Harsh Words: How Brutal Should You Be with Content Migration?

Content migration. Two little words which can cause many sleepless nights and a lot of big headaches.

Harsh Words

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Common Problems

Content reorganisation can result in some awful mismatches. You can find that navigation and links no longer work properly, which will give you poor URL structures and page 404 errors. This will have the opposite effect to the one you want – frustrated users will leave and not return to become customers.

Old Content – Do You Need It?

A lot of old content on an established website may be redundant anyway. You don’t need duplicate information, out of date information or huge amounts of trivia. Content migration offers you the opportunity to savagely prune your website, cutting it right down to the bone. Or at least to get rid of stuff you really don’t need (and maybe never did).

Starting from Scratch

Starting from scratch can be a tempting approach. Instead of debating the merits of each page’s content – which can be a nightmare if your site is particularly large – you start all over again. Nobody can complain that you’ve removed their work, because you’re removing everybody’s. No audit, and no politics. And no content that isn’t fresh, relevant and bang up-to-date.

A Word of Warning

Starting from the beginning is appealing – but you need to consider your SEO before going down that route. Any content rich site will be generating a lot of traffic from organic searches, and you want to continue doing so. Also, some pages will be relatively low-traffic but will be attracting high value visitors, for example, very specific “niche” pages may attract specific niche visitors, and result in a high conversion rate for that page.

For instance, www.rycomarketing.ie/, an SEO agency in Dublin, among others elsewhere would strongly recommend looking closely at your analytics before deciding what to axe. You can find out more about content migration planning in reports by Search Engine Watch and Forbes.

Once you have decided you need a new website, you need to tackle the content migration as soon and as thoroughly as you can. Otherwise, you will find that your beautiful new website inherits all sorts of problems from your old website, and if your old website had been perfect, you wouldn’t be shelling out for a new one!

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