In this 1-hour session, you’ll learn how to maximize Wix's advanced SEO tools using the example of client site migration. Find out how to map content and run traffic analysis, maintain link equity with group redirects and use Wix SEO Settings to instantly update meta tags sitewide.
Transcript: Migrating sites with advanced Wix SEO Tools
Adam Fainaru, Product Manager, SEO, Wix
Brett Haralson, Community Manager, Wix
Brett: I think everybody's ready. So first off, welcome, everybody to this workshop. Today we're going to be talking about migrating sites with advanced Wix SEO Tools. This is a hot topic. And joining us to talk about it is Adam. Adam. Welcome. And tell us a little bit about you and what you do at Wix.
Adam: So hi Brett. Hi, everyone. My name is Adam, and I'm a technical product manager for the Wix SEO team. What we care about and what we do in the team is we make sure that Wix sites are optimized for search engine success. And we make sure that Wix users have the SEO capabilities and features that they need in order to apply their skills and optimize their website.
Brett: So like I was saying, and kind of you and I were kind of talking earlier, this is such an interesting topic. And this is a hot button topic that we see a lot in the Community. SEO really has to do with your business's success, being found and what happens when you migrate. For those who are attending this, Adam, what are some takeaways? What are some things we're going to cover?
Adam: Right, so we're going to cover the entire process today. And I'm going to break it down into what you need to do in order to prepare for the site migration. And we're going to talk about how you can plan and build your Wix site and [how to] save some time when building out the new website. And then we're going to talk about some best practices and some post-migration tips and frequently asked questions.
Brett: So this, as we talked about—this is a tough subject, how should we start with this? Where should our mind be? Where do we go from here?
Adam: Right. So before we actually dive in, I do want to kind of talk in general about site migration and kind of explain what that is. And basically, when you think about site migration, it's kind of like moving your local business to a new location, right, to a new address.
So when you have a business and you're considering moving it, you want to expand it, and you want to make changes. But you also want to make sure that everyone who's already familiar with your existing business, and its current location, is aware of this move. And, also when he goes to your new location, that he still finds the same thing he's used to, and gets the same, let’s call it value out of your business as he used to get. That's what's going to keep him coming to your new business, right?
So when you do a site migration, you do things a little differently, but the goal is the same. You want to make sure that everyone, whether it's humans or bots, like Google bot. You want to make sure that everyone still gets the same kind of experience and the same value that they got on the old website that contributed to the reputation you already had.
And you want to make sure that this is carried over to your new website, and that transition is smooth. So when you do site migration, you don't have to do things like put up a sign or send an email or a notification to your visitors. Instead, what you're doing is—you are creating redirects and redirect tools and what these are more accurately and technically, it's a 301 redirect. And what these do is basically—they not only notify the person of the new address, but they also take them there. So this is what allows for a smooth transition for both visitors and bots.
Brett: So, when you talk about these, the three things we're gonna cover, I guess the first is preparing. How do you prepare?
Adam: Right. So that's a great question. And let's kind of understand. So basically, when we prepare the migration, we want to make sure that we know what are the assets that we have in our existing website that we want, that we care about. These are the things that our visitors care about, that they're used to, that they're going to be looking for when they come to our website.
So we want to make sure that we have a list of all of these because when you talk about a website, it's just a collection of URLs. So we want to check what are the URLs that we care about, and make sure that we have a list of them so that we can make sure that our new site knows how to handle them, right? So when we get a request for any of these pages, we want to make sure that the visitor has a smooth transition to the new URL.
So in order to do that, one of the cool resources that we can use to do that is Google Analytics. So what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to do a quick run through of what you can do in Google Analytics in order to prepare this list. So let's quickly jump into Google Analytics and what you see here. This is a demo account by Google. So the numbers here are from Google's demo account, and what we're going to do is we're going to look at—this is going to be the same for every account. So we're going to go to the Behavior tab. And then we're going to go to Site Content. And we're going to look at the landing pages.
So the landing pages are the pages that visitors landed on, right? This is where they started the visit to your website, right? So these are the pages that we know are getting traffic and pages that are getting traffic are pages that we care about. We want to make sure that this traffic grows and doesn't go away. So what we're going to do is we're going to try to export these pages so that we can have a list, right?
