Moving from Magento to Shopify, or in fact, from any platform to another, can be a right pain in the asset.

If you’ve read our list of 8 reasons to migrate your business to a new platform, you already know that getting your cross migration right can be an incredible asset to your eCommerce business. The outcome is increased sales and overall profit.

Get migration wrong, or move onto the wrong platform, and you’ll be looking at investment losses as well as the possibility of losing your job.

If you’re convinced cross migrating your website is the right business move, there’s a few steps to make sure you’re prepared for the process.

Get Your Team Onboard

Getting your team onboard is often the first obstacle. If you’ve deduced that migrating to a new platform is the right decision for growth and stability, the next step is to convince management why this is the best decision and how vital the investment of funds, time and team support truly is. Simply going through the problems of the current platform isn’t enough. Instead, focus on building a comprehensive argument detailing the return on investment (ROI), along with any other gains you can foresee.

You’ll require buy-in from the right stakeholders, ideally with a project sponsor. To gain this, along with buy-in from your directors and upper-management, you’ll need a strong case that justifies the switch.

Outline the primary reasons that have led to the decision to migrate to a new platform.
It may be related to:

  • Reducing costs
  • Increasing revenue
  • Improving efficiency
  • All of the above

From here, describe the role the new platform with play, such as:
Increasing revenue by modernising the website tech stack
Improving efficiency by unburdening IT on both front and back-end
Developing your position as a market leader

Details will vary depending on your business needs, but the winning pitch to your stakeholders will focus on the basics: new features, apps that aren’t delayed, functionality.

We’re talking about maintainability, upgradeability, and stability. Keep these three words in mind and you’ll be able to clearly deliver your perspective.

Consider Initial Cost and Investment

There is often fear around losing the investment in your current platform. You’ve poured so much into it. To spend thousands on a site a few years ago and then to have to migrate to another is a big call to make. We don’t take that lightly.

The alternative, though?
If your current platform doesn’t offer innovative solutions, chances are you’ll be forking out tens of thousands every time a large upgrade comes out. And again with the next upgrade, and the next one, and so on…

On the surface, this alternative can seem more palatable. Smaller costs spread across a management timeline. In our experience though, this scenario is begging for you to sink costs even further. Without tech-leading innovation, every upgrade will only cost your business more. The upgrades themselves will be essentially endless.

Future-proof your business as soon as you recognise this might be a problem with your current provider – make the decision to migrate now. Keep your eCommerce site rolling along with industry leading tech, backed by sound developer knowledge, like the Shopify platform.

Google / SEO Ranking

When you migrate to a new platform, a primary concern is SEO and the effect migration will have on your Google search ranking. It’s a valid concern considering the investment a good technical SEO strategy and execution requires.

We’d like to clear up a few rumours of what might happen to your SEO strategy and set the record straight.

If the replatform process is done correctly, by experts, the impact to your SEO should be minimal to non-existent before recovering completely (and hopefully improving) within a few months.

It’s possible to both migrate and protect your ranking. Here’s how:

1. Limit Technical Changes

Limit your technical changes during the migration period. Too many changes at this point can be confusing when trying to pinpoint the direct cause of any dips.

2. Prioritise Redirects

Redirects are vital to a successful migration, specifically on-to-one redirects. Spend time mapping each product to the same new product URL rather than redirecting multiple product URLs to one collection,

3. Monitor Changes

Monitoring changes needs to be done frequently and thoroughly. Benchmark the data to be measured and check it often, especially within the first few weeks of completing the site-migration.

4. Migrate Your Content

This is important, so we’ve saved it for last.

Keep content the same, or as similar as possible, when migrating your site. While technical components impact SEO, too many changes to your on-page content at the point of migration can make it difficult to determine the cause if something does go hay-wire with SEO. With so many changes to both technical components and content at once, the data becomes challenging to decipher.

It’s best for your website to be relatively established before adjusting content. Let your migration expert take care of the technical changes and ensure content transitions smoothly before establishing a new content strategy and overhauling the copy.

Preparing Content

If SEO is a primary marketing focus for your eCommerce business, we recommend retaining current content and copy through the migration phase.

SEO is predominantly about content, so if your migration doesn’t take this into account, you could lose a lot of traffic (and sales), which just isn’t an option in our opinion.

We know it’s tempting to change content at this time – the platform is changing, so content should too, right? Well, no… not in the world of SEO.

Here’s why: if Google has been crawling your established site for a while, any dramatic changes in site architecture, words and images will be noticed. This could lead to a reindex, causing a dip in ranking and organic traffic.

If you’ve already got a great spot in Google’s organic search results, and killer SEO strategy to-boot, you’ll want to retain it as much as possible. So, keep your creative aspects and content as they are – for now, at least.

On the flipside, it does pay to review how dynamic pages are handled. This includes filter pages, search pages, and pagination. Now is the time to decide how you want these pages to be crawled and indexed on the new site.

Focus on making it easier for search engines to index your site and lift your organic ranking. A lift in organic search will almost always lead to a lift in organic traffic, drive more sales, and increase the conversion rate, even shortly after migration.

Migrating to a new site takes some finesse and expertise, but when you get it right, it’s an opportunity worth its weight in gold. When done right, it’s an investment that gives you the ability to roll with the big boys, scale-up, keep on top of industry tech changes and boost traffic.

Think it might be time to migrate to Shopify?

Give us a call about making the move.

Written.

by Sequoia Painter
May 7, 2020

Categories.

Talk to Cross Migration Specialists.

Migrating to a new site takes some finesse and expertise, but when you get it right, it’s an opportunity worth its weight in gold.

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