A Guide to Your E-Commerce Site Migration

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April 26th. 2024

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A Guide to Your E-Commerce Site Migration

You’ve invested time, effort, and resources into building your online presence, and the thought of losing what you’ve built when migrating your site from one platform to another can be daunting.
If done incorrectly, e-commerce replatforming can lead to significant setbacks and frustrations in your business. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritise maintaining your SEO rankings during your e-commerce site migration.

In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know to preserve your online visibility and ensure a successful e-commerce migration without sacrificing SEO performance.

Understanding the Importance of SEO in E-Commerce Migration

Overlooking SEO considerations during your e-commerce platform migration can have far-reaching consequences. It’s about maintaining your current rankings and safeguarding against potential drops in search visibility, which could decrease organic traffic and sales on your new site.

Neglecting SEO best practices while migrating e-commerce platforms can lead to a myriad of issues, including:

  • Broken links: URLs that no longer exist or redirect incorrectly can frustrate users and damage your site’s credibility.
  • Duplicate content: Search engines penalise websites for having duplicate content, which can lead to lower rankings and decreased visibility.
  • Indexing errors: Failure to properly index your new site’s pages can prevent them from appearing in search results, rendering them invisible to potential customers.
  • Page Optimisations: failure to transfer on-page and meta optimisations will lead to dire visibility issues which will impact website ranking performance.

So, prioritising SEO considerations during your e-commerce site migration is essential for preserving your hard-earned rankings, maintaining visibility, and ensuring a seamless transition for your customers.

Pre-Launch Checklist for SEO E-Commerce Migration

E-commerce site migration can seem complex, especially when considering technical aspects like URL mapping and 301 redirects, but it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Before you jump right into your e-commerce SEO website migration journey, there are some things you must do. Complete these steps on our pre-launch e-commerce platform migration checklist to set yourself up for success.

Conduct a Comprehensive SEO Audit

Conducting an SEO audit on your existing site using tools like Screaming Frog can provide a clear picture of any SEO issues that need addressing before migration. This step will help you preserve your current rankings and ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Install Screaming Frog and run an internal link audit to identify any issues with your site’s internal linking structure. Analyse your website’s SEO health, including redirect chains, broken links, and other technical issues the Screaming Frog audit can uncover.

Set Up Proper 301 Redirects

To preserve link equity and maintain SEO rankings, implement 301 redirects from old URLs to their corresponding new URLs, including 301 permanent redirects and 301 redirects to HTTPS. If you’re migrating from Shopify to another platform, implement Shopify 301 redirects.

A 301 redirect is a way to permanently move one web page to another. It tells browsers and search engines that the original page has been permanently moved to a new location and automatically directs visitors to the new page without interruption.

Optimise Your Website’s Structure

Before your e-commerce site migration, make sure that your site’s structure is SEO-friendly. This involves optimising your site’s URLs, meta tags, and content for relevant keywords. Optimising your site’s structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your new site effectively. This optimisation enhances the SEO tracking process, which can be further facilitated by tools like Google Tag Manager.

Address Duplicate Content Issues

When migrating e-commerce platforms, it’s easy to accidentally create instances of duplicate content. This is bad for your site’s SEO health because duplicate content can dilute the visibility and authority of your pages in search engine results.

You can prevent this by using canonical tags, which are HTML elements that inform search engines about the preferred URL version.

Minimise Disruptions

To minimise downtime when migrating your e-commerce site, schedule the process during off-peak hours. This helps ensure that fewer users are affected by any disruptions.

What’s more, use XML sitemaps and robots.txt files to communicate with search engines about the changes happening on your site. This way, search engines can update their indexes accordingly.

Post-Launch Checklist for SEO E-Commerce Migration

After you’ve successfully migrated your e-commerce site, make sure that everything went as planned and that the replatforming did not affect your SEO results. To set yourself up for success, complete these steps on our post-launch e-commerce platform migration checklist.

Verify 301 Redirects

Check your 301 redirects to make sure they’re set up correctly. Fix any chains or loops in redirects. If you moved from Shopify, verify Shopify 301 redirects to ensure all your old pages redirect correctly to their new destination URLs. Also, make sure any 301 redirects to HTTPS are done right for better security.

Monitor Your Google Search Console

Regularly monitor Google Search Console to keep a close watch on your website’s health post-migration. Check for any crawl errors or indexing issues that may pop up, and make sure that all your website pages are crawled and indexed properly.

Furthermore, use Google Search Console’s performance reports to stay updated on your website’s organic search performance. This will help you catch any SEO issues early and address them quickly.

You can also check your keyword rankings performance in SEMrush. This will allow you to monitor and provide evidence if the SEO migration wasn’t managed properly and if keyword rankings have shown a drop in performance. See an example below of the performance of keyword rankings decreasing after a site migration: 

seo e-commerce migration

Conduct a Post-migration SEO Audit

Run a thorough analysis of your site post-migration using tools like Screaming Frog to check for redirect chains, broken links, meta optimisations and other SEO issues. Ensure all pages are properly crawled and indexed. The Screaming Frog SEO audit can help you pinpoint opportunities for optimisation and address any lingering SEO problems after migration.

