SEO Site Migrations – Development Phase

Jul 9, 2024It Depends - An SEO Podcast, SEO

In this episode, Lindsie and Jay discuss the development phase of a site migration and the importance of SEO during this process. They cover key tasks such as handling crawling and indexing, conducting a full site crawl, and mapping out redirects. They emphasize the need for collaboration with the development team and the challenges that may arise. They also highlight the significance of testing and reviewing the site to ensure proper rendering and functionality. Overall, they stress the importance of experience and expertise in successfully navigating the development phase of a site migration.

Takeaways

  • The development phase of a site migration is a critical part of the process where SEO plays a crucial role.
  • Tasks during this phase include handling crawling and indexing, conducting a full site crawl, and mapping out redirects.
  • Collaboration with the development team is essential to ensure that SEO requirements are met and potential challenges are addressed.
  • Testing and reviewing the site’s rendering and functionality are important to ensure a successful migration.
    Experience and expertise are key in navigating the complexities of the development phase.

 

Your Title Goes Here

Listen to the SEO Migration – Planning Phase (Pt 1) Here

Transcript

Lindsie Nelson (00:01.47)

Hello, hello.

 

Jay (00:03.502)

Hey Lindsie, what is going on?

 

Lindsie Nelson (00:06.622)

Well, we are back for episode 21 of It Depends. Can you believe 21? It feels like we just started this, like, I don’t know, last week.

 

Jay (00:17.998)

We can finally drink legally. It’s going to be a rough day tomorrow, but good times tonight.

 

Lindsie Nelson (00:21.342)

video.

 

Lindsie Nelson (00:26.538)

All good, all good. Well, this is part two of our three part series on site migrations. So we are gonna talk about the development period, which is really a core part of this whole process where SEO is an integral part.

 

Jay (00:43.598)

Yeah, so last week or last episode was more theoretical. A lot of the planning, how to figure out making this a priority, figure out how much is at risk, get the right people involved, know when to get involved, all that good stuff. And now it is, we have a website that is being built. Designers, developers, all these people are doing things and lots of stuff can go wrong.

 

and lots of stuff can go wrong in ways that can be really hard to fix before the site goes live. So it is important to keep a watchful eye over things and stay busy. And we’re gonna get through, I think, a more tactical approach of just like how we tackle most of these things.

 

Lindsie Nelson (01:32.816)

Right, right, I think it’s really easy during this phase to just kind of sit back and say, well, we did all the planning, right? We talked through all the things, maybe we met with developers and now they’re just building and it’s easy to get lost in all of the things that are happening. So like you said, just keeping an active, engaged part in this process as an SEO is really important because it’s easy to miss things that are just like critically important.

 

So let’s start with a quick overview of key tasks that we need to look at here during this development phase.

 

Jay (02:13.23)

Yeah, so we’ll cover today some of the background work that still has to be done, like figuring out how your site is handling, like crawling and indexing, you know, what is robots .txt doing, what are meta robots doing, all that stuff. Do a full crawl of the site, the current site, to get the most up -to -date information about pages, links, SEO data, that kind of stuff. Start mapping out redirects.

 

We talked about, I think, the 90 % rule last time of making sure that the overwhelming majority of traffic and revenue is accounted for from old site to new site. And I think we’ll be talking about working with developers to have all this stuff happen and not get pushed out of the processes. That tends to be the way it goes in a lot of these instances.

 

Lindsie Nelson (03:09.694)

At least it’s easy for that to happen. You have to be a little persistent, I think, in this process and also have a good relationship with the client that is doing this migration, this build process to make sure they’re bringing you in as well as much as possible. So let’s talk about some specific SEO activities. Okay, what is a robots .txt file if anybody isn’t aware, Jay?

 

Jay (03:38.35)

you’re listening to the wrong podcast, stop right now. And no, no. So, yeah, like one of the first things on our checklist is just download and save a copy or copy paste what’s in the current robots .txt file on the old website. And that says like where bots can and can’t go on the site. And it’s not that we’re gonna reuse it.