Because here, it's not that convenient. So in order to do that, first, we want to make sure we have all the pages that we want. So the first thing that we're going to do is we're going to say maybe we prefer to actually see the pages that are getting traffic from Google search results, right? These are called organic traffic pages. So we're going to go to the Segment option in Google Analytics and we want to remove all users and instead, we're going to go to Organic Traffic, then we're going to apply it.
And now the list below that we just saw is going to change. And it's going to only show the landing pages where the referral was Google search results. Now we're going to do another thing before we're going to click on the Export button here. We want to make sure, first of all, that we can capture all pages, so we can show more rows, right? This is again going to affect the table, then we're going to pick the timeframe, right? Because we want to make sure that we capture it from a recent time. So I'm going to just stay, let's say around six months.
Brett: Why six months? Why would you not want like, four years worth of data here?
Adam: That's a good question. And the reason I am choosing six months is because this is my decision for this site, right? This depends on your client's website and on the website’s need. So maybe the website is very old, and you have a lot of data that you want to capture. So in that case, you might say I want to take a year's worth of data, right? Or maybe you have a new site, or maybe the client [made] some changes. And the only thing that's relevant is like stuff from the last three months. So this is not an obligation, you can choose based on the business's needs, right? If the site was getting a lot of traffic, you can maybe do three months, six months, a year, this is up to you. And this is a decision you should take after consulting with the client and understanding from him how the website performed throughout a recent period of time.
So again, once we have the timeframe, and once we make sure we have enough rows, we can just click on the Export [button] here. And this is going to download a CSV file with just a simple list of URLs that we are going to care about. So this is very briefly the Google Analytics demo.
Brett: Adam, so just to showcase that again, that was Google Analytics. And I'm assuming they have their data there. And a lot of people don't. But assuming they do, it's a great place to start. What if a client does not have any metrics at all?
Adam: Right. So this is very common, actually, some websites don't install Google Analytics. So in such a case, if your client doesn't have Google Analytics, there are some alternatives. Some are better, some will take more time. One of the better alternatives is also Google Search Console, right?
So in Google Search Console, you can actually see and export a list of pages that are already indexed and are already getting traffic. And you can export it very similarly to the way we just saw in Google Analytics.
But if that is not an option, as well, there are some additional alternatives. One of them is to collect all of the URLs from the sitemap file. The sitemap basically is just a file that most websites have. And it lists all of the URLs of the website. So there is a very quick trick on how to use Google Sheets or any platform actually in order to automatically input the sitemap URL. And it will automatically create a list of all of the URLs that are listed in that sitemap. So we're going to share that trick with you later on in the Partner’s Forum. I'm not going to get into that now. But that is another option that you always have if you have a sitemap file.
But if that doesn't exist as well, which does happen, what you can do is, you can do a search. And as you can see here on the last line, you can do a search on Google that starts with “site, colon”, followed by your domain name. So that search is going to bring up all of the pages that are currently indexed under that domain that you put in. And now this is a little more manual. But this does give you some sort of understanding of what pages are already indexed, and that you should carry over to your new website.
Brett: It makes a lot of sense. So it's good to know that if they don't have something in place there, that we still can find this information.
Adam: Exactly. So now that we kind of have an understanding of what we need to prepare, and how to get the list of these assets, which are pages or things that we care about. Now, let's talk about preparing the client’s new website, right? And we want to make sure that the new website provides the same or even better value than the old one, right? So we're going to talk a little bit about using Wix SEO Tools to prepare your new site for migration.
So I'm going to talk about a few of the tools and there’s much more that you can do, but we don't have enough time. So I'm just going to briefly go over some of these tools. So the first one I'm going to talk about is the SEO Patterns tool.
SEO Patterns is a really, really cool tool that allows you to save time, by basically changing the default meta tags, as you can see here, the default title or description, and you can change them for a specific type of page. So the page that we're seeing here is a product page.
So any product page under your website, you can modify its meta tags here. And you can use as you can see static values, like 20% off. And you can also use variables so that each one of your product pages when it's loaded, we're going to use for example, the product name, pipeline site name, right? So if you want to make changes, if you want to replace your site name with your business name, if you want to add some static sections to your patterns, you can do that from the SEO Patterns tool, instead of going one-by-one in your SEO Panel and making the change there.
