Are you ready to migrate your website over to Webflow? If you are ready to move to Webflow's no-code platform, this article will take you through the process step-by-step. We've broken the migration process into eleven steps. Follow each one thoroughly, and you (or your client) will have a successful migration. Plus, we have a free checklist that you can download. A critical goal in migrations is to keep your clients happy. Usually, this means losing traffic or crashing your website during the migration process because lost traffic leads to lost sales.
This is a step-by-step walkthrough on Migrating to Webflow. A successful migration goes beyond rolling out some new code and adding some redirects. A successful website migration requires organization and precision. Make sure that you complete all the parts of each step before you move on to the next. This will minimize the possibility of losing the sale or call to action.
It's imperative to be transparent with your customers about this. Reassure them, if needed, when the traffic drops that the decrease is temporary. The reason web activity drops is that Google needs time to reindex the changes you make. It may take a few days or weeks, but your listing will return higher on the results list soon. This is a step-by-step walkthrough on Migrating to Webflow. Follow it precisely, and you will have a successful migration.
Step1: Benchmark the Current Website
Start by documenting what the current website does and how well it performs. We need to be clear about the expectations of a migration. It is common for web traffic to decrease for a month or so after migration, but you will start to see an uptick in activity within the first sixty days. Your client may complain about the slower traffic. If so, then download the metrics to show that traffic is trending upwards. Benchmarking also gives you the information needed to compare the metrics for both sites.
Benchmarking the current website involves three steps:
- Run a site audit to check your current website's health
- Setup position tracking to monitor the website's current rankings
- Take note of the current traffic the website is receiving.
Step 2: Create a list of Your Current URLs/Pages
Step 2 continues establishing the baseline and collecting all the information that you need to transfer the files.
- Use the sitemap extraction tool to pull URLs from the sitemap.
- Use a backlink analytics tool to take note of the pages on your site with backlinks.
- Use Google Analytics to take note of which pages are receiving a good amount of traffic.
- Use Google Search Console to take note of which pages are indexed.
- Take note of which URLs/pages you are going to keep, delete or change.
Step 3: Gather Content
Next, it's time to gather the content you plan to upload on the new site. If coming from a WordPress website, you can use a plugin WP CSV to export content as a CSV file. Then you can easily upload it to the Webflow CMS.
You will also need to set up a folder on your Google Drive to hold the files. Remember to share file privileges with your client. Your customers will also have access to their data through Google Analytics or other SEO accounts. After you download the free checklist, start organizing your content. Find (or create) a sitemap to the domain that lists all the different pages and links. You'll work down this list to ensure you don't miss any redirects or forget to transfer any files on the new website.
In summation, here is what you need to do during the gather content step:
- Set up a Google Drive Folder to house/organize the website content
- Transfer all your content files to this folder
- Provide your client with access to the Google Drive Folder
Step 4: Take Care of Your Own Page SEO
You can run the list of audits and checks below using almost any SEO tool. Next, set up position tracking to monitor the website's current rankings. Now is the time to plugin your SEO tool to see the site's ranking position according to keywords. Finally, note the amount of current traffic and patterns that have occurred in the last few months. Your migration may coincide with a nonrelated issue that slows down web activity. The notes will support your work if someone tries to blame the slowdown on the migration.
Double-check that you pull all the URLs and links from the sitemap. You will want to use a backlink analytics tool to keep track of the pages on your site to ensure they are all working. Backlinks are vital to pulling in new traffic, so don't skimp on this step. If you need to remove the page that another site backlinks to, then set up a redirect to keep the backlink alive. With Google Console, you can see which pages have already by indexed by Google and which ones are getting a large amount of traffic.
- Do all of your pages have optimized Title Tags?
- Do all of your pages have optimized Meta Descriptions?
- Does every page have an open graph image set up?
- Have you optimized all of your URLs?
- Does each page have one and only one level one header? Is it optimized?
- Does each page have at least one internal link coming to it from another page?
- Do your main pages have one external link to an authoritative website?
- Did you compress all your images?
- Did you optimize all the file names of your images?
- Do all your images have optimized alt text?
Step 5: Setup Your 301 Redirects
If your client wants to use the migration as an opportunity to weed out several pages from the website, make sure they understand that doing so will slow down traffic. When Google's robot scans your page the following day and finds that 50 percent of the indexed pages are gone, it will temporarily penalize your ranking. It's rarely practical, but the ideal way to remove old pages from a website is to delete a few each week. This won't scare the Google algorithm, and traffic will remain steady.
- Set up all the necessary 301 redirects in Webflow
Step 6: Check Your New Website for Errors
Errors happen. Just find them and fix them.
- Run a site audit on your Webflow subdomain
- Check your website manually for any errors.
Step 7: Setup Google Analytics
- Setup Google Analytics
Step 8: Connect Your Domain
- Get access to the domain from the client.
- Connect domain to Webflow site
Step 9: Set up Google Search Console
- Setup Google Search Console
Step 10: Review Benchmark
Compare the metrics from your newly migrated site to the old site. It is wise to document the comparison for at least several weeks. You may never need it, but if a customer asks, then you can show that the new site is performing as promised.
- After some time, go back and make sure there weren't any dramatic negative effects to traffic, rankings, etc.
Step 11: Create a Case Study
Now you can tell the world the website is live!
- Create a case study to show off your successful site migration!