 

Lindsie Nelson (03:42.718)

Turn around, go back.

 

Jay (04:05.07)

because the new site is going to be different in a lot of ways where we likely can’t reuse it. But it’s giving us an overview of hopefully what the thought behind the places that robots are able to go is. So, you know, if you’ve been doing SEO on the site for a while or someone’s been doing it, they’ve spent some time thinking like, we don’t want robots crawling through like the wish list.

 

wishlist section of this e -commerce site or we don’t want robots crawling through you know blog posts older than a certain date for whatever the reason might be and There’s obviously you got to evaluate do we want to continue doing that? But Assuming you want to continue it at least in the short term on the new site You need to download the file so you know what the things are that need to go into the new robots .x file

 

Lindsie Nelson (05:01.15)

Right, right. It’s just helpful background information as we prepare for the next site. All right, so what other things do we need to kind of make a copy of right away to make sure that we have that kind of stable foundation?

 

Jay (05:16.974)

A full crawl of the site is hugely important. So if we’re talking about a tiny website, just if you aren’t aware, like Google Screaming Frog, they have a weird enough name that you should definitely get to the right place if you look up that name. But they, yeah, I don’t know if frogs are capable of screaming.

 

Lindsie Nelson (05:33.342)

There’s not a lot of other screaming frogs. And did you, why do they name them? Like, why is that their name? It’s a really random tangent, but I’ve thought about it extensively of like, did they just pick two words? Did they like flip open the dictionary and they’re like screaming and frog? I don’t know.

 

Jay (05:52.494)

I’ve never attempted to find an answer, but if I had to guess, it is because it’s a tool that hops from link to link the way maybe a frog does. And it is really fast and you could maybe say screaming fast.

 

Lindsie Nelson (06:03.038)

and it screams, fast. Okay, all right, well, you know, if anybody knows, let us know.

 

Jay (06:11.598)

If by chance a branding person at screaming frog is listening to this, I’m sorry, but.

 

Lindsie Nelson (06:17.022)

But they’re great. So it’s definitely something to use. It’s an awesome tool.

 

Jay (06:23.854)

Yeah, so I mean, backtracking like it can handle bigger sites, but if you have a small site, you can download it for free and use it for up to 100 pages. If that covers your site, cool. You got a really awesome comprehensive tool for free. But also it’s like $80 a year or something. It’s, it’s stupidly cheap. And it gives you so much for that, that money. So for

 

You know, if you’re like running it locally and all this stuff is saving in memory on your computer, I don’t know, a few hundred thousand pages is probably the top end of what Screaming Frog can handle in a single crawl. There are like, Screaming Frog can run in the cloud. There are entirely like cloud native crawling tools out there. We use Content King. We’ve used others in the past. They’re all different.

 

versions of good. But the idea is capture every page on the site. We want to know what the internal link structure looks like, like what pages are linked to most, what are the like average number of links pointing to a page, because all of that is going to change to some degree on your new site and it can have some pretty drastic effects if suddenly, you know, maybe a page that is driving a huge percentage of traffic like it’s in the top 10.

 

has like 10 ,000 links pointing to it between like the navigation, the footer, copy on a bunch of different pages, blah blah blah, and now all of a sudden it has like 300 links pointing to it. You know, that’s a pretty drastic difference, we want to catch that stuff. But then also, what?

 

Lindsie Nelson (08:08.254)

and I’ll just interject a little bit on that one too. I think it’s one of those things that’s easily overlooked as a like, does it really matter? And we had a client, I can think of it, especially one circumstance where they had on their old site, kind of a widget that was automated on a lot of pages that sent traffic to a couple specific pieces of content. And that widget was changed and there was…

 

pretty much no or very little links to this content and it just fell off the map. And it was because of this internal linking and that lack of visibility for that important piece of information. So I think that a lot of times when we talk about crawling a site, it’s like, it’s not always to look at things like internal link structure. I think that’s something that is a little overlooked in a lot of cases.

