Migration To A Modern Ecommerce Platform


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This article was published in 2019. The report has been adapted to meet the current standards. The move from a previous website to another website requires an incredibly intelligent execution strategy. Otherwise, it could negatively impact your SEO which would affect sales. Our work with dozens of eCommerce sites has seen several “gotchas”. These errors may appear small if ignored but can cause a massive drop in your organic search rankings.

Why do people need to migrate?

The implementation of a new eCommerce platform or technical changes to the website requires that site owners update their current architecture. As well, Google is constantly changing its indexing algorithms which means that your old website can have issues being properly indexed by search engines.

If you are thinking about migrating to another e-commerce platform, make sure you do it correctly. Otherwise, there could be serious complications for your company's growth and success.

How can I migrate my website without losing organic traffic? Here are some steps you need to take to successfully move your SEO friendly website:

1) Review content on old site vs . new site (if any differences do not start over - rather correct them) 2) Ensure all urls on old site are redirecting correctly to new site 3) Verify search engine robots.txt file on both sites 4) Ensure you have a strong Google Webmaster account for both websites 5) Make sure you create and submit a sitemap (XML or HTML format - we use XML) for both website 6) Check your analytics accounts and view the source of both old vs . new ecommerce site 7) Monitor organic traffic and do not send any additional link building work during this time 8) Once the ecommerce platform migration has been completed, verify that all content has indexed correctly and then start link building 9) Check other SEO factors such as proper schema implementations 10) Review indexation rate 11.) Enjoy your organic growth!

Looking to take your business online?

Geolance is a company that specializes in eCommerce website development. We can help you take your business online and start selling products or ecommerce migration services through a secure, web-based platform. This will help reduce overhead costs and provide an excellent customer service experience.

With our help, you can drive sales and take your ecommerce business to the next level. We have a wide variety of websites available for sale, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Contact us today to get started!

Successful Migration Strategy & Tactics Video Transcript

We are going to talk about the best way to migrate your website without losing organic traffic. So, let's break down this process into two sections here. First, you need to review content on both websites because the idea is that the old website should redirect all of its pages over to your new site without any loss of data or anything like that. If there's any difference in SEO factors between those two sites, then what I recommend is not starting fresh but rather trying to correct those issues at least as much as possible throughout this ecommerce site migration period so that you can avoid ranking fluctuations and things like that later on. So, if there are any differences at all, first off make sure you have a 301 redirect from your old site to your new site. I recommend reviewing the search engine robots.txt file on both sites to ensure that they are not blocking any access to the other website. So, it should be impossible for either of these sites to block indexing or crawling of the other site during this migration period.

And make sure you have a strong Google Webmaster account for each site so you can monitor all things SEO-related like crawl errors and indexation rate and things like that to ensure that you're able to identify problems if something goes wrong during this process, but hopefully, it doesn't!

So, what we're going to do is create an XML sitemap. If you don't know what a sitemap is, it's a file that lists all of the URLs on your website and you submit this to search engines like Google and Bing to index your website. So, we're going to create one for both sites, an HTML for your old site and we're going to create an XML sitemap for your new site so you can monitor which pages are indexed and also rank for different keywords in the search engines like Google.

And make sure when you do this migration process that you monitor organic traffic throughout this period because it might be possible that some of these pages get indexed properly but they don't show up in the search engine results or they don't have rankings assigned to them or whatever else could happen there. If at any point during this process you see a drop or significant fluctuations in organic traffic, due to indexation issues or something else, then I recommend that you stop the migration for at least a few days so that all of your pages can properly get indexed before continuing this process.

So, once the migration has been completed, verify that all content has indexed correctly and then start link building because what you want is some solid links pointing back to your new site from other websites that are linking over to these old website URLs just as if they were regular pages on your website. So once those have been migrated successfully, first monitor them through Google Webmaster Tools again just to verify everything's okay there with indexation rate and crawl errors, etc. Then, create some solid links for your new site and watch your SEO rankings grow!

So, I'm going to show you a couple of examples here with URLs that we can use to 301 redirects from our old website over to another URL on our new website. We'll just replace the www with the non-www versions and also update any variables in these links such as category ids or page ids or product ids, etc. If there are any specific products or pages that you know you need to keep ranking for in Google after this migration process is completed, make sure you point some high-quality links at those individual URLs and also create an XML sitemap pointing back at them as we mentioned in step #9 in our procedural outline.

And if in doubt about what to do with any specific URLs during this migration process, just ask yourself if those pages should be considered as part of your long-term site architecture or not? If they are important for SEO purposes and you want them indexed but also ranked for different keywords in the future, make sure you handle those accordingly during this migration process. But otherwise, you can 301 redirect from old categories, from old pages over to new categories, and new pages within your website. And then later on when everything's fully migrated and a few weeks have passed by, go check the search engine results again and see there how much improvement has been made compared to before. It should rank higher after following these steps here!

I'm going to show you a few live examples here with URLs where I'm going to update the www and non-www versions as well as the IDs. And also if you want to use this method for your eCommerce store, make sure you include all of those product category pages as well as those individual products pages within these XML sitemaps because those will be important from an indexation point of view, especially if a lot of these things are new or not indexed properly yet.

