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Why Schema Is Your Insurance During Site Migrations

Oct 27, 2021   |   Web Design and Promotion
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Why Schema Is Your Insurance During Site Migrations

Site migration is basically the process of shifting a website from one domain to another either for the purpose of merging websites or rebranding and this can be a critical time for a business. The reason is that if not done accurately, it can result in a severe traffic drop, a potential loss in search visibility, and the eventual revenue hit.

While many believe that a traffic drop is a given, it’s not true. In fact, if done correctly following the SEO Migration Guidelines, a business could witness a jump in traffic post-migration. Before we get into how schema can actually aid a business during site migrations, let’s first focus on why site migrations go awry.

Top 4 reasons WHY site migrations go wrong

  1. Ranking content is removed, reduced or consolidated
  2. Redirects are missing or incorrect
  3. SEO not integrated into new templates and designs
  4. A site is difficult to crawl
Top 4 reasons WHY site migrations go wrong

With a possible 40-80% of SEO traffic lost post-migration due to incorrect redirects and the removal of valuable content, the process of schema implementation during website migrations will mitigate the possibility of a traffic drop post-migration.

Combining website migration with Milestone’s schema solution

Combining Milestone Schema Solution + Technical SEO Expertise to perform a PRE-Migration health check ensures that redirects are done correctly to the desired pages and quickly identifies potential issues. Correcting them will not only eliminate a possible wrong migration but ensure that your website is sending the right signals to the search engine post-migration to improve the chances of a traffic jump.

This is primarily because the key steps of implementing Milestone Schema capture a good set of data or KPIs that can be used to monitor the migration and health afterward.

Key steps for site migration with Milestone Schema

Let’s get into the steps Milestone carries out during schema implementation which covers all the requirements when performing a site migration:

Step 1: URL identification

The primary goal is to identify top-ranking URLs and determine if they have structured data, and if so, the most relevant structured data (schema).

Step 2: Data Collection

For the URLs identified in step 1, aggregate the current performance data KPIs (E.g., Clicks, Impressions, etc.) and group them by categories (e.g., Products pages, Location pages, etc.). Grouping schema into categories allows the schema to be published in bulk.

Step 3: URL Action Classification

Set an action and destination URL for each page so that it can be monitored along the way. This allows removal and redirections to be done properly and seamlessly.

Step 4: Add Schema

Add relevant schema to the top URLs identified to help search engines understand the content for it to match the content to relevant queries on search.

Step 5: Validation

Post-migration identified URLs will be monitored and tested to make sure all changes are error-free.

How Milestone Schema Manager monitors and maintains schemas

With constant content and website changes, implementing schemas isn’t a one-time process. To ensure they are effective requires round-the-clock monitoring and maintenance which works as a perfect cover for site migration as well. With Milestone’s robust schema manager features, you have the ability to create and maintain your website content and have peace of mind that your content has the most relevant schema markup for your business, products, services, and all your locations. We follow a rigorous 3-step process to ensure the schemas are poised to boost the search engine’s understanding of the content and boost the visibility of the content as rich results.

How Milestone Schema Manager monitors and maintains schemas

This easily consumable format will be used to convey the impact of adding schema and report any errors/warnings/opportunity, etc.

Step 1: Recognize the technical severity of your website

This step has three parts to it:

  • If there are any script issues

You will have to recognize if errors are being flagged because of the loader script being blocked and if any incorrect schemas are being detected

  • If there are any site-level notifications

If there are any errors on your website, such as Redirects (3xx, 4xx) or domain errors such as 5xx

  • If there are Google Errors in your schema implementation

If errors are flagged following schema implementation on Google’s Rich Result Testing Tool

Step 2: Keep up with schema and website content changes

You’ll have to have a robust notification system that calls out errors if the website content has changed or if vocabulary has been updated and the existing schemas on your website are now showing up as errors.

Step 3: Identify Schema Opportunities

The goal is to create a nested schema architecture to map the relation of entities on your web page. This can be done by paying attention to your schema warnings that call out any missing attributes or required fields that need to be filled in for that particular schema – to give the search engine bot a clear context of the content on the web page and improve the chances of the content showing up as rich results. Addressing schemas warnings is basically taking advantage of your content opportunities.

Schema Implementation Success Story

For a client that wished to increase their brand and product awareness to gain top-shelf visibility on SERPs across Featured Snippets, FAQ Rich Results, Product Rich Results, and the ‘People Also Ask’ sections, the Milestone Research team identified schemas most suited for the brand, store information, and product pages. Schemas including Product, Offer, LocalBusiness, ItemList, ImageGallery, FAQPage, WebPage were deployed across the website to gain maximum online visibility. The schemas provided enriched data on search engines for FAQs, Featured Snippets, and People Also Ask results and drove overall search visibility by 30% and 19% for their product pages.

In addition to driving visibility for brands, for its schema solution, Milestone Schema Manager has been shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative Product’ at the prestigious US Search Awards 2021.

Talk about getting two birds with one stone. Implementing schemas is not only your competitive advantage with Google’s shift to entity-driven search but also offers protection during a website migration. You could very well say goodbye to traffic drops, loss in rankings, and the multitude of issues your website could face during site migrations. To know more about entity optimization, to improve your business’s visibility on search and align with the latest search trends, join Milestone’s Founder and President, Benu Aggarwal, along with industry veterans Bill Hunt of Back Azimuth and Dixon Jones of DHJ Ventures at the SMX webinar ‘Why Entity Search Is Your Competitive Advantage’ on November 9th and 10th.

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