 

Jay (09:05.486)

Yeah. And I mean, another thought, like I can think of maybe a dozen times where the, whatever the navigation structure or like layout is, it seems like people go into a migration project where it’s like, we need to do the opposite. You know? So if we have the mega menu where it’s like three levels deep and maybe they’re scrolling and banners and all the, all the crap possible in the menu.

 

Lindsie Nelson (09:27.678)

Mm -hmm.

 

Lindsie Nelson (09:33.886)

all the things.

 

Jay (09:35.662)

Then it’s like, we’re just gonna have a single layer of navigation. And it’s like, you click on a button up there, and then you get to a page and you navigate deeper from that page. By the way, personal opinion, but that’s a terrible experience, because you think of like, I don’t know, think of like Home Depot or something. And I need masking tape. That might be in the painting section.

 

Lindsie Nelson (09:47.518)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (10:04.974)

that might be in like the household section that might, that might be like five different places. And if I can like hover over a giant menu and just look for tape or something, obviously people search for stuff, but I like navigations. Other people like navigation, but whatever. My point is that people always seem to do like the opposite style of navigation. That’s like just a thing that consistently happens. So that, that can like,

 

Lindsie Nelson (10:21.374)

I like navigations.

 

Lindsie Nelson (10:27.71)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (10:34.35)

leave your third, fourth level category pages completely lost in the mix in terms of link structure. There’s a ton of other scenarios like that where like design architecture changes will drastically impact how pages are linked to. So all the crawling tools can grab that information, like how many internal links are there, how many unique links, so it will like de -duplicate.

 

footer and navigation links. Very helpful info. But the crawl gives you so much more. I mean, we’ll have like all of our headings and page titles and we’ll have our canonical structure. We’ll have our meta robot structure, all of this stuff. We can scrape at least like the types of schema markup or structured data on pages so we know like, shoot, we had.

 

I don’t know, we had this like FAQ markup in like the Q &A section of product detail pages and we forgot that was there and it’s not on the new site. So, you know, it just, it becomes like an invaluable resource. And honestly, most sites, especially bigger sites, we end up referring back to that crawl sometimes months after the site is launched because there’s just be things that pop up and it’s like,

 

Lindsie Nelson (11:41.31)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (12:01.294)

This page isn’t performing like it used to. Let’s see how it was structured on the old site and maybe we can learn something there.

 

Lindsie Nelson (12:09.374)

for sure. I think that is a really good just general tactical tip of it doesn’t hurt to have that full crawl. And even doing it a couple times before the site launches isn’t a bad idea either to have a couple different pictures of where the site is at different timeframes. Super impactful. And like you said, I think there’s been years that have passed where it’s like, I wonder how they used to do this or how was this structured before.

 

We made these big changes super, super helpful and it seems like a little thing, but really is something to not forget about. All right, let’s move on to some redirects. This is a very standard activity. Talk to me a little bit more about building out those priority redirects.

 

Jay (13:01.038)

Yeah, so already mentioned that the like 90 % number you can you can pick what works for you or what you’re comfortable with but you know if we’re just talking like organic search traffic from GA4 or Google Search Console we want to get the vast majority of it we don’t want to just get like the pages that have a big number attached because there can be hundreds of thousands of pages that have you know

 

50 visits each and maybe all of those have some amount of revenue and that adds up to a ton. So make sure you’re accounting for a big share of the total traffic and revenue. The way we handle it is we’ve got like our own kind of proprietary system, but we pull Google Analytics organic traffic, we pull referral traffic too, Google Search Console,

 

Microsoft Bing webmasters, whatever they’re calling it. I don’t think they’ve actually, that’s one of the tools they haven’t changed the name of in a while, so I feel bad not remembering. We’ll pull like Ahrefs or some backlink tool, like what are the lists of backlinks? And I think that is all of the sources. And then look at like traffic, the number of backlinks, the number of referral visits.

 

the number of transactions or goal completions, the amount of revenue, and make sure that we’re weighing all of those factors. So if there’s like, hey, here’s some backlinks that actually send referral traffic, like we wanna know about those and take care of them because they’re providing some SEO value in terms of the link, but they’re also providing traffic value in terms of people clicking those links.