Implement Schema Markup and Structured Data

Enhance your site’s search visibility by implementing schema markup and structured data to provide search engines with additional context about your content. Leverage tools like Google Tag Manager to implement and manage schema markup and structured data across your website, improving your chances of appearing in rich search results.

Keep Track of Your Links

Monitor your website’s backlink profile closely to identify any changes. If you notice lost backlinks, take immediate action to regain them by contacting web admins or updating outdated links. Use tools like Google Search Console to track backlinks and assess their impact on SEO.

Also, implement 301 redirects for lost backlinks to preserve their link equity and redirect them to relevant pages on your new site.

A Guide to Migrating from Various E-Commerce Platforms

Now that you understand the implications of e-commerce replatforming and how it can affect your site’s SEO value, let’s explore the process of migrating from different e-commerce platforms and the specific SEO considerations involved.

Migrate Shopify Store

Start by updating your DNS settings to ensure a smooth transition to the new server. Now, let’s explore your migration options. One effective method is the manual import/export approach. While it may take some time, it’s a cost-effective solution. Begin by exporting all your precious data from Shopify, including products, and then import it into your new platform.

For example, if you’re considering WooCommerce, follow the subsequent steps to set up your store, import Shopify data, configure payment gateways and shipping options, customise the store’s appearance, and thoroughly test before going live. This meticulous approach ensures a seamless transition while safeguarding your site’s SEO.

Migrate Shopify to WooCommerce

If you’re migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce, start by exporting your Shopify data, including products, from the Shopify Admin panel. Next, set the stage for your WooCommerce store by installing WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin.

Once the groundwork is laid, import your Shopify data into WooCommerce using the built-in importer feature, and don’t forget about orders and customer data. Consider using extensions like WP All Import or WooCommerce CSV Import Suite for a smoother transition. Now, it’s time to fine-tune your store’s operations by configuring payment gateways, shipping options, and your store’s look and feel within WooCommerce settings.

Lastly, put your WooCommerce store through its paces with thorough testing before launching it to the world.

Migrate BigCommerce to Shopify

The BigCommerce to Shopify migration is straightforward and can be accomplished in a few simple steps. To migrate from BigCommerce to Shopify, export data via CSV files and import them into Shopify. You can do it manually or employ a third-party migration service. Transfer all essential data, including products, customers, orders, gift cards, blogs, and pages.

During your BigCommerce migration, preserve SEO rankings with 301 redirects, back up the existing store, and precise data on the target store to prevent duplication.

Migrate Squarespace to Shopify

Want to know how to migrate from Squarespace to Shopify? The good news is that the migration is pretty manageable. To migrate from Squarespace to Shopify, begin by exporting all vital data from your Squarespace store, including products, customers, orders, and blogs. Next, set up your new Shopify store, adjusting the themes, policies, and settings.

Once you’re done setting up your store, import your product data into Shopify using the dedicated import tool, then review and adjust it as needed. Remember to import additional data like new orders or customer details.

Finally, make the official switch, redirecting your domain and optimising SEO settings for enhanced visibility and customer experience. With careful planning and execution, your Squarespace migration will be smooth and successful.

Migrate from Wix to Shopify

If you’re wondering how to migrate from Wix to Shopify, here’s how to do it in simple steps. Start by creating a new Shopify store and customising it according to your preferences. Add necessary pages and configure SEO details. Then, export data from Wix into .csv files, restructure them and import them into Shopify, including products and customers.

Then, install essential Shopify apps for added functionalities and configure payment and shipping options. Once your Shopify store is properly set up, transfer your Wix domain to Shopify by pointing it to Shopify’s IP and updating DNS records. The Wix to Shopify migration process should take around 20 days.

In closing

A strategically planned website migration cannot be overstated, it ensures a smooth and uninterrupted transition, maintaining SEO rankings and performance, user experience, and brand integrity. Embrace e-commerce migration as an opportunity for website improvement rather than the daunting task it may look like in theory and on paper, businesses can unlock new potentials, reach wider audiences, and secure online presence.

You’re 6 Steps Away From Dominating Google’s Search Results

Step 1: Discover

We start the process with a comprehensive discovery call to dive deep into the ins and outs of your business and understand your needs, market, competition, expectations and goals.

Step 2: Audit

We examine your existing search marketing strategy, conduct extensive keyword research and analyse the competitive landscape to identify the best strategy to increase your market share through Google.

Step 3: Forecast

With this information, we prepare a customised forecast of the growth that we can achieve by implementing our SEO & SEM strategies.

Step 4: Present

We then present our findings to you and recommend a customised plan of action that will help you achieve the best possible results from your SEO and SEM strategies.

Step 5: Launch

After we agree on the plan, it’s time to launch our fully managed end-to-end service. Sit back and let us implement our proven and tested strategies that have worked on 100+ clients.

Step 6: Report

We’ll keep you updated at every step of the way on your growth in Google’s search results with regular reporting. We’ll also keep optimising the strategy as we go based on data-driven insights.

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