Tell me the difference between migration and re-platforming?

Okay, so re-platforming is basically when you need to do a complete revamp of your existing platform. So either you choose a new platform or completely revamp the one that you currently have and this process often leads to significant changes in where URLs are pointing to and also how they're structured, etc. But with data migration, it's more about just migrating data from one ecommerce platform to another without changing much of the underlying structure there at all. That means moving everything from an old existing site into a new site but leaving most URL structures and options unchanged throughout the process.

And keep in mind that if you don't use Shopify Plus and instead do this migration using regular Shopify, then you'll need to configure custom domain redirects on your DNS records manually. And that will mean that you'll have to keep your old site live for longer because otherwise, nobody would be able to find it or visit it at all after the redirects are pointing over to the new URL structure on your new Shopify store!

So if you don't want to do this whole process manually yourself, I recommend working with a Shopify Plus partner who can help you migrate everything over without keeping your old site live any longer than necessary so there's no damage done there. They can also help automate these redirects and other parts of the process as well using some custom software solutions.

And another important consideration here is that if you're moving away from BigCommerce then make sure that your theme is compatible with Shopify's Liquid language because otherwise, it won't be possible to install that. And if you are unable to work out any of these issues there yourself, then I recommend hiring a Shopify Expert to help you with this migration process.

All right, so let's take a look at the first example here which is our BigCommerce store called The Ski Chalet. This eCommerce website sells winter sports equipment and apparel including skis, ski boots, ski bindings, snowboards, ski jackets, backpacks, etc. So basically all kinds of items related to skiing! And what we're going to do here for this SEO optimization guide is migrate all of their product data into a new Shopify Plus store called The Skishop.com. So this is a new Shopify Plus eCommerce website, completely brand new! But for this example, I'm going to migrate all the data from The Ski Chalet over into The Skishop so it's just like before except now in its new home on Shopify Plus.

So first thing here is if you have an existing BigCommerce store and you want to move it over to Shopify Plus, then make sure that your theme follows the Shopify standards as closely as possible otherwise, you might run into any of those problems mentioned above right? So one of those issues I was talking about earlier with the Google search console needs to be addressed by migrating from one platform to another. And if you're using a custom-built WordPress theme at BigCommerce, then you'll probably need to contact the developer of that theme and ask them if it's compatible with Shopify Plus. And if they say no, then my recommendation is to switch over to a new Shopify Plus-specific theme because otherwise, there might be issues with caching or provisioning that are not able to be resolved in just a few minutes! And if you're using BigCommerce's Storefront themes, then your best bet is probably going to be the following free one called Brief depending on what type of eCommerce site you have out there.

Another thing here in terms of migrating, in general, is when making this switch from an older platform like BigCommerce, especially in cases where clients have their hosting providers which means they've got a website hosting as well as BigCommerce hosting all under one roof. So in this case, I recommend transferring those websites from the existing hosting provider over to Shopify Plus and then you can have your old host cancel their account completely with just a simple email request! And it's going to be way faster than if they canceled the website hosting only which would require a lot more back-end work on your end.

But aside from these technical details, another thing here is that if you're going through this process yourself - any kind of migration process - what you want to take a look at is how much of the site's functionality will remain the same after making this change? So for this example specifically, I'm looking at things like how to do I set up search engine optimization within Shopify Plus? How to connect with third-party eCommerce apps like Facebook retargeting, Google Shopping feed integration, etc.? What is the best way to manage my product data? And since The Ski Chalet is already ranking well on most of its desired keywords in Google, how can I make sure that they are also ranking successfully on their new domain name which is Skishop.com? So these are some important questions I want you all to take a look at as we go through this process together!

How do I migrate my website?

So the first thing is that you need to make sure that you sign up for a Shopify Plus account. And what's great about this is if you already have a website, then you can link it up with your existing domain name and it'll be like nothing ever changed! So they've got an awesome per-year price which starts at $2000/year and comes with 24/7 customer support as well as 100% uptime on their platform meaning that there's going to be absolutely no downtime of the eCommerce store whatsoever.

Now let's start with migrating your data from BigCommerce into Shopify Plus. There are a few ways to do this using tools within either platform but since I love simplicity, I'm going to recommend you guys follow the steps within this video to make things go a bit faster! And don't forget about taking advantage of Shopify's free trial here where they'll send you both your Shopify Plus credentials as well as an email with some helpful tips on how to get your store up and running quickly.

The Best Ecommerce Platform Options for Online Businesses

One of the best ways to get up and running quickly is to make sure that you are leveraging your time here. So you want to make sure that you're not wasting any time because these two platforms are very similar in terms of what they can both offer. And while Shopify Plus is geared more towards businesses that already have a commerce background, BigCommerce has a few features which are great for beginners or store owners who might not be into selling online but still want an eCommerce presence on their website. So let's start by talking about the pros of switching over from BigCommerce for existing online businesses so keep in mind that these are based on my personal experience with migrating customers from one platform to another!