 

Lindsie Nelson (14:47.934)

Mm -hmm.

 

Lindsie Nelson (14:59.166)

No.

 

Jay (15:00.654)

So there’s a bunch of different ways to look at it. And also looking at like a number of different data sets together helps deal with some of the limitations. Like we’re like a year into the GA4 being the only option for most people, which means there’s a lot of sites out there that maybe have a year worth of GA4 data and maybe a lot of sites out there that

 

have way less than a year of reliable GA4 data. You know, so there’s that, there’s Google Search Console just gives you like a sample of things. You know, if you’re like exporting from the website, they limit it to a thousand pages. If you do it through the API, there’s still a lot of stuff missing. You know, any of these like third party tools aren’t gonna capture everything because it’s just what do they know about. But when you combine all of them together, you get a good picture of like

 

Lindsie Nelson (15:28.062)

that didn’t transition. Yeah.

 

Jay (15:57.806)

how people are getting to your site through organic search. And that’s the idea. That’s about the best we can reasonably do. And then, you know, again, merge all that together, say, okay, we want to account for the biggest share of traffic and revenue or goal completions, all that stuff. And also look for just like weird things that might be a problem when you’re like thinking of redirects and stuff like that. Like, you know, are there…

 

Are there like query strings that are normal, like they’re for sorting and filtering and searching, or are there query strings that they’re like for affiliate codes or query strings that are like for product variants, like a t -shirt changes from red to blue when you add a query to the URL. And that might be like some variation of a page you didn’t think about and might not have redirected otherwise. So.

 

Look for all those like weird patterns of just like stuff getting added to the URLs that may or may not change the content on the page and make sure you’re not overlooking those things and then and then redirects have to happen like you have to figure out page a to page B How do you match them up? And I think that’s the next part, right?

 

Lindsie Nelson (17:12.318)

Yeah.

 

Lindsie Nelson (17:15.998)

Yeah, well, and just to add a little bit to the redirect conversation, I think during this development phase is when we’ll start to hear rumblings of like consolidation and, we don’t need this anymore. Or, you know, you brought the query strings for product A, product B, and then it’s like, well, now we’re going to have different URLs for every color instead of having like a filter or a sort option on each product page. You know, these things change.

 

and we need to understand current scope of what happens on the site today and how that’s being translated into this new space. And it doesn’t mean it’s all good or it’s all bad. We just have to understand how they’re going to move from point A to point B so we don’t lose much in the process.

 

Jay (18:06.958)

Yeah, that’s true. And the, the redirect process can be one of the most time consuming parts of all of this because I mean, one, you can just be dealing with lots of pages. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s totally normal where it’s like, we have a site with hundreds of thousands or millions of pages and we, and nobody is like coming to the table with like, we have an automated way to

 

Lindsie Nelson (18:15.358)

Yes.

 

Jay (18:36.366)

map all the redirects, there’s nothing to worry about. So you as the SEO person are kind of left holding the bag to figure it out. And this is at the same time when development teams like to get quiet. You know, you might hear rumblings of consolidation or whatever, but you also hear a lot of, it’s not final yet. Or we’ll share when we have something that is ready for you to look at. And it’s like, well, we’ve got this

 

Lindsie Nelson (18:55.23)

you

 

Jay (19:05.422)

super important part of the project from our standpoint that needs to get done. It can be very time consuming. You know, obviously like, yeah, if the URLs are all gonna change or something or 60 % of them are gonna change, that’s a problem and we’ll have to work through it. But if we say we’re gonna wait until this is like 99 % done and then show SEO.

 

Lindsie Nelson (19:10.206)

we need to know.

 

Jay (19:32.878)

We’re not going to have time to do this and it’s going to be a disaster.

 

Lindsie Nelson (19:36.062)

Yeah, and I’ll say one last note before we move into the collaboration with the development team in our conversation, but even if there is an automated way to do it, it is still the job of an SEO to review that automated way of doing it. Just because it’s automated doesn’t mean it’s accurate or that it is, again, to the best interest of traffic and revenue.