Of course, if you want, you can override for a specific product, the meta tags. But this kind of allows you to easily match the meta tags that you had on your old website to the meta tags that you need on your new website. And a lot of the time, these should be kind of the same, because again, we want to communicate to visitors that they're going to find the same experience and the same value they’re used to on the new website. So keeping things like the title similar is going to help them familiarize themselves with the new website.
Brett: And to get to this, this is within the dashboard and it's under, I think I can see at the top there SEO Tools, SEO Patterns, and then that's where you would get to it, correct?
Adam: Exactly. So this is the new SEO tool section.
Brett: Is this relatively new? How long has this been out?
Adam: So we are constantly improving it and adding more types of pages and more variables. And this is a relatively new offering for this year. So we think that this is a really exciting product that's going to evolve a lot. And it's super-easy and convenient to use.
Brett: Yeah, and I'm not 100% sure that everybody is aware that you can do this because I know there's a lot of Partners that have been asking how to do this and change this. So you've actually answered a question by showing this. This is pretty awesome.
Adam: Great. Alright. So this is the SEO Patterns tool. But I want to also talk about creating a custom 404 page, this is another feature that you can [use]. And basically a custom 404 page is the page people are going to land on if they ask for a URL that doesn't exist. So let's say when you do a migration, that there are a lot of pages that might be missed or overlooked, right? And you want to make sure that even if someone lands on a page that doesn't exist, he still can find his way to go to your main pages to go to the main place you'd like to send the visitor to.
So using this custom 404 tool, you can actually create a customized experience and make sure that even if someone does land on a page that doesn't exist, he can still find his way to your relevant pages instead of just leaving the website.
In addition to that, there’s important stuff that you need to do. And this is connecting your website to third party tools. So just like we mentioned that it's important to set up analytics and to check it on the old website. It's also important to make sure that Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Facebook pixel, make sure that these things that you already had—that you still have them on your new website.
So we made sure that it's very convenient and efficient to connect to Google Analytics. You just paste your ID. We also handle enhanced eCommerce events and we do a lot of things out-of- the-box, we import leads automatically. So basically, all you need to do is pretty much plug and play.
Of course, you can also customize using Corvid (now Velo). But that's for a different session. So we talked a little bit about the tools. And there are of course more, but I want to kind of talk about like the best practice in terms of creating the actual URLs. Because this is what we're going to talk about when we're going to create the redirects.
So when you move your client, and when you build out the new website, you wanna, if possible, try to preserve the same URL structure. So if you had an old page called slash about, and you can also call your new page slash about and that's great, it saves you the time to redirect, right? Because anyone who's visiting the old page is just going to end up on the new page. So that doesn't require a redirect.
However, there are some cases and these are totally fine, where you do want to make a change to the URL, you want to optimize it. And in that case, you do need a redirect. So you need to remember to put that on your list.
And the final option is that, and this is a very common scenario, what happens if a page no longer exists, right? So let's say I had a page about a blue dress, right? And that page doesn't exist on my new website. So what do I do? So one thing I can do is, I can try to redirect to the best close match to that page. So for example, if I had a page about blue dresses, maybe I can redirect to a general category page about all of my dresses, right?
That would still be relevant for a visitor. The main thing you need to understand is that you need to think about your visitor. If you're creating an experience and a redirect that takes the visitor to a page that still meets his intent, then you're okay. What you don't need to do is—you don't need to redirect him for example, to the homepage, right? Because that confuses the person clicking on the link. And it will also confuse Google. Google's going to say, the page about the blue dress accumulated a lot of reputation over the years. But now I'm not going to move that reputation to the homepage, because it's just not the same thing. So you can either redirect to a close match, or you don't need to redirect at all. And in that case, as we saw earlier, he’s gonna land on a 404 page, and he's gonna be able to find the places or the other things and other pages that do answer his intent.
Adam: So these are the best practices for creating the URL structure on the new website. And now, I kind of want to talk about creating 301 redirects and show you how to actually use the Redirect Manager in order to do that. But before we get into that, I want to talk about some of the automatic redirects. So I talked earlier about how it's important for us to make sure that if there are things—that there are technical tasks that are required, then Wix can optimize them for you, then we're going to do that. One of these things is that we have automatic redirects that will consolidate all of the URL signals to one specific URL. And this is very important, because for Google, if you have a page, and you show it with www and without www these are two different pages for Google.
