Never underestimate the risk associated to migration, the process according to which the transfer of data, design and content of a website to a new platform and/or to a new domain takes place.
How It Usually Works
The client has just told you, with a cheeky grin on his face, that the launch of a brand new version of his website is imminent — that usually means between four and eight weeks in any industry. Aouch.
At this stage, expectations and emotions run high, only to leave space to disillusion when the new platform is actually launched. Budget is rarely a concern, but you may lose the mandate in a flash.
Migration hurdles render your life pretty stressful indeed.
“The site migration will be a success,” I was recently told by a top-tier client in the UK. As it turned out, the launch was delayed by several weeks, and from pre-migration to post-migration, the whole process wasn’t much fun.
Elsewhere, with two global companies whose accounts I recently managed, the conversion rate post-migration fell by 70% globally, on average, while their domestic performance was also affected. In both cases, the clients had underestimated the importance of accurate forecasts and the risks that big changes may bring, particularly on the technical side of search engine optimisation.
When pressure builds up, so-called emergency meetings seldom lift spirits.
The client blames you, damn it, and you blame the market — but only if you have not followed the basic guidelines, which tend to be standardised, regardless of the platform, the sector and the size of the client.
Five Bullet Points For You:
- The migration must be planned in a timely manner: pay particular attention to the priorities (URLs mapping & redirects, hierarchy analysis, to name a few); be prepared to manage the domino effect risk, which means that under any circumstances you must be able to allocate resources efficiently, while taking aim at specific issues all along the value chain.
- The interest of all stakeholders must be aligned: arrange a face-to-face meeting as soon as necessary to sort out different views on strategy.
- Bear/base/bull-case scenarios must be based on historical on-line and off-line data sources: adjust them by projections for macro data (filtered by industry and global trends) and micro data (financials, peer analysis).
- The tracking must be properly implemented all the way through the migration process – otherwise, your judgment will be based upon misleading inputs. A basic recommendation is to pay attention to the so-called “staging website”, which would help you spot discrepancies, for instance.
- At a post-migration stage, time is a very precious commodity: so, be prepared to adapt quickly to outputs and findings that greatly differ from the original forecasts, depending on budget.
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