 

So sometimes it’s totally fine. Sometimes it’s not totally fine. So I guess also not just taking things for face value and asking questions, which I think leads nicely into this collaboration with the development team and how to handle these redirects and all these other pieces. So what are some common challenges that you’ve seen in this relationship?

 

Jay (20:31.886)

Yeah, so I think in the last few years, more than historically, I’ve experienced development teams like coming to the table with, we are going to handle the redirects. Like that is in our scope of work. That didn’t used to be the case. And honestly, it would become a big battle if you asked them to get involved in a lot of cases. So that’s cool. But if that is the case,

 

then as an SEO, your number one job is like, I need like a written explanation of how, of like the logic for these redirects. Is it every, you know, e -commerce sites are an easy example, so I keep going back to it, but is it every product detail page is being mapped to the exact same skew on the new site? Or something else? Because something else can…

 

mean a lot of things. And you just need to watch out and make sure that like the way they’re doing it is the way you would do it. And I think a lot of SEOs get nervous around doing like requirements for developers. But that’s where, you know, I think coming to the table with what your requirements would be, even if the developers are going are like planning to do it is super critical here. And

 

just take a look at the different types of pages that exist on the site. You know, we have e -commerce site, we have product detail pages, product list pages, like category landing pages, blog posts, account pages, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like, what would your rule be for redirecting all of those? Is every single one of them, like, if the page exists on the new site, redirect there? And if not, then go like one level higher or something like that? Fine.

 

write that down and make sure that what the developers are proposing matches up with what you would do. And if it doesn’t, talk to them about it.

 

Lindsie Nelson (22:37.286)

Yep. And you know, I think talking to and making sure that your requirements are also communicated to the client of this is what we’re intending to do, or this is what we would want to see happen and this is what’s currently happening. And sometimes it’s just weighing out the risks of like, hey, so this is how it’s programmatically done currently. We think it’s going to cover 60 % of the concern.

 

you know, or 60 % of the pages on the site, and it’s gonna take a lot less time and a lot less headache from the development team. Some sites, some businesses will be like, all right, that’s good enough. We don’t wanna spend the time on a one -to -one of 90 % of our traffic and revenue. And that’s kind of their decision to make, but we also have the, I guess, burden to at least…

 

bring up the concerns and the risks with all of these decisions. I think during this development phase, there’s a lot of like risk mitigation and understanding, okay, if we make this decision, if we eliminate all these pages, if we consolidate the navigation, this is the potential risk here and we need to have the ability to raise our hands and say that this is a concern. And then it’s kind of ultimately the business’s decision on.

 

on what to do next.

 

Jay (24:03.246)

Yeah, and I think also when we’re talking redirects, like outside of maybe rendering, this is one of the areas that is the most cut and dry in terms of SEO risk. Like if we say, what if we like cut one sentence out of our product descriptions? How is that going to impact SEO? Like you get like, what is the risk of this?

 

really innocuous change questions all the time. It’s like, I don’t know, nobody knows. Google doesn’t know. We can, we can try it. And, but with redirects, it’s like development is like, Hey, we’re not going to redirect product pages. It’s too much work that we can’t do it in an automated way. There’s 500 ,000 products. There’s no time for people to do that. We can’t do it. It’s not going to happen. You can say,

 

Lindsie Nelson (24:40.158)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (25:00.782)

like hey, like Google’s gonna eventually find the new products, but let’s say on your old site, people landing organically on product pages accounts for 40 % of your revenue. Are you okay with losing most of that or all of that?

 

Lindsie Nelson (25:17.438)

Right. Right. And if you are, then okay.

 

Jay (25:19.918)

like yeah if if that like if over the last year that those pages got you like a thousand dollars in revenue then yeah it’s probably not worth the effort if that those pages got you like hundreds of thousands millions tens of millions of dollars in revenue people suddenly find the time and budget to make things happen

 

Lindsie Nelson (25:41.694)

Yep, yep, I mean, nobody wants to lose money in this process, so big pieces to consider. So let’s move on to specific technical SEO elements. And I think this is where it gets also a little bit more in that like telling developers what to do, which can get a little fuzzy, I think for some.

