With the new architecture and framework for Magento 2, there come robust features like improved performance, easy admin interface, in-built full page cache, user-friendly checkout, and mobile compatibility. All these features of the Magento 2 have depreciated the Magento 1x versions. These features have made Magento 2 a top choice among all the retailers globally and therefore, retailers have started migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 to benefit from all the features offered by it.
Why should you migrate to Magento 2?
In this highly competitive digital era, if an online retailer faces any sort of performance issues while working on Magento 1 or is not getting enough exposure to the target audience, then one can think of exploring the new version i.e. Magento 2. Though the decision of migrating involves a lot of planning and efforts it is worth the efforts when benefits are experienced. It involves the migration of data on the old site, third-party extensions used and other custom features as well.
There are many things which need to be kept in mind while migrating to Magento 2. Here are a few SEO tips which one must pay attention while migrating:
SEO tips to keep in mind while migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2
- Pre-Migration prompts
The primary step is to analyze and take inventory of the store and all the features it utilizes. Also, making a list of all the features you want to implement in your storefront too is helpful. After sorting all this information, all you need is to analyze the traffic and sales performance to identify the best time to migrate. Be sure to take the backup of all the data before migrating to the Magento 2.
- Accurate mapping of 301 redirects
301 redirects are an essential part of the SEO and therefore, each page on the current site should directly be redirected to the corresponding destination i.e. Magento 2. If there are any older redirects also available on the website, then make sure to migrate those redirects to the newly developed page. These can be mapped manually as well and for doing this, Magento’s rewrite management feature gives proper instructions. Accurate mapping of these rewrites is very important from the SEO perspective as when not done properly many websites lose swath of traffic while migrating as a redirecting issue.
- Assure proper setup of XML sitemap
A properly configured sitemap is very important from the SEO point of view as it makes easier for Google and other search engines to track all the pages of a website. In spite of being a stellar platform, the sitemap functionality of Magento encompasses all the pages a website houses, even the undesirable ones.
So, it becomes necessary to verify that any low-quality or the dynamic page does not get included in the XML sitemap.
- Content and meta-data alterations should be minimum
It is important to keep in mind that however tempting it is to make changes to the content, SEO metadata or structure, one should alter them to the minimum level. Any changes in the above-mentioned three parts impact the website ranking in unfortunate ways and therefore, to prevent the website ranking, content should be preserved as much as possible. Keeping Metadata unchanged while migrating to Magento helps to provide a continuum for search engine bots, minimizing the chances of reduction in website ranking and traffic.
Not only the content but if the site features question-answer sessions, user-generated content and customer reviews, then it is important to migrate this content as well as it is important for SEO and perceptual justifications.
- Assure non-indexing of dynamic pages
Layered navigation of the Magento is one of the major problems faced by the retailers while migrating and it is important to confirm that sites filter pages don’t get indexed by the search bots. Another thing to keep in mind is to check the way search engines are handling these pages. Also, make sure that any dynamic page doesn’t get indexed as it will result in duplications and a heavy penalty from Google’s algorithm.
If by any chance, after the migration, any such page gets indexed and you have a modestly sized website and have opted out of leveraging layered navigation features, you can just implement noindex no follow tags on these types of pages, and then manually submit removal requests.
- Compare indexed pages to products and categories
Indexing is very important for the SEO perspective as it directly affects a website’s visibility, traffic and conversion rate. So, proper indexing of the pages should be done and to check if the bots are indexing any low-quality pages, there are two simple methods. First is to simply analyze the number of pages being indexed by Google before migrating to the Magento 2 rather than after migration. There should not be large discrepancies in the results. For uncovering this, simply do a site: search through the engine.
The second method is to reference sitemap stats in Google Search Console. Analyzing the number of pages being presented and indexed in comparison to the number of products and categories mentioned on the newly migrated Magento 2 page.
- Check load time and performance
Nobody is unaware of the importance Google gives to the loading speed of a website. It is a well-known fact that if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, it is likely to lose 53 % of its potential customers. Therefore, it becomes important to check the loading speed of the newly migrated website. Ensuring the site’s performance and speed should be the priority of the website owner. To check the performance, the retailer can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool as well.
While migrating the website to Magento 2, it is important to pay attention to the changes made in order to not impact the SEO of the website. Haphazardly making changes and leaving ungoverned page indexing can negatively affect the ranking of the website. And, thus paying attention to these guidelines will save your time and money and give you a successfully Magento 2 website.