword rankings
  • Understand key pages to preserve
  • Design guidance for SEO
  • Redirect mapping
  • Video guidance for web-dev team

Migration Management

Large sites with many pages
£3,000-£4,000 +VAT
  • Protect current keyword rankings
  • Understand key pages to preserve
  • Design guidance for SEO
  • Redirect mapping
  • Video guidance for web-dev team
  • Regular meetings with site owners and development team

We understand that every business taking on a site migration has its own unique set of challenges and concerns.

Contact Convert Digital for an obligation-free analysis and open discussion of your needs. We'll gladly walk you through our findings, allowing you to make an informed decision on how to move forward.

Why work with a site migration SEO specialist?

Site migrations can be a stressful time for business owners. Worries about website downtime and lost leads, compounded by the unpredictability of each site migration, can leave anyone on edge throughout the process. While working with a site migration SEO has its SEO benefits as discussed below, it also means having someone there who can anticipate your needs, set realistic expectations, and take much of the stress of a migration off your shoulders. 


Our site migration SEO process


Initial Consultation & Analysis

Contact us for a detailed discussion tailored to your business needs. During this no-cost consultation, our client-focused SEO specialists will walk you through the migration process, providing you with a detailed SEO analysis of your industry’s online landscape, advice on migrating successfully, and suggesting services that are directly relevant and beneficial to your site migration needs. 


In-migration Consultation

Migrations often take a couple of weeks or even months to complete, depending on the type of migration undertaken. During this process, we schedule regular consultations with the client and the rest of the development team, whether in-house or third-party, to ensure that the transition is going smoothly and meeting the client’s needs.


Post-migration Actions

Even the most well-managed site migrations can run into snags or unexpected situations. Constant monitoring allows us to identify problems the moment they crop up and for immediate corrective actions to be taken. Additionally, post-migration consultation and evaluation often reveal new opportunities to increase SERP rankings on the new site, domain, or platform.

Site migration SEO checklist

Whether or not you’re migrating your site with professional SEO assistance, there are a couple of steps you can take yourself (or pass on to your web development team) to help protect your rankings. By ticking all the boxes on this site migration checklist, you can migrate with the confidence that your new website will perform as expected while at the same time avoiding any nasty or unexpected surprises.

Plan the migration in detail

Set clear objectives for the migration, create a detailed project timeline, and assign specific responsibilities.

Backup your current site

Create a digital clone of your current site. This both protects important information and acts as a reference point for canonical URL structure.

Create a staging site

A staging site is a duplicate version of your site that isn't visible to users. This allows you to complete the migration without interrupting your site's availabilitiy.

Update internal links

Migrations often bring major changes to URL structures. This can break internal links causing a drop in traffic. Carefully check each page for broken links and repair them.

Keep control of your old domain

Don't give up on your old domain, but instead redirect it to your new one. This will ensure that you keep your backlink benefits built up over the years.

Measure and compare performance

While small performance dips are normal and temporary, traffic should bounce back within weeks of the migration. If they don't, seek SEO guidance to restore lost traffic.

Site migration FAQs

A: This varies immensely between different types of websites. Small sites with only a handful of pages can be migrated within the space of a few days to a couple of weeks, while large sites with dozens or hundreds of pages can take up to several months to migrate. The type of migration also matters, with simple site redesigns being faster than launching on a completely new domain where all the pages have to be rebuilt from scratch.

A. Downtime can almost always be avoided or scheduled for a time when it will have a minimal impact. With proper planning, communication, and the right team at the helm, downtime can usually be avoided altogether.

A: This will heavily depend on your migration team’s skills and expertise. While site migrations are usually accompanied by a temporary drop in rankings, taking the right SEO steps during the migration can ensure that ranking drops are minimal and that any drops bounce back in no time. 

Once your new site has been crawled and indexed, you’re likely to see your rankings flourish and progressively grow from that point onwards.


A: During a site migration, relaunch, or rebuild, new pages are added and old pages are edited and/or moved. 301 Redirects are used to direct users and search engines from old URLs to new ones, helping to preserve SEO value and ensure a smooth user experience.

A: Common challenges include losing SEO rankings, broken internal and external links, longer load times due to poor optimisation, and potential compatibility issues with the new platforms or hosting environments. Careful planning and expert consultation can help mitigate and control these risks.

For clear and transparent pricing, honest reporting, and exceptional service in managing your website migration, choose Convert Digital for your SEO needs.

Convert Digital: Your partner in migrating your site with confidence

Our team of client-focused SEO experts is on standby to help you manage your next site migration with confidence and certainty that your online investment will pay off. 

Tom Clark



Technical SEO Specialist

Transform your Business Today with Convert Digital

At Convert Digital, our expert Digital Marketing Consultants are ready to dedicate themselves to your project. Our enthusiastic team get started before our first meeting – undertaking initial analysis of your current SEO prior to our first call. This helps identify immediately if there are any major threats that your online store is facing and allows our consultants to gauge your current level of SEO visibility.

After our initial research, we can arrange a video call to discuss your needs. If you prefer to speak with us today, you can just call instead!

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