A Migration Worth Making

weBoost: Satisfied Client

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Whether due to a rebrand, a new URL, or a new CMS, site migrations are one of the riskiest projects a company can undertake. However, with Elite SEM’s help, Wilson Electronics learned that with every risk comes reward.

Since Migration: +31% Sessions YoY /// +115% Transactions YoY /// +119% Revenue Growth YoY

Wilson Electronics is an industry leader in wireless communication infrastructure, delivering cell phone signal boosters, antennas, and accessories that improve cellular communication technology across USA and Canada.

Unhappy with the SEO performance of one of their e-commerce domains, weBoost.com, Wilson Electronics decided to migrate it to Shopify, a popular e-commerce platform. To ensure the end result of the migration was a well-optimized site that would improve rankings and revenue in the future, they enlisted the help of Elite SEM’s SEO team.

Here’s the original set up of weBoost.com when they first reached out to Elite SEM:

  • The main domain (weBoost.com) was a blog that was set up on WordPress.
  • The e-commerce store was located on a subdomain (store.weboost.com).

The Plan

After pouring through reports and data, the SEO team suggested the following setup:

  • The blog would move to a subdomain (blog.weboost.com).
  • The main domain (weBoost.com) would become their e-commerce store.

Here’s why:

Google views a subdomain as a website separate from the main domain. Because of this, the main site and the subdomain can have different page authority. Although a small amount of the authority can be shared, both the domain and subdomain need their own authoritative backlinks to rank well.

In this case, weBoost.com’s store subdomain did not have many authoritative backlinks. However, the main domain, thanks to their past blogging efforts, had an impressive backlink profile. Migrating the e-commerce store to the main domain would increase the page authority of each store landing page, improving the rank for all keywords ranking that landing page.

Within the industry, it’s understood that changing URLs will always have a negative impact on the site for at least a short amount of time. This is why it’s important to have support from an experienced team when migrating a website.

The Migration

Sold on the solution, Wilson Electronics gave the SEO team the green light to move forward.

With several successful migrations under their belt, the SEO team has developed an impressive migration checklist that they use for every site migration and this one was no exception.

Once the internal dev team at Wilson Electronics was able to share staging access, the SEO team began running through the checklist and highlighting issues that would need to be addressed prior to the launch of the new site.

Working with the dev team, the SEO team also took steps to ensure that landing pages were 301 redirected properly, canonical tags were migrated, URL structure was optimized, and metadata was present on the new site.

Because 301 redirects and metadata are crucial to a successful migration, the SEO team took time to do them manually and provided Wilson Electronics with a large document with all 1-to-1 redirects and optimized metadata.

With the site migration nearing completion and launch day right around the corner, Elite created an extensive baseline report so that they could understand and accurately report on the impact of the migration. The report contained metrics such as sessions, transactions, revenue, and keyword rankings.

The Launch

The minute the new site went live, the SEO team performed a QA of the newly migrated live site. They referred back to the migration checklist and ran through everything again and reported back to the dev team any outstanding issues that might impact the new site’s performance.

For weBoost.com, the biggest technical follow-up was updating the trailing slash redirect which was not in place when the site launched—a minor issue that was immediately fixed.

The Drop

Anytime you change or migrate URLs, a drop in organic traffic will occur. Search Engine crawlers place value in a consistent URL that has age and does not change. When you migrate a URL you are forcing the bots to crawl, index, and re-rank the correct keywords to the new URLs. This can take a bit of time for the search engine to fully understand the changes. Within the industry, it’s understood that changing URLs will always have a negative impact on the site for at least a short amount of time.

This is why it’s important to have support from an experienced team when migrating a website. Not only does Elite SEM’s SEO team specialize in limiting the drop, but it’s one of their biggest goals for a migration.

(Figure A) 1 Month Post-Migration: Sessions -31%, Transactions -14%, Revenue -7% /// Keywords: 65 product keywords with top-30 rankings saw improvement of at least 1 place compared to pre-migration ranking

The Reward

It took roughly one month for all the changes to be crawled, indexed, and updated by Google’s bots. However, in the months following, weBoost.com started to see large increases in traffic, transactions, and revenue.

(Figure B) Quarter After Migration (Q2 vs Q3): Sessions +25%, Transactions +68%, Revenue +67% /// Keywords: 71 product keywords with top-30 rankings saw improvement of at least 1 place compared to pre-migration ranking (Figure C) 1 Year After Migration: Sessions +52%, Transactions +143%, Revenue +128% /// Keywords: 65 product keywords with top-30 rankings saw improvement of at least 1 place compared to pre-migration ranking (Figure D) Migration to Present: Sessions +31%, Transactions +115%, Revenue +119%

Elite SEM’s SEO team continued keyword optimization and keyword mapping following the migration, and as a result, keyword rankings and conversions continued to increase.

With the dust now settled and sales clearly taking off, Wilson Electronics and the Elite SEO team continue to reap the rewards of another successful site migration.

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