You have a blog with hundreds – maybe thousands- of posts which have never really been optimised; now you are about to migrate your website to a new version and you are undecided about what to do with all your posts: optimise them all before migrating? Optimise after migration? Carry them all across or make a selection? And if you make a selection, how do you choose the most useful ones for search? So many things can go wrong during a migration and your blog posts carry most of your link equity. Making the wrong decision could result in a huge loss of ranking.
This document gives recommendations about how to choose and bring across blog posts during a website migration and SEO work to be done on present and future posts.
- First of all crawl your website with Screaming Frog to make a list of all blog posts urls and identify any SEO issue (duplicate urls, missing meta descriptions…), so you get an idea of the amount of SEO work to be done.
- Then, identify the richest posts in linking domains and social shares in your legacy website: these have been the most successful ones and should form the bulk of those which will be brought to the new website. To do this, we use a tool called Ahrefs.
A referring domain is a domain where links to your site are coming from. Referring domains are important, especially if they are websites with authority in the specific field of interest of your own website: having many authoritative referring domains is a sign of a post’s popularity. It is therefore very important to keep the most popular posts in the new website.
- At this point it may be useful to analyse from a user experience point of view how easily your blog posts can be accessed as well as any pagination issues which might make it too slow or difficult to navigate through your blog.
Finally, here are a few general SEO recommendations for blog posts
- Find focus keywords, using terms that people will actually search for, avoiding technical definitions, if possible.
- Use chosen keywords in title and in texts always aiming for natural readability without using too long sentences and without stuffing text with keywords.
- Try and keep titles between 30 and 65 characters.
- Use headings to organise the text into subsections whenever the readability of the text allows it. Avoid duplicate headings and try to keep each heading under 70 characters.
- Write meta descriptions containing keywords and try to keep them between 150 and 160 characters.
- Optimise images, if present, by compressing them and adding alt tags. If possible, use author image in all posts.
- Use structured data to highlight specific information for search engines and improve search results.
- Avoid different languages in the same url; if there are different language versions of the same posts, implement hreflang markup.
- Format blog texts for consistency.