Your eCommerce Replatform Strategy | Replatform

Let's take a look at why migrating to Shopify Plus makes sense here. So the first thing is that all of your data from customers, products, orders, etc. can be easily migrated over through using this tool within BigCommerce! And if you have any customizations made to your store, then they'll also be supported which means updating those things won't require any extra effort on your end once everything is done being transferred over. You'll love their 100% uptime guarantee as well as their 24/7 customer support where there are no call-time restrictions for both merchants and developers alike! And speaking of existing BigCommerce stores which are already ranking well in Google - I highly recommend making sure that you're working with a Shopify Plus ASM (Advanced Store Management) Expert to make sure that your website can help convert visitors into customers as you want! You see, the problem with most eCommerce platforms is that they don't provide any keyword research tools which makes it hard for stores to do things like create product videos or optimize meta titles, meta descriptions, etc. And this will affect how well your store ranks in Google which means getting less traffic and conversions from people who are searching online for specific products.

And now let's take a look at why BigCommerce might be a better option for beginners since Shopify Plus might not have the right features just yet! So one of the biggest benefits here is their lower price point compared to what you're going to pay when checking out Shopify Plus, and that price starts at $29-per-month. And you'll enjoy a custom domain name as well as unlimited bandwidth for uploading files to your eCommerce store! As well as the fact that they offer 24/7 customer support which will help you get through any questions or technical issues that might pop up along the way.

So let's recap here by talking a bit about each platform and why it might be right for online businesses! And if you're already using BigCommerce but want to learn more about how you can quickly migrate over to Shopify Plus, then click on this link here since I've put together an ultimate guide on what it takes to get everything migrated over within 48 hours or less!

This is exactly why updating your Shopify Plus store can be a vital part of growing your business. And with the right eCommerce Replatform Partner, you'll be able to quickly and easily bring all of your existing online sales along with better SEO rankings, product reviews, and more as you grow your revenue!

How do I plan my eCommerce migration?

Today we'll be talking about why eCommerce Replatforming is important to growing your business and how you can use this strategy to quickly and easily update an existing online store. And while some companies choose not to migrate their existing website traffic onto a new platform, the truth is that doing so will make it much easier for you to bring in more customers through improving SEO rankings within Google as well as adding tech features like product videos which do a great job at converting visitors into paying customers. And with Shopify Plus expanding their tech team recently, they've been able to add tons of new features that weren't available just a few years ago - all of which are meant to help businesses grow!

So the first thing we need to talk about here is why Shopify Plus? And there are three main reasons I'd choose them over BigCommerce or nearly any other eCommerce platform on the market. First of all, their backend is incredibly easy to use which means you'll be able to update your product pages in just a few minutes after being approved for your merchant account. Also, everything works with mobile & tablet devices so people can check out using their phones while you're on the go - which is hard to come by these days!

And lastly, you get unlimited bandwidth for uploading files into your store and 24/7 customer support which comes in the form of live chat and email contact whenever you need it most. And during my own migration from BigCommerce to Shopify Plus, I was able to get in touch with their team easily and quickly. And I did all of this while still working on other parts of my business, which is why it's such a time-saver that you'll want to take advantage of!

So let's talk about how we can use Shopify Plus to bring our existing customers over onto the new platform and start converting more sales! The first thing we need to do is get approved for a merchant account. After filling out an application like the one here, you'll be taken through a series of questions regarding your business type and goals before they decide whether or not you qualify for an online store.

Does your startup want a FREE eCommerce website?

Next, we'll need to create the pages your customers will see once they're on your site. And Shopify Plus makes it easy to do this by providing free and customizable templates that you can choose from whenever you click on "Pages" in the left-hand column of management options.

And lastly, we'll need to upload all of our products so our customers can browse what's available for sale! This is easily done within the "Products" section where you simply enter each product name along with its specifications before being able to add it from there.

Types of migrations for eCommerce

So even if you have thousands of products to upload, this won't take long at all compared to migrating from BigCommerce. And once the process is complete, you'll be able to start taking advantage of Shopify Plus' advanced features like Product Video Creators which are used to make the buying experience better for your customers!

These videos are simple to use because they can play directly on your product pages where people are already shopping - and because they're mobile-friendly, you don't need a big-box retailer's website for them to show up at all. So you can get started right away by clicking "Add Video" after opening the editing window while adding things like custom URLs or tags that will help bring more traffic into your store.

And the last thing we need to discuss here is how easy it will be for you to bring existing customers over from BigCommerce! In most cases, this is far easier than jumping through hoops on a new platform that isn't used to handling orders or customer data. And Shopify Plus makes it possible with their free import tool which allows us to pull in any information we may have - even if you're using a different eCommerce platform altogether.

All of this can be done in just a few minutes by following instructions that are displayed at the top of the page when entering the "import" section within my account dashboard. You'll then choose what kind of files you'd like to add before uploading them and waiting several minutes for the process to complete. And once that's done, you'll be ready to start checking out using your new eCommerce solution!

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