How to Maintain SEO Rankings When Migrating a WordPress Website

Apr 13, 2023

Migrating a new WordPress website design to an exisiting website database can have an impact on your website’s SEO, but taking the following steps can help you maintain your rankings:


Keep the same URL structure:

Ensure that the URL structure of your website remains the same as it was before the migration. This will help you maintain the backlinks that you have already earned.

Keeping the same URL structure when migrating to a new website design is important for maintaining the backlinks that you have already earned. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to pages on your website. They are an important factor in SEO, as search engines use them to evaluate the relevance and authority of your website.

When you change the URL structure of your website, all the backlinks pointing to your old URLs will no longer work, and you will lose the SEO value that those backlinks provided. This means that your website may experience a drop in search engine rankings and traffic.

Additionally, keeping the same URL structure can also help your users find their way around your website more easily, as they will be familiar with the URLs of your pages.

Keep the same content:

Try to keep the same content as much as possible. If you need to make changes, ensure that the content is still relevant and useful for your audience.

The content on your website plays a crucial role in your search engine rankings. Search engines use the content on your pages to understand the topic and relevance of your website. By keeping the same content, you can preserve the SEO value of your website and ensure that your rankings are not negatively impacted.

Use 301 redirects:

If you have to change the URL of any page on your website, use 301 redirects to redirect visitors and search engines to the new URL.

A 301 redirect is used when you want to permanently redirect a page to a new location, while a 404 error indicates that the requested page is not found and does not redirect the user anywhere. It is important to use 301 redirects instead of allowing pages to return 404 errors because 301 redirects help preserve the SEO value of the page by passing most of its link equity and authority to the new page.

Update your sitemap:

After the migration, update your sitemap to reflect the new design and structure of your website.

A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website. Search engines use sitemaps to discover new pages and to crawl your website more efficiently. By updating your sitemap with the new URLs of your pages after transferring your website, you can ensure that search engines can find and crawl all the pages on your website.


Check for broken links:

Check for any broken links on your website and fix them. Broken links can negatively impact your SEO.

There are a few ways to check for broken links, including, Google Search Console. This tool allows you to monitor the health of your website in search results. One of the features of Google Search Console is the ability to identify broken links on your website.

In addition to Google Search Console, there are also other tools such as: W3C Link Checker, Broken Link Checker, and Dead Link Checker.

Optimize your images:

Ensure that the images on your website are optimized for the web. This will help improve the loading speed of your website, which is a ranking factor for search engines.

I try and keep all my images and client images under 1MB! You can also look into the Smush plugin 


Install SEO plugins:

Install an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack to help you optimize your website for search engines.


Migrate during a ceratain day and time: 

After you have taken all the steps to prepare for the website to go live, I recommned choosing a certain day and time where there will be minimal or no traffic to the site. Specifically at night or super early morning! 


By taking these steps, you can ensure that your website maintains good SEO after migrating to a new design.