So what we're going to do is an automatic redirect, make sure that everything goes to one version. So the types of automatic redirects that we do any request that comes in for HTTP, we redirect it to the HTTPS equivalent, which is the secure version. Any request that starts without a www, we're going to redirect it to the www version. Same thing, if you have a free site URL, and then you upgrade and connect your custom domain. We're going to make sure that these requests for the free Wix URLs are automatically redirected to the custom domain.
So these are things that are handled automatically. And finally, another popular use case is when you not only rebuild the website, but you also want to connect another domain, right? So in that case, most of the work is already handled for you. Because all you need to do is, you need to make sure that all of the domains are connected to Wix’s named servers. This is just— you go and make sure that domain is connected. And then you select one domain to be your primary. Everything is automatically taken care of. So these are the things that we do automatically.
Brett: That's a lot though. And I don't think a lot of people really are aware of that specifically, non as you say www, an HTTP to HTTPS. A lot of people don't know that. I think that's really awesome.
Adam: Yeah, these are things that we want to make sure [happen] and these are best practices we apply automatically, wherever we can. But now, we know that the migration process has some manual parts. And I want to show you how to go about them. So we're going to look at an example. And the example is going to be yournextfitnesstrainer.com. This is a test website that we have. And we want to show you the redirect process and how you do it. And I'm going to show a quick demo.
But before that, I want to explain what we're going to go over. So we are going to try out all of the different redirect options that we have. The first one is going to be from one URL to another, the second one is going to be a group redirect. And then we're going to show you how to upload redirects in bulk. So this is another time saver.
Brett: That's a huge, that's gonna be huge.
Adam: Yeah, that's a really big time saver. And it's going to help us use all of the things that I showed earlier, and actually combine them and complete the process in no time. So I'm actually going to go over here to the Wix dashboard. And I'm going to go to Marketing and SEO. And I'm going to go to the SEO Tools section. And as you can see here, I have the URL Redirect Manager. And when I go to the Redirect Manager, I have—this is the empty state. And I have a few options. So let's start with the most basic one.
I'm going to add a single redirect, right? And I'm going to add the redirect from the free session. And when I'm going to pick the destination, it's going to make my life easier, because I already see here a list of all of the pages that exist on my current website. So it's easy for me to find the page I want to redirect to. So all I need to do is add it here, save and close. And then it's very easy for me to also check that this is working.
So you see when I click here, it's gonna go to my old URL to this one, free session. And I want to make sure and I want to look at the URL and see here, oh it changed. And I landed on the correct page. So this means the redirect worked.
But sometimes I have a bunch of URLs that all have a similar URL structure, but that URL structure is going to change. So when this happens, I can create a group redirect. A group redirect actually also saves me a lot of time.
So let's say I want to do [it] from class locations, right? And I want to redirect any requests to the Wix website that starts with yournextfitnesstrainer.com, slash class location, something, any requests like that, I want to automatically redirect it to location, because location is the URL structure I'm going to use on the new website. So I'm going to save and close. And I'm going to show the example here later because it requires the actual page. So these are the two options, the two available options here.
But we also talked about bulk redirects, right? So I'm going to delete this for now. So it's super easy to see. And I'm going to go and I want to import redirects, right? But how do I know how to import them? So you can see here that I have an option to download the template. When I download it, what I'm going to see is this template, this is very straightforward. Old URLs, this is a list here, you just put in all of the old URLs. And here you put the equivalent destination URL. That's basically it. Now I can actually take all of the URLs that I had, put them here, and then match them to the new URLs.
So I'm going to do that. Here is an example I already pre-filled. And this is going to do pretty much what I showed you earlier. But it's going to do it in one move. And you can see here, I already also edit them in a few different variations, because we know how to handle everything here, right?
So it doesn't matter if you put your full domain with a slash, without a slash, we're going to handle it. Okay. So I'm going to go back now to the Wix dashboard, and I'm going to upload the CSV file. So you see here, I'm going to click on it. I'm going to open it, and then it's going to upload, but wait. I have two errors here. So the errors are basically us, Wix saying, hey, you made some mistakes in this redirect file and mistakes, especially when this file gets [larger]—that's a huge hassle because it's very hard to find them. That is something that can break.
