How to choose the right digital agency for cross-migration

Thinking of hiring a digital agency to migrate your business from one platform to another? You’ll want to read this first.

Our long-term partnerships are our pride and joy. We’re fully equipped with knowledge and resources to ensure your migration to Shopify, from any platform, runs smoothly and successfully.

When migration goes wrong, it’s a massive headache. You need:

  • proof that the agency you’re working with will do what they say they’re going to do
  • a contingency plan if organic ranking starts to drop, and
  • an ongoing strategy to get the most out of your new Shopify store.

You need the best agency for the job, to protect your most important selling asset – your website.

Is it time to migrate your site?

There’s a whole lot of reasons why migrating your website could be the best move for your business.

Here’s 8 of the reasons it’s time to migrate your business to a new platform.

Let’s break down the key components.

  • Poor functionality and unacceptable user experience on your current platform
  • It’s time to grow, scale, and look ahead to your next big step
  • You need streamlined solutions, with excellent integration and automation options
  • You need cross-device optimization, and your current platform doesn’t support mobile fast enough to keep up with demand.

The process itself can be complicated, which is why many businesses choose to bring a team of experts on board to manage the move for them.

It’s a smart idea – leave cross migration to the experts, so you can focus on your business (not the inner workings of your website).
If you want to minimise potential errors, loss of data, and breaks in functionality, you need to find an expert agency to get it done for you. Having seen our fair share of successful migrations ourselves, we also know that choosing the right agency for you is essential.

Things to consider before migration

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of whittling down your list of potential agency partners, there are several important points to bear in mind when planning a website migration.

Capture all content and data including products

You want to make sure you avoid any potential missed sales. All products need to be migrated across to the new site correctly, and all data captured.

Prioritise URL redirects

If your site is constantly taking users to broken or missing links (those pesky 404 errors), your Google ranking will be significantly affected. Each link needs to be meticulously transferred.

Customer password data can’t be migrated

Privacy laws mean that customer data and credentials can’t be migrated along with other website data. We recommend sending a bulk email inviting customers to register and update their details on the new site. The expert trick – incentivise this with a discount or special offer.

Google and SEO rankings

A slight drop in Google and keyword search rankings is to be expected with site migration, but if it’s done well (in the hands of an expert like Zyber), this should be minimal and temporary. Your new site can then be optimized for increased traffic.

Preparing content

It’s tempting to change or update all of your content when moving to a fancy new website, but it’s important to remember that your content style and structure all contribute to SEO.

We suggest introducing any dramatic content changes slowly after your migration has taken place and is performing well. This also helps provide clear post-migration data which could otherwise be diluted by the effects of a major copy or content overhaul.

Cost

A number of factors influence the cost of a site migration – including the number of pages, landing pages, the functionality, form submission routing and existing integrations. Getting it right isn’t negotiable, it’s a necessity. If you want it done well, and done right, you need to establish an investment you’re comfortable with.

Finding your digital needle-in-a-haystack

Let’s be real. There’s a deluge of agencies out there, all jostling for your attention. Choosing the right one first time will ensure your migration has no lasting negative effects on your business – saving you a lot of money in the long run.

How do you narrow it down? We recommend research and asking the hard questions. Stalk them (digitally, of course – don’t be weird about it). Your website is your golden asset, and you want the best hands in the business on it.

Find out all you can about the agencies you’ve identified as potential partners. What do their customers say about them? Do they have a positive online presence? Does their approach resonate with you?

Once you have your shortlist, dive deeper, get in touch, and ask each agency to provide you with relevant examples of their work. We don’t mean let them wow you with technical website builds they’ve completed – we’re talking recent, tangible case studies where they’ve managed a website migration for a similar-sized business.

And don’t just take their word for it. A Shopify expert will be able to back their case studies up with previous website migration clients who you can contact for a reference.

Are you right for each other?

You’ve found an agency that ticks all the boxes: brilliant reputation, experience, and social proof.
But are they the right cultural and personal fit for you and your business?

The migration process is time-consuming, complicated, and requires effortless communication between all involved, so ask yourself – can I see myself and my team working alongside them? Do their values and working methods align with ours?

If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, don’t be afraid to go back to your shortlist. After all, you’re entrusting your business and reputation to a bunch of strangers, so you need to feel confident that their team is made up of your kind of people.

Post-migration

An important and often overlooked part of the migration process is post-migration planning. Successfully migrating your website and all your data is one thing, but testing and tracking its performance after go-live is another.

A good digital agency will have post-migration processes, measures and contingency plans for every possible outcome.

  • The success of the new site is measured: Ask them how they do this, and what the plan of attack is.
  • They’ll perform an SEO audit pre and post-migration, have a clear outline on how to keep your current ranking as close as possible, and address any issues (preferably before they arise).
  • Speaking of SEO protection, migration experts will always benchmark keyword rankings pre and post-migration.
  • They’ll also, always, have a contingency plan. If your ranking starts to drop, what plan do they have for you?

This is about the ongoing plan once the site is live, and what your growing working relationship will look like.

You need an agency that provides a high level of after-care. An agency that knows their work isn’t finished when they hit the go-live button.

Great websites take time, expertise, measured testing and ongoing adjustments. There’s no cookie-cutter approach.

Migrating to Shopify?

We’ll partner with you to successfully launch your eCommerce store, with the precision needed to level-up your business along the way

We’ll ensure you’re ready, protect your SEO, optimise your website, and give you strategy and advice for a smooth transition.

Looking to migrate to Shopify? Learn more.

 

Written.

by Raihanath Bindh Latheef
August 11, 2020

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