This may seem like an obvious thing to say but let me say it anyway.
When you’re migrating your site, the worst thing you can do is give the greenlight for Dev to hit the go-live button before the migration changes are ready.
The worst thing you can do is downgrade, or ignore the showstoppers in order to meet the launch date.
The worst thing you can do is go-live before SEO give the all-clear.
You should never, I mean NEVER, go live before SEO gives the greenlight.
The consequences are no joke.
Going live before SEO confirms the migration is ready to be pushed live is a legit threat to your profits, one that you should be concerned about.
When I say threat, I’m not using that word likely.
The threat of things going wrong goes far beyond the remit of SEO.
It impacts the entire site.
If you were to launch a migration project before it is readied, and as a consequence your revenue dropped all the way down to 0 for the period of a week, would you be concerned?
Of course you would be.
What if I told you this would actually be a mild consequence if you had a migration that ended up being unsuccessful?
A migration project is one of the most critical ways businesses sabotage their website performance.
You wanna know how this tends to happen…?
Pressure from the board – to launch before the migration is ready to be launched.
I can tell you first hand that many business leadership don’t know shit about site migration, and most certainly don’t know shit about SEO.
The operational work of a migration project is not visualised in board meetings.
The reality of making a migration a success is not considered, not even cared for.
The mindset is very much that of an investor – the management part of Management Leadership is easily put to the side.
Put to the side in favour of ‘calling the shot’ without any care of the consequences.
Unfortunately, with migrations, the consequences are severe.
The consequences are impactful to revenue.
The consequences are a threat to people’s jobs.
You see, the reality to migrations is that they venture into the uncharted territory for a business.
A business experiences the unknown, unknowns, when migrations are carried out.
Add to this the fact that most people in a migration wouldn’t be well versed in SEO, and you have a cluster-mess that will require more time to be resolved before the migration is readied to be pushed live.
I can absolutely assure you, if you’re going through a migration, you’ll either need to move the launch date, and/or increase the headcount on the project – not to mention upping the frequency of status updates.
You’re bound to have several barriers.
This is why you can never be too detailed with the planning of the project.
The more detail you can have on a migration plan, the more likely you’ll be to make a success of the project.
By having a detailed plan, you’re able to uncover the unknowns.
And hopefully, uncover them earlier into the migration.
I can guaran-damn-tee you that the unknown unknown problems will be uncovered because of SEO.
Accepting them, or at the very least, acknowledging them, when they’re communicated will go a long way in ensuring you have a successful migration.
A major migration pitfall that you’ll want to avoid is disregarding the role that SEO plays in a migration project.
It’s very tempting, when you’re not familiar with SEO, to put it to the side, and/or think of it as less of a priority compared to the overall agenda of having a new version of the site.
It’s tempting to isolate SEO from the website during a migration.
It’s tempting to see ‘SEO issues’ as those that can be addressed once the migration is launched.
This will be a mistake.
This will be costly.
This will be an EPIC FAIL.
If SEO were to suggest a problem is a show-stopper, you probably should listen to them.
The last thing you’ll want to do is to decide to push live a migration, and to deal with the consequences afterwards.
Afterwards would be too late.
Too late, as in, the damage would have already been done.
And course correcting after the damage is done will take months and in an extreme case, years.
SEO in 2021 and beyond is not like it used to be.
It’s a lot harder now.
Competition is greater than it ever was.
Losing rankings, losing visibility, mean you’ll have to work a lot harder than you would have had to 10 years ago, just to get back to parity, let alone, go beyond!
The knock-on effect to having an unsuccessful migration lasts for many months.
Getting back rankings takes a long time because you first have to show your site is worthy, and then convince Google that they should list your site over others, after having listed them over yours.
This consideration, or reconsideration, is not done likely.
Google’s job is to provide their users with the best, most appropriate sites that match what they’re seeking.
If they listed your website highly, and then had to remove it due to issues caused upon a migration, and replace your site with another, why will they then second-guess themselves and re-list you highly in the SERPs just like that…?
So, do yourself a favour, no, do your team a favour, no, do your business a favour…
Listen to SEOs, and don’t launch a site migration until you get the greenlight from SEO.