Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.
Stay tuned! Live updates will begin momentarily.
10:40:36 AM Barry Schwartz: Starting in 5 minutes
10:41:12 AM Barry Schwartz: That is the face of a Mac user using a PC
SEO Essentials For Migrating Websites (#smx #32A)
Itâ€™s an SEOâ€™s worst nightmare: for whatever reason, you need to migrate your website to a new host, CMS, or (horror!) a new domain name. But donâ€™t panic â€“ there are proven techniques that can help minimize the impact on search visibility caused by a site migration. Panelists on this session share best practices and tactics to ensure all of your hard-fought SEO efforts arenâ€™t for naught.
Moderator: Christine Churchill, President, KeyRelevance (@keyrelevance)
Q&A Moderator: Corey Morris, SEO Strategist, emfluence (@coreydmorris)
Jessica Bowman, CEO, SEOinhouse.com
Rhea Drysdale, Co-Founder & CEO, Outspoken Media, Inc. (@Rhea)
Ryan Jones, Sr. SEO Strategist, Team Detroit (@ryanjones)
Dana Lookadoo, SEO Consultant and Trainer, Yo! Yo! SEO (@lookadoo)
Shari Thurow, Founder and SEO Director, Omni Marketing Interactive (@sharithurow)
10:41:31 AM Barry Schwartz: We cannot blog Shari's presentation
10:45:42 AM Barry Schwartz: Site Migration panel starting now
10:46:05 AM Barry Schwartz: Dana Lookadoo, SEO Consultant and Trainer, Yo! Yo! SEO (@lookadoo) is up first
10:46:45 AM Barry Schwartz: Every web site that is migrated, will experience little loss
10:48:09 AM Barry Schwartz: She shares the experience some people have with migrating 10+ year old sites that are half broken
10:49:14 AM Barry Schwartz: That is the plan right there. Lisa is on my right trying to type the whole slide fast. :)
Migration Variables depend on what changes:
- IA Structure?
- Content & Meta?
- Plugins and Functionality?
10:50:26 AM Barry Schwartz: Mirror the content order, keep the home page links, retain the link structure as much as possible
10:51:03 AM Barry Schwartz: You want to know your internal links, you want to maintain your internal link structure, persrve your internal link strcuture
10:51:36 AM Barry Schwartz: Know your top pages, which tools have the most links, which pages get the most traffic. Use Webmaster Tools or Open Site Explorer to discover those links
10:52:25 AM Barry Schwartz: Weekly Baseline Metrics include pages indexed, cache date, PageRank, home page authority, domain authority and webmaster tools errors
10:52:54 AM Barry Schwartz: Then think about tracking monthly basis, traffic sources, key pages, unique visitors, page/visits, bounce rates, time on site, conversions, etc.
10:53:21 AM Barry Schwartz: Now the Planning and Implementation ....
10:53:50 AM Barry Schwartz: First disallow your development site from being indexed using robots.txt file and password protect your dev site
10:54:08 AM Barry Schwartz: Content Audit, what type of content do you have, rate the pages, what is moving, what pages are already indexed.
You can use the IIS SEO Toolkit to do an audit
10:55:19 AM Barry Schwartz: Now the keyword research phase... map those keywords properly
10:55:57 AM Barry Schwartz: When you set up your redirects, map the redirects one to one. Retain the site hierarchy and structure
Final Days prior to launch:
- Try to break the site
- New Domain? Keep both active
- Mail Servers
- Secure access, etc.