 

But talk to me about some of the things that we really want to make sure that we communicate the needs to the development team.

 

Jay (26:12.814)

Yeah. And just to preface a bit, like we’re not going to, we don’t have time to get into what are all these things and what should you do. A lot of cases, there’s not a one right answer. The best answer is being consistent. So we’re talking about the like different directives and things like that for search engines, like our meta robots, our canonicalization are, you know, are we taking links as follow or no follow?

 

Lindsie Nelson (26:41.726)

Mm -hmm.

 

Jay (26:42.798)

those sorts of things is like our main domain. Is it www .rsite .com or is there no www because we’re cool and not old timey people? Or do we have trailing slashes at the end of URLs or do those get rewritten? All of these things that shape your URLs, shape.

 

Lindsie Nelson (26:52.83)

Yeah.

 

Jay (27:08.494)

what search engines see and how they see it and what we’re telling them to do when we get to our site. You know, the ones that impact crawling and indexing, it’s really critical that we keep those the same unless it’s just absolutely not possible for some reason and then we understand and share the risk with everybody. For the things like how we kind of decorate a URL, like is there a trailing slash or not? Just as long as we have some…

 

rhyme or reason to it and it’s pretty rare that you don’t see that. But there was a time where it was like half your site has .html at the end of every URL. The other half has a trailing slash, but you also can leave the trailing slash off and it’s gotten more consistent. But yeah, you know, if we like, if we go to like we have www on every URL and then we go to not having it, then all of a sudden

 

Lindsie Nelson (27:48.03)

Bye.

 

Lindsie Nelson (27:53.918)

be fine. It’s all good.

 

Jay (28:07.662)

like Google treats it as a different subdomain and rank doesn’t necessarily pass as smoothly. And so even if we do redirect everything, we might be up for more losses. And if we’re saying, like, don’t canonicalize anything on the current site, and we say canonicalize everything on the new site, that could have some big repercussions. So be consistent unless this can be one of those areas where it’s like,

 

Really wanted to change our canonical structure, but couldn’t or there wasn’t the budget or time and now we can finally change it to what I want cool, but Don’t don’t just go with like whatever the out -of -the -box default is you know Keep keep tabs on what you’re doing and why

 

Lindsie Nelson (28:55.166)

Yeah, and this goes back to kind of the first part of this conversation with just having that crawl and that roadmap of what’s currently happening. Because nine times out of 10, like just sticking with what we’ve done before with these kind of rules is a good scenario unless you’ve always needed to change it. We’ve had clients like that too, where it’s like, my gosh, we’ve been fighting against.

 

this HTML dot HTML issue forever and we’ve never been able to get it fixed and now we can fix it. But really I think just stability here is probably what we’re going for.

 

Okay, all right. Well, let’s move into testing and reviewing. So this is a critical step during this development phase in how Google is going to view this site as it actually goes live. Talk to me about that, because I think this is a super critical thing.

 

Jay (29:56.686)

Yeah, and one of the most important parts, we’re talking about it at this point in the podcast because there’s so many moving pieces. A lot of times you don’t have a chance. Like it’s not possible to test these things before this point. So that’s where, you know, talking to developers along the way, understanding to the best of your knowledge, what the plans are up to this point is important. But this is like,

 

the front end and back end stuff and how it impacts SEO at kind of a global level. So on the front end, is Google gonna be able to render the site? Google’s better at rendering JavaScript client side than it used to be and it keeps getting better. It’s still not perfect. And you still need to like cut Google some slack in terms of like, you know, your navigation needs to have actual links. You can’t just have like,

 

JavaScript set location commands or something like that that Google doesn’t know what to do with. So can you like render content? Can you click links? Basic stuff like that is really important to test and test it whenever you’re able. But again, a lot of times not enough pieces are done until you’re kind of getting to this point in the project. And then on the backend,

 

Lindsie Nelson (30:59.102)

Right.