So we report these errors, but we also make it easy for you to find these problems. So you can see that as soon as I download them. I can also see the reason for each error, and you can see the redirect status. And you can see that these two are invalid. And the reason they're invalid is because I created a redirect loop. So you can see that the URL here is like I'm taking someone from page A to page B. And then I'm taking them from page B to page A. So that's kind of a loop. And we want to avoid that because that breaks your browser. So instead, we're going to upload a version that doesn't include this mistake, right? So it's going to just look like this. It's the same file just without the mistake.
Brett: But Wix caught that, right? So there's a bit of a safety net there. If Wix detects something, like you said, it'll show the error. So it's less complicated or harder to make a mistake there.
Adam: Yeah, exactly. That's the goal. And we want to make sure that when you upload, we go over everything. And if there is a problem, we're going to notify you and you can do it just here by clicking on this report. You can download it, see the errors, fix them and upload again. So now I'm going to upload the correct file, I'm going to open it and bam—four new redirects were added. And now I can actually go and check these as well, clicking here, and you can see that the URL changed to location. So now I know that everything works correctly.
Brett: I'm going to—there's a couple questions, I think that are relevant specifically here that I'm going to jump on. Specifically about the loop, when you're adding these URL redirects, does it only detect a loop if it's being imported in the same spreadsheet? Or if you already have a redirect on your site, and you're trying to upload something that may interfere with that redirect that's already there, will it also detect that one?
Adam: Sure. Yeah, it's supposed to also detect that as well, because what we're doing is we're going over all of the redirects.
Brett: And Sam, yes, when he was going to the spreadsheet, Sam asks, “How did you correct the errors that Wix identified? And he just went into the spreadsheet and removed those errors?”
Adam: Exactly. So you can see here that I can actually, before that, we saw that, I was told that each redirect is going to have the rejection reason or the request status here. And it's going to actually say valid or invalid. So as soon as you find the invalid ones, and you can also create a field that’ll only show you the invalid ones, and then you're also going to see why it's invalid.
So you're going to be notified of the problem, you're going to be notified of the reason for the problem. And then you can easily fix that. So you can see that many times the problems are just like typos or show duplication again, because these are large scale processes, then some mistakes can occur. And usually it’s okay, so that's why we want to make sure that our tools actually save you some time debugging, right? So you can spend less time on debugging and more time on building.
Brett: I know there's a lot to cover here. But there are some really good questions that I'll ask real quick. And then we'll keep going. Wendy has a great question here, she has, and I think this kind of hits the nail on the head for a lot of Partners. Sometimes they—we have clients that want to have a rebrand, right? So it means they're going to come up with a new domain name. Is it possible to create redirects from the old site name to the new site URL?
Adam: Right, so this is what I talked about earlier. When you do that, and basically you have, let's say, domain A and domain B, right? So let's say the old website was on domain A, and the new website is domain B. And basically, what you need to do is in order for this to work, it's very straightforward, you still need to do the same process as I showed you, this doesn't change.
The only thing you need to care about is that both domain A and domain B have to be connected to Wix, right? That's any request, right? Someone is already familiar with domain A and you need to make sure that domain A is connected. The request comes to Wix servers. And then you need to make sure that domain A and domain B are both connected to the same Wix website.
Brett: That was one of the ones that you showed us earlier, that was automatic, right? Wix automatically does that.
Adam: Exactly. As soon as you connect the domains—when you do that, you're actually being asked which one is your primary because you need to select one domain to be the primary one. And then you can connect several other domains, all of them are going to be referred to as secondary domains. So they are not going to actually load and they are not relevant anymore. All they do is—they funnel requests to your primary domain.
Brett: In that scenario, Adam would you even need to use the URL Redirect Manager if you don't change your page structure?
Adam: So again, the specific redirects are not related to the domain, they are only related if you make a URL change to a specific page. And as I said earlier, if the page stays the same, if it's about and about, then it's going to work. If it’s about to about us, then you would need a redirect, you would still need this redirect.
