At some point, your insurance agency may need to migrate your website. As with the initial process of building your website, there are numerous potential issues to be aware of. By familiarizing yourself with these potential website migration mistakes, you will be better equipped to avoid them. This way, you are less likely to see a drop in traffic and SEO from your migration.
Why You Migrate Your Website
Because of the potential dip in traffic and SEO rankings from website migrations, most insurance agencies will want to think carefully about whether it makes sense. That being said, there are many situations where you will need to migrate your website.
Maybe you need to upgrade an aspect of your platform, such as your servers. Maybe you acquired another insurance agency and want to merge websites. Perhaps you just want to redesign your website or you want to reorganize your website navigation. Or maybe you’re doing a full rebrand. Or perhaps you’re unhappy with your current vendor and are looking for another company to handle your insurance agency’s website.
These are all completely valid reasons for a site migration. Just keep the following mistakes in mind so your migration can go off without a hitch.
Don’t Forget to Inventory Your Old URLs
Before you start migrating your website, make a list of all of the URLs you currently use. Be sure to note any errors that come up as you do so.
This list will be important, as it will give you a comparison point when setting up your new website. The good news is that you don’t have to list the URLs by hand; many SEO programs can do so for you. If your website has an XML sitemap in place, that’s always a good place to start.
Don’t Forget to Back Up the Old Site
While you should start by gathering the URLs of your old insurance agency website, don’t leave your backups at this. Back up the entire website. This is crucial in case something goes catastrophically wrong during migration.
Don’t Delete the Old Site
You may think that because you backed up the old website, you can delete it once your new one is running. DO NOT do this. You don’t need to keep it live (and probably shouldn’t), but you don’t want to delete it.
Keeping the old site lets you ensure that you transferred everything, including any content that may have been missed. It also gives you another backup in case something goes wrong.
Don’t Forget to Benchmark Your Old Rankings
Another thing you don’t want to forget to record before website migration is your old SEO rankings. Remember that it is nearly impossible for a migration not to affect your SEO ranking. But you won’t know the extent to which it does so if you don’t know what those rankings were.
Don’t Panic If the Rankings Drop
As mentioned, your search engine rankings may drop temporarily – at least slightly. This typically happens with large content overhauls or when you modify your URL structure.
Google just needs to recrawl your website. Once it does, your rankings should go back up to a similar level, assuming that you’ve followed SEO best practices and but all of the appropriate 301 redirects in place.
So, don’t panic if your rankings drop. Stay calm and wait a little. Then, compare your new rankings with the old ones.
Don’t Forget to Plan the Site’s Structure
As mentioned, one of the reasons an insurance agency may migrate their website is to change the website structure. Whether or not this is a goal, you need to make sure to plan the navigation and navigation.
Don’t Schedule the Migration for a Busy Time
When migrating your website, you want to do so when your website traffic is at its minimum. At the very least, actively avoid migrating when your agency’s website has high traffic. Doing so can hurt the user experience and traffic. That could lead to a loss of clients or conversions or hurt your rankings.
Don’t Neglect to Consult a Developer
There are so many moving parts in a website migration, meaning that there is plenty of room for error. As such, don’t try to save money by doing it yourself. Instead, make sure to have a developer with migration experience handle it for you. Not hiring a professional can cost you much more in the long run.
Migrating your insurance agency’s website is complicated, with plenty of opportunities for problems. With the help of an experienced developer and the above advice in mind, you should be able to avoid issues. Soon, you will have a new and improved insurance agency website that better serves your clients.