 

Lindsie Nelson (31:18.238)

And I think I’m gonna say, hold on, as a side, it seems silly, right? Like, of course a developer is gonna build a site that is able to be rendered by Google. But there have been so many times in the last even just two years that we’ve gotten to a point where like, this is entirely in JavaScript and we can’t, like, this is very difficult for Google to see all of this information.

 

And this is a big problem, guys. We can’t just say like, it’ll be fine.

 

Jay (31:50.702)

Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, watch just if you’re not super familiar with this stuff. I mean, hopefully you have someone in your network that can help out because it can get really complicated really fast, but at least like watch out for words like single single page application. Watch out for words like headless. You know, those are signs that like this is going to be a mess.

 

Lindsie Nelson (32:16.318)

It’s like all the things, I mean, I thought that maybe we were getting away from like different types of like headless applications, but it’s like every site like, we’re gonna do, you know, a headless version of WordPress or whatever and it’s gonna be great. We’re gonna get to do everything from scratch.

 

Jay (32:34.158)

It’s gonna cost you so much more money.

 

Lindsie Nelson (32:37.47)

who’s will do that?

 

Jay (32:39.95)

Yep. All right. But anyway, yeah. So just absolute basic functionality is a search engine going to be able to see your site and get from page A to page B. That’s the most important thing on the front end here. The backend, it’s gonna be very use case specific or site specific. You know, we talked about like big e -commerce sites a lot. A lot of times they have all of their product data.

 

stored and managed elsewhere like in a PIM. So, you know, when you’re usually as an SEO not editing stuff in the PIM, you’re editing stuff in like the admin section of the website. So like, I don’t know, you make some optimizations to products and then the PIM syncs with the site. Is it going to overwrite what you did every single time? Can you edit stuff even to begin with? So just, you know, think through your

 

Lindsie Nelson (33:32.51)

Right.

 

Jay (33:36.942)

We don’t like the word checklist in SEO, but think through your checklist of like for each type of page on the site, again, the product page, category page, blog posts, whatever. What are the elements of that page that like I absolutely need to be able to make edits to? Can I make edits to them? Simple as that, but it can lead to some very complicated situations when you can’t.

 

Lindsie Nelson (33:52.286)

Mm -hmm.

 

Right, right.

 

Lindsie Nelson (34:00.894)

Right, and this is also setting groundwork for future SEO work for potentially years to come. And so getting it set up so it’s easy to use and function for the whole team is a really good goal here so that nobody is like just really frustrated with the process moving forward. All right, well, we’ve talked about a lot here and there’s still things that we haven’t touched like international localization and customization and…

 

There are so many pieces that go into this development phase and I think I would just want to conclude with, please work with somebody who’s done this before. A technical roadmap for a site migration is really, really important for the success of a site. And it’s not something that’s just easy to do. Having experience and knowing what to look for is why you kind of bring on a team.

 

that has experience like our team who’s done it a lot before.

 

Jay (35:05.294)

Yeah, this is not a time to just let your ego lead the way. We’ve seen a lot of SEOs lose their jobs, oversight migrations gone bad. We have seen companies go out of business, oversight migrations gone bad. And even less extreme versions. We’ve just seen like layoffs and cutbacks and missed bonuses and all sorts of unpleasant things that have

 

happen as a result of people just like not being ready for this and not dedicating the time and resources that are really required to it because it is a massive undertaking, especially when we’re talking about bigger sites and a lot of things can go wrong. And we’re only in part two of this. We have a whole nother part of all the things that can go wrong.

 

Lindsie Nelson (35:58.718)

Part three, come back for the post -launch timeframe. So we’ve gone through the prep, the development phase, and then the psychos life. What do we need to do probably right before and then right after to catch some really major pieces. So come back, we’ll talk through that and we’ll get through it, right?

 

Jay (36:25.742)

Hopefully anyone listening does not have a site going live before the next episode comes out. If you do, shoot us an email or something.

 

Lindsie Nelson (36:31.838)

So sorry. Yes, we’ll be there to help and answer questions for sure. So, all right, Jay, thank you. Bye.

 

Jay (36:41.198)

Bye.

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