10:57:09 AM Barry Schwartz: Now you launch. Expect a drop in rankings from 2-4 weeks
- Remove the robots.txt disallow
- Update/submit XML sitemap
- If a new domain, add and verify your site in GWT
- Fill out change of address
- Check header coders
- Keep track of coding errors
- Watch 404s
- Check indexation
Next up Jessica Bowman, CEO, SEOinhouse.com
11:00:37 AM Barry Schwartz: She is going to look at two of those phases
11:00:42 AM Barry Schwartz: REQUIREMENTS
11:01:41 AM Barry Schwartz: You must atttend all requirement meetings
11:02:22 AM Barry Schwartz: You need to read the new site migration documentation from the developers
11:03:42 AM Barry Schwartz: She shows an example of something written in a technical document that was bad for SEO
11:03:56 AM Barry Schwartz: It was a business decision, but it would create huge duplicate content issues
11:05:29 AM Barry Schwartz: Here is a snippet of those requirements
11:06:35 AM Barry Schwartz: You need to sit down with the design team before they do their photoshop work
11:07:16 AM Barry Schwartz: Get designers and SEOs to review the wire frames prior to the developers see it
11:07:24 AM Barry Schwartz: Most wire frames only cover basic SEO stuff
11:07:56 AM Barry Schwartz: The wire frames may say "make this SEO friendly" but it should specifically say how
11:08:29 AM Barry Schwartz: Learning happens over time, so train your team, the more they will learn
11:09:55 AM Barry Schwartz: Rhea Drysdale, Co-Founder & CEO, Outspoken Media, Inc. (@Rhea) is next up
11:10:00 AM Barry Schwartz: She is way cooler than Lisa
11:10:19 AM Barry Schwartz: She is going to focus on links for migration
11:11:12 AM Barry Schwartz: She likes Bing Webmaster Center cause it has very detail error reporting
11:11:55 AM Barry Schwartz: Bing shows you link detail with the anchor text.
11:12:12 AM Barry Schwartz: Google Webmaster Tools also lets you do this... Shows you most linked to content.
So reach out to them and ask them to link to the new place
You can download all those reports
11:12:52 AM Barry Schwartz: There is also Open Site Explorer
11:12:56 AM Barry Schwartz: Also Majestic SEO
11:13:06 AM Barry Schwartz: Google Analytics shows referral traffic
11:13:23 AM Barry Schwartz: 404 Discovery, check to see which pages are broken or need to be 301ed
11:13:46 AM Barry Schwartz: You can control domains you own, self published links, sites with a direct relationship and paid links
11:15:04 AM Barry Schwartz: What don't you control? Really old content, curated lists, reviews, news/media mentions, site wide links, blogrolls, andd social shares
Set up a criteria on what is a priority:
- Link count
- Followed or no followed
- Anchor Text
- Domain and page authority
11:16:33 AM Barry Schwartz: Now you need to automate and outsource to ge tthem updated.... Use something like mechanical turk or odesk
11:16:46 AM Barry Schwartz: Raven SEO tools and Buzz Stream has a contact discovery but it is a bit buggy
11:17:26 AM Barry Schwartz: Once you have the list of people to contact, you need to reach out to those people. Make sure new link still adds value. Otherwise why would they update a link?
11:17:54 AM Barry Schwartz: After, track and follow up with these people
11:19:45 AM Barry Schwartz: Then replace the links you cant fix
11:20:07 AM Barry Schwartz: Ryan Jones, Sr. SEO Strategist, Team Detroit (@ryanjones) is next
11:20:50 AM Barry Schwartz: He had to change his deck last minute b/c he just switched companies --- He also bribed me with non-Kosher cookies
Reasons To Move A Domain:
- A change in brand identity
- You might get a Google penalty
- Maybe you just screwed up
- Maybe you need to consolidate and leverage your authority
11:22:34 AM Barry Schwartz: He worked at a large automotive company
11:23:33 AM Barry Schwartz: #1 source of traffic was the corporate site and the site was terrible with bounce rates
11:23:40 AM Barry Schwartz: The site wasn't meeting user expectations
11:24:32 AM Barry Schwartz: They has all these authoritative sites but they weren't using it
11:24:41 AM Barry Schwartz: So they wanted to create an authority hub
11:25:01 AM Barry Schwartz: They went to sub domains
11:25:29 AM Barry Schwartz: They moved two sites, into one. They couldn't have any down time. They had to mitigate dup the content period
11:26:07 AM Barry Schwartz: Tip he said to use is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_to_live but he didn't call it TTL
11:26:38 AM Barry Schwartz: They had to prove it would sell more cars before anyone moved ahead with it.
11:26:56 AM Barry Schwartz: Come up with a plan to move the site, QA, revert back if things go wrong, communicate plan.
11:27:09 AM Barry Schwartz: Measure everything from rankings to traffic, bounce rate, 404s, etc
11:31:50 AM Barry Schwartz: Shari is up but I can't live blog her
11:32:13 AM Barry Schwartz: See, you can't see her now.
11:33:05 AM Barry Schwartz: Anyway, next sessions at 1pm PDT