Brett: So if I understand, and tell me my small brain gets this, right? So if I have a page brett.com, and have an about and maybe a forum, or whatever, and then I wonder, and then one of our wonderful Partners convinced me to brand out of Brett and make it something else. And I just changed that domain. If I don't change my page structure, meaning it's still slash forum and still about, I don't need to worry about the URL, because it's all the same. There's no page URL changes, is that correct?
Adam: Yes, if you keep your website, if it's the same Wix website, and you only switch, you change, you’re saying, basically, I don't want this primary domain, I want a different primary domain. Then all you need to do is make sure that they're both still connected to the same website, you just replaced between the primary and the secondary. And that's it.
Brett: And Wix handles multiple domains in the background and moves it to the primary. Exactly. I'm perfectly clear Adam. Let's keep going. Sorry about that.
Adam: Alright, no problem. So going back to the deck. So we talked about using the Redirect Manager. And now, basically, [to] kind of recap, before we go into that, we talked about repairing the old site, understanding what are the assets that we care about. Then we saw how to build out the new website, how to save time doing it. And then we saw how to use the URL Redirect Manager in order to actually achieve this redirection.
Now, I want to talk a little bit about what to do after you do this migration. So once you complete the migration, you need to continue monitoring the success of the website over time, because this is a process.
As we said earlier, what you need to do is mainly focus on continuing to use Google Search Console as a way of checking your rankings. Check that your ranking stabilizes after a while. This is very important, and you need to also monitor 404 errors.
So Google Search Console can also report when Google encounters a 404 page. He says, “Hey, you have some pages that are not found, is this intentional?” And if it is, then it's not a problem. But you might say, “hey, this page is actually important. And I do want to add a redirect for it.” So if you go to the Search Console report, you can easily see that.
Another thing you can use is again, I didn't mention it here. But you can continue using Google Analytics, right? And monitor the traffic to these same pages as you had [done previously], make sure the traffic stabilizes and make sure no pages are losing out or seeing a weird drop. So these are the general best practices for monitoring after the migration. So now we're going to go over, I think, a few of the questions that we hear a lot. Do you want to—
Brett: Yeah, we get a lot of questions. This is a hot, this is a really exciting conversation that the Partners have quite often. And there's three [things] that we've sort of identified here, Adam, and I'm going to toss them at you pretty quickly.
How long does it take for Google to process or redirect? Meaning you put a redirect in there—how long until you see how long until you see those results on Google?
Adam: It's a great question. And this question really does come up a lot. But the answer is, and this is a very popular answer for SEO. The answer is it depends. And it depends on a lot of different factors. And basically, Google is going to want to see how reputable this website is? How big is this website? How valuable is this page/website? And how frequently does the content change on this website?
All of these are factors that are going to impact the time it takes Google to actually process all of the redirects. So until the redirects are processed, sometimes you might see that your old URLs are still ranking and are still being indexed alongside your new URLs.
So that might be a little bit alarming. But you should remember that as long as you follow the process, and you set up the 301 redirects correctly, then even if the old URL is still indexed, it doesn't matter because anyone clicking on it is going to have a smooth transition to the new version.
Brett: That doesn't hurt your Google standings for an old URL to still rank as long as it's not going to a 404. Is that what I'm understanding?
Brett: Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you, Adam. Here's another one. Are my clients' pages guaranteed to keep their rank after migration? This is a big question that I see a lot. What's gonna happen in the migration? Will they lose their rank? I see this daily, Adam.
Adam: Yeah, and we also get this a lot when talking to clients, talking to Partners, this is something that comes up a lot. And the thing is, just like when you're moving—then let's go back to that restaurant example. Just like when you're moving on, let's say you're visiting a place that you already know but now it's at a new address, right? When you go in, you want to evaluate, is this as good as I remember? Can I find, can I get all the stuff that I know and love from this new place the same as the old place?
So Google does a similar process, right? He looks at all the redirects, and he's saying, “Okay, I know these old ones. I know these old pages. And I know what I think about the value. Now, do the new ones provide the same value?”
And this process takes time and during this time, and this is something that Google stated, often, there are fluctuations. So you might see a temporary drop or temporary rise in the ranking. But over time, and again, this depends on how long it takes to process, over time, as long as you continue to offer the same value. And you should measure that by the visitors’ eyes. If a visitor can find the same value on the new page, then the traffic and the ranking should stabilize. And if you even added value, it can even increase in ranking, right?
