It can be one of the most miserable tasks a webmaster can undergo, that’s updating and/or migrating a website.
First of all, updating or migrating a website means a stop in production. If you’ve got to start from scratch all over again or do major damage control, you’ll be on a rough road for sure but all need not be lost if you do things the professional and SEO way.
The main thing is either repairing or recovering traffic you may have lost. This is due to changes in domain information and more. You’ll need to take a good look at your website, its content, it’s mission statement and more. You have to be objective and make sure that you don’t have unrealistic viewpoints regarding what your website is and what it can or needs to have done.
Fixing the old urls is a good idea. Also, handling redirects and more are important, of major importance to be exact. Don’t leave one stone unturned and check those inbound and outbound links as well. Are those links accurate and well written? Descriptions and tags matching what they’re associated to? All these things have to be handled delicately but precisely as they’re the fundamental foundation of the site itself.
Don’t underestimate the power of analytics either. They’re the dashboard of what you’re driving and unless you know what is doing what, you’ll be driving around in the dark and results will not be optimum to say the least. Analytics are just for this purpose. Allowing you to see what is performing and how on your site. Traffic, links, sources of traffic and more are vital to your over all statistics. Know your analytics and always be on top of your website’s vital information.
Once you’re ready to do the dirty work , you’ll be looking for important data such as duplicate page titles, missing and duplicate H1 tags, canonical tags, broken internal and external links, image alt text, missing page titles, page titles over 512 pixels, missing meta descriptions, meta descriptions over 923 pixels, and more. All the primary things that make a website tick. You’ll have to do some scouring but you know what’s on your site and if you don’t, you had better get busy right away.
This task is for professionals and there are some tools around to help out like Screaming Frog. Look around for tools to help you rehabilitate your site and get it back to top efficiency. Remember, loose ends will sink a website if things aren’t done right.
Finally, using standard and ethical SEO tactics will be of the utmost importance. Don’t try any black hat techniques on any site, much less one that is new or being rehabbed or Google’s new software algorithms will beat you down. So again, take your time, peruse your site, set your goals realistically and get to work. Doing things right from the start means less headache down the road and more efficiency regarding traffic and revenue.