08/02/18 // Written by Emma Phillips

Migration Best Practice for International Websites

Moving a Site to a New URL

Moving a website to a new URL and redirecting the old site is known as a website migration. A confusing and often daunting process, site migrations are teamed with potential problems that could affect SEO rankings, traffic and conversions.

So why would a business take the risk?

Generally a strategic necessity, a website migration offers many benefits and could be required for many reasons including a redesign as part of a wider rebrand, or switching from HTTP to the secure HTTPS. Interestingly, here at Ingenuity Digital, we’ve observed a growing desire among our client-base to introduce an international website, designed to serve a global audience.

International Website Migration

Moving away from a country-specific Top Level Domain (TLD), like ‘.co.uk’, to an internationally friendly one such as ‘.com’ for a multilingual audience adds an extra layer of complexity to a site migration.

Altering a websites structure can create visibility and traffic issues, with search engines failing to understand that the website has moved. When expanding to a multilingual website, duplicating and translating pages to ensure users in different countries can easily understand and navigate the website can cause a whole other raft of problems.
To help mitigate the risk, we’ve devised our failsafe checklist to help your international site migration run smoothly.

Checklist for a Multilingual Website Migration

  • Map old URLs to the new site for a smooth migration – Failure to properly implement redirects is one of the most common website migration downfalls and significantly impacts on site traffic
  • Review this especially if you are moving to a secure site (HTTPS)
  • Try to publish the same content you have in your old site to the new one, including meta data to minimise SEO risks
  • Check your hreflang has been updated – Here you can review target countries and languages to expand or reduce, depending on legal and compliance per country
  • Ensure mobile accessibility with loading speed top of your list
  • Prepare for Google’s Mobile First Index
  • Review landing page performance and page views for the last 12 months – Is your content effective? Should you optimise, update or completely remove it?
  • Include relevant call to actions and phone numbers per country
  • Encourage conversions with a flat site architecture which means fewer clicks away from the home page
  • Run a Google Analytics audit to look at your events and goals

Take the stress out of this complex process with a reputable and experienced agency you can rely on. Here at Ingenuity Digital, our dedicated team of experts have helped some of the biggest brands in the UK and worldwide. Make the switch without negatively impacting your online presence and, in turn, revenue.

Get in touch with the team today to find out more about migration for international websites or our other services.