And of course, if you see that you're dropping in ranking, the first thing you should ask yourself is, “Am I providing enough value on this new URL?” Maybe the new page isn't as valuable as the old one. So the [answer] is no, nothing is guaranteed. But if you follow the process, and you follow the best practices, and you invest in your client, and in your visitor intent, then you should be okay.
Brett: So, I think that makes a lot of sense. And I like your restaurant analogy, right? So this makes a whole lot of sense to me. And again, sort of to gauge whether or not it's going smoothly, I want to reference back to something else so I understand. I would use Google Analytics to see if my new migration is increasing, and if it's stabilizing [traffic], is that correct?
Adam: Right. So Google Analytics is going to show you traffic coming into your website and how people interact with your website. So if you drill in, and if you opt to like dive into Google Analytics, you will be able to see that whether visit or how many pages do they see for each visit, you can actually kind of summarize from the Google Analytics reports, whether your users, whether the visitors are still getting the same experience, whether they're interacting with the website in the same way.
But for rankings, you need to go to Google Search Console. So Google Analytics is traffic, Google Search Console is ranking. Both places should show these fluctuations. These are expected. And [there] a lot of Google official replies saying that this is something that takes time. But yeah, as you said, Google Analytics, you can look at traffic and Google Search Console for ranking.
Brett: I asked that because it's interesting and because it kind of ties into the last question that we sort of put together here, which is, a lot of times what happens if someone sort of does a migration without really planning and mapping it out? How do you get out of that? What are the steps?
Adam: So basically, if you do that. Then first of all, it's not the end of the world, right? You need to understand that the only thing—if you didn't do a migration plan, you're still going to have all of these new URLs that are going to be indexed. But you, you will probably have less benefit, you can—like the reputation that you already accumulated and established for your business might not be carried over.
So there's a little point where you might start over on a few pages. But if you—the important part is that, even if you didn't do the migration, even if the new website is already live, and you still get traffic, you can do the same process [that] like we showed earlier, right? And then you just have some pages that are more relevant or less relevant depending on how long is the new website already live, right? So if you're still getting a lot of traffic for 404 pages, or you still have a lot of pages that you know, that people are already familiar with, but don't have a redirect, you can still add the redirect at this point.
So it's going to still move your visitors to where they want to go and still provide this smooth experience, even if it was broken before that. And again, not having a redirect doesn't prevent the new URL from ranking, right? The new URL is its own URL, it can rank just as well. But it is, yeah—recommended to do the migration as part of the process of moving the website.
Brett: And, you know, I think a lot of times there are clients that come to Partners, because they have a site, tried to do it themselves, or put it somewhere else and didn't really do anything with it. And it has a very low footprint on the internet anyway. So there's really not a lot going on with that site.
And that's what the Partners bring—it’s that expertise, really getting it ranked, showing them what to do with content, etc, etc. So, like you said earlier, it's kind of distilling what's happening on that side, understanding, and then mapping out the right plan there. So it makes a lot of sense, Adam, makes a lot of sense.
Brett: I have some questions for you. Is now a good time for Q&A or is there something else? So we've got some amazing Partners with great questions. By the way, if after this presentation, Adam didn't teach you something you need to know. Or if there's something relevant, you want to question, now's the time to drop it. Adam, I’m going to rapid fire, are you ready?
Adam: Yes sure, go ahead.
Brett: So Reuben has a good question. “When migrating pages, does the meta tag title, description, does that migrate too or do you need to manually add that?”
Adam: So this is what we—this is a great question. So when you build out your new website, you have the full freedom to basically build it as you please. So this means you can build out new meta tags, new titles, new descriptions, these are things that you customize on your new website. And a lot of the time, it makes sense, as we talked earlier, to kind of make sure that at least for the pages that are really popular, and that you really care about that, to try and make sure that visitors get the same experience.
So if you have like a prominent title, or an H1 tag, you can keep it the same, or you can write the same title. These are decisions that you make on your new website. The redirect itself, the only thing it does is, it changes the URL. That's it, that's technically speaking.
Brett: Perfect, perfect answer. Thank you very much. Here's a great question. Federico asks, “Will it be possible to have more domains for different pages? Is that possible? Or is that planned if not?”
