SEO Checklist for WordPress VIP Migration

WP VIP Migration SEO Checklist

Yes, we agree with you that website migration is an exciting endeavour, but maintaining or improving your site’s performance is very crucial.

Among the pivotal pre-launch preparations, search engine optimization (SEO) stands out as a vital component. Your preparation and willingness towards the process can significantly influence the final outcomes.

To assist you, we’ve prepared a comprehensive SEO migration and launch preparation checklist.

*Please note that specific steps may vary for each organization. You must contact your technical WordPress VIP expert if you have any queries.

  • Pre-launch SEO Checklist
  • Launch Day Checklist
  • Post-launch: SEO is an Ongoing Process

WordPress VIP Makes Migration Even Smoother!

WordPress VIP incorporates essential functions, including security, caching, and dynamic sizing, eliminating all your concerns. As part of the migration process, it offers a temporary convenience URL with a predefined /robots.txt output, that returns:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

These robots.txt rules are there to prevent search engines from indexing the content hosted on the unlaunched production website.

Site speed improvement is a major concern for everyone in order to enhance the overall website performance and that’s why WordPress VIP offers built-in infrastructure features to enhance the site speed, features include:

  • Numerous caching levels
  • optimizing the intermediate images
  • JS and CSS minification

Furthermore, consistent uptime plays a vital role in SEO. It’s unfair to your business if your website is hosted on an unstable platform, so we recommend WordPress VIP as it stands out above the rest.

Pre-Launch SEO Checklist

Over time, your website (each webpage URL) gains a particular SEO value on the search engine’s index. It is important to protect its credibility when you migrate your site; otherwise, you may experience a drop in traffic. There are multiple ways to avoid a negative effect on your SEO prior to migrating.

Perform Content Audit

It is important to perform your website’s content audit on regular interval so that you can optimize your content performance. And especially during website migration content audit is necessary to identify…

  • Top-performing pages, posts or resources
  • Top converting pages or posts
  • Redundant content pages
  • pages with obsolete content

Monitoring content performance before and after launch is important for assessing overall site performance and identifying priority pages for quality assurance checks.

Implement 301 Redirections

A 301 redirect signals to search engines that a page has relocated. Ideally, you avoid to change your site’s URL structure OR try to change it as little as possible where there is necessity. However, during migration, sometime URL adjustments may be necessary. To facilitate this, you need to implement 301 redirects as needed. On WordPress VIP, we recommend to use Safe Redirect Manager or WPCOM Legacy Redirector, to manage large quantities of redirects.

Organize Analytics Tools

Ensure effective measurement by verifying the proper installation and functionality of analytics tools before and after your site’s launch. Utilize Google Tag Manager for Google Analytics integration. This proactive approach guarantees you will not lose the crucial data during launch.

On-Page Optimizations

On-page optimization is an essential part of ensuring that the SEO performance will be stable during website migration. We recommend to check below aspects first:

  • Page titles and meta descriptions are in place
  • There are no duplicate H1s throughout the site
  • Make sure HTML and XML sitemaps are available on live website
  • Internal page linking is working properly (no 404 errors)

Lower the TTL Settings

Reducing the Time to Live (TTL) of a domain’s DNS records to 300 seconds at least a day before site launch is advised. This short TTL facilitates a quicker update across servers when the IP, CNAME, or A record is modified at launch. As a result, most browsers will redirect to the newly launched site within minutes of its release.

Add Domain to VIP Dashboard

To make your website ready to launch, add your domain to the Domains panel of the WordPress VIP Dashboard.

Launch-Day SEO Checklist

Prepare for launch by adding your domain to the Domains panel on the VIP Dashboard. Launch of the new website is easy with VIP’s Self Launch Tool in the VIP Dashboard. On launch day, follow these steps:

  1. Launch on VIP Dashboard: Access the self-launch tool in the VIP Dashboard, and mark your site as “Launched” after completing the steps under “Launch Your Application.”
  2. Connect to Google Search Console: When you launch your site, confirm your site is connected to Google Search Console and submitted for indexing. This maintains your presence on Google and keeps you informed about critical site errors, security, and rankings.
  3. Update Google Ads: If you are running PPC ads in Google Ads, update them with the new URL format for approval.
  4. Annotate in Google Analytics: Add a launch annotation in Google Analytics for benchmarking traffic patterns before and after the launch.
  5. Update External Links: Reach out to partners and content hosts to ensure all links are current. Update links on social channels, apps, and other places with inbound links to your site.

Post-Launch SEO Checklist

Even after successful launch, you must keep SEO in mind as content strategy best practices are ever-changing. But we promise you that WordPress VIP will take care of the structural aspects of your website’s speed and performance.

Always remember, SEO is an on-going process and strategic things need to be evolved and updated as per the real-time updates from Google.

Final Thoughts

We hope you find this SEO checklist well for website migration to WordPress VIP. Sometimes it seems little tough process to migrate the enterprise websites. But WordPress VIP helps you very well to cope up with that in efficient manner. At certain technical checkpoints, you may need help from a leading WordPress development company who have WordPress VIP experts on their team, feel free to get in touch with us, we’re just a call away!

Parth Pandya
Founder & CEO

Founder & CEO of KrishaWeb, leads an Enterprise Web Agency. With contributions to WordPress and organization of WordCamps, he pioneers innovation and community engagement in the digital realm.


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