Adam: So there are a lot of different scenarios I can think about. But in theory, if you want to have different pages on different domains, you can simply create two websites. But if I understand correctly, so, if you want to have like, basically, you need to understand that when you have a website, like each page is judged by its own merits. But there [are] some holistic, let's say score, evaluation for the domain.
So if you want to split and have two domains, that's perfectly okay. Some use cases do support and do require having multiple domains. But in most cases, you can have just all of your pages under a single domain. If you want to have multiple domains, you need to create another website and connect that website to a domain as well. You can of course link between them. But yeah.
Brett: Good. Good answer. Thank you. And [a] great question. Thank you. So okay, actually, I grabbed that one. I answered that one. So let's say for a second that someone creates a 301 redirect. And this is actually Rajesh’s question, after creating a 301 redirect, is there anything else that they need to do inside the Google Webmaster account?
Adam: So no, the Google Webmaster account basically just gives you feedback about what Google sees from your account. So as long as the process—like the Google Search Console, or Webmaster Tools in its former name, this is the place where you go to see if what you did is okay or not. And you can also get some insights about what Google thinks about your website. But you don't need to actually actively do something when you have a simple migration.
Brett: Okay, okay. That was a good answer. Thank you. Naeli’s got another question here. Here's a good one, right? “How do you handle redirects from subdomains?” And she—how do you do that?
Adam: So, again, as long as you can—if you want to do a redirect from a subdomain, you need to connect that subdomain to your Wix website. So as long as the sub when you connect, like when you connect a secondary domain, you can connect domain adam.com. But let's say you want to connect a subdomain, you simply make sure that en.adam.com is the secondary domain, and then any request to that domain will be mapped out to your primary domain.
Brett: Is it possible to take that again, this kind of I think, this kind of dovetails back into the other question is—if you do have that subdomain. Is it possible to redirect a subdomain to a specific page or a slash URL?
Adam: So, I'm not sure I understand. But if you have a subdomain, you can connect, you can redirect to an external—
Brett: For example, for example, if I have a store within Wix, and I wanted it to be shop.brett.com, can I redirect that URL to a specific page or a specific URL? Is that possible?
Adam: So yes, it's not straightforward. But given the specific scenario, I'm guessing that you can work around and find a way to do that. If you want to use both brett.com and shop.brett.com, it might require some workarounds.
But generally speaking, since you can do a redirect from one domain to another, even you can redirect to an external domain, which, by the way, is a new feature that we also added support for. Then if you do that, you're probably able to achieve this set-up. But maybe we can even follow up on that, if that's a specific scenario to question we can follow up on after this webinar.
Brett: Sure. Sure. I'll grab one more on there's been some really, really, really great questions, Adam. And I thank you a lot. Question, how, tell us a little bit about dynamic pages and SEO?
How are those handled? And is there anything special to do to get those ranked on Google? Or is it all out-of-the-box?
Adam: So first of all, as you [saw] earlier, the website that we showed your next fitness trainer does have some dynamic pages. And these pages are just like any other page, basically, so you need to just, you need to understand the URL structure that you're using on that dynamic page, whether you're using Wix Data, Wix Stores, Wix Blog, these are all dynamic pages. So you just need to make sure that the redirect that you create takes into account the URL structure of these dynamic pages.
So a lot of the time, group redirects are going to work very well, for dynamic pages. Assuming of course, that you use the same collection and have the same URL slug, then you can set up one group redirect, and that's going to take care of the entire redirection process.
But aside, if I understand it's a little general question, of course, dynamic pages can rank just as well as any other page. It all depends on how much you optimize them, and how much they actually answer your visitors' intent.
Brett: Copy that, makes a lot of sense. Okay, so this concludes our workshop on migrating sites and the SEO tools that Wix provides for you to make this successful. And Adam has been an amazing expert here. And I want to thank you, Adam, for showing us, walking us through.
This has been super informative. And we'll probably have, I think we'll probably take this conversation into the Forum Adam, and maybe if we can twist your arm, maybe sometime in the future, we can have, like a Forum AMA and we'll announce that when it gets closer. So again, thank you for being here, Adam.
Adam: Thank you. It was a pleasure. It was really fun.
So thanks, everybody. Thanks to all the Partners for attending and Adam, and we'll see you out there. Be safe, stay healthy. Bye, everyone.