How to Prepare For Your Showit Website Migration
No matter if you’re migrating from a Wordpress website, Squarespace website, or Prophoto website, migrating to Showit is a great decision.
As a Showit SEO service provider, I’ve migrated 100s of sites to Showit over the years.
This post assumes you’ve already setup your Showit account and designed your new site.
Use this table of content below and the Showit Website Migration Checklist to prepare for your migration!
Free Showit Site Migration Checklist
Keep Your Domain Name
If you’re planning on migrating your website, it’s usually best to keep your domain name the same.
Changing your domain name can negatively affect your search rankings. If you still decide to change your domain name, make sure to set up redirects from your old domain to the new one.
Create a List of New Pages
Then make a separate list of all the new page URLs you plan to publish.
Create a List of Existing Pages
Since your Showit site may not have all of your pages in the Showit Sitemap, you need to document both the indexed pages from Google Search Console & any other existing pages. Include your blog category pages.
How to export Google Search Console Indexed Pages
Use the Performance report in Google Search Console to export a list of your indexed and non-indexed pages.
How to Document All Pages
For professional SEO audits, I use ScreamingFrog to document all known pages and lots of other technical information. The output of that information looks like this:
Maintain URL Structure Changes
URL structure changes can be a dream come true for SEOs and a nightmare at the same time.
When migrating your site to Showit, moving from ineffective URLs, such as “site.com/?item=123” to better URLs, such as “site.com/great-url/”, can result in improved search rankings instantly.
However, changing URLs can be one of the most difficult tasks to do correctly. I have personally spent countless hours in meetings discussing potential URL schemas to get the best one for a website with more than 15 million pages.
URLs need to be designed to accommodate:
1. New users
2. Customers second, tied with new users
3. Search engines
Maintain Page Slugs
During your Showit site migration, it’s important to keep your domain name, page names, and slugs the same to ensure that visitors have an easy time navigating your site.
A slug is the part of the URL that describes the page’s content, such as ‘/about’ for an About page. Keeping page names and slugs the same will help avoid an SEO impact. If you do need to change pages, you should set up 301 redirects to inform search engines that the content has been permanently moved.
With that said, if your old website had a poor navigation system, it may be beneficial to set up a redirect so the website is easier to use. Google’s search algorithm aims to give users the best experience, and an easier-to-navigate site provides just that.
Maintain Page Titles and Meta Descriptions the Same
It’s important to keep certain things the same when managing a Showit site migration to avoid an SEO dip. One of these things is keeping your page titles and meta descriptions the same.
These can be found under the ‘SEO Settings’ tab in Showit.
Maintain Internal Linking
Maintaining internal linking is vital for SEO health during a Showit site migration. It’s important to consider how the structure of your site will change. Internal links can be affected in unexpected ways, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is heavily impacted by website architecture. If important pages require four or more clicks from the homepage to access, they won’t rank well and won’t be able to drive traffic.
Before you migrate your site, you should map your current structure and identify problem areas. This will help you fix them when you’re designing and building the new website.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a great tool for this. The Site Structure report will show you all the URLs. You’ll also be able to see which pages are more than four clicks away from the homepage, so you can adjust your architecture to bring them higher up.
Connect the blog
If you’ve already established a blog on your old website, you’ll need to migrate that content and connect the blog during the Showit Site Migration process.
Here are the steps for connecting your blog in Showit:
- Inside Showit, click on ‘Site Settings’ and select ‘EDIT’ next to ‘Custom Domain’.
- Click the button to get started and enter your domain name.
- Check the boxes for the settings that apply to your setup and make sure you check the box for ‘I currently have a blog at this domain’.
- Double-check your details to ensure they are correct, then provide your phone number and any additional info. You can choose to set up your blog now or wait until later.
- When you click ‘Yes, proceed to blog setup’ you will be asked to select the blog setup type that represents your needs. This is followed by a screen to ensure you know the domain your blog will be available at.
- Tell Showit’s support the domain your blog is currently found at and fill out the blog request form with your current registrar information.
When you’re ready to submit your request, you can choose to go live at that time or wait until you contact the Showit team and inform them you are ready to launch. Review your blog migration details and include any last additional notes, then click Submit.
Upload General Share Image
Make sure your website stands out when shared on social media by adding the default ‘Share Image’ on the home page. This is the image that will appear alongside your link when URLs are shared on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform.
Set the Favicon
One thing that makes a website look polished is a custom Favicon. Make sure you set your Favicon during the Showit site migration process.
You can set a favicon for your site in the Site Settings. This favicon will be displayed on all pages of your site.
Prepare a Favicon File
To save an image in PNG format, sized 32px X 32px square, you can use a quick tool such as faviconr.com or favicon.pro.
Add Favicon to Showit Site
To add your Favicon to Showit, open your site design and in the site panel (left) go to the Site tab > Site Settings. Find the Favicon setting and click Choose Image.
3. Upload your favicon file (bottom left) and select it
4. You’ll see a preview of how it may appear in the browser.
5. Publish to see the change online.
The favicon may not appear in all web browsers immediately. It can take up to 24 hours for browsers that have already visited your website to show the updated version.
Optimize Images for SEO
Why you need to optimize your Showit website images
Optimizing the images on your Showit website will help make your website load faster and look better.
ATT 4G expects 14–61 Mbps of download speed.
That means a blog post with 100 images at 2mb each would take the user 6.6+ seconds (in addition to any other page content) to load.
Learn more about how to optimize your Showit images for SEO. Read this in depth guide.
Check Site Canvases for Best SEO Practices
Check your Showit site canvases (headers, footers, etc…) for best SEO practices. If you’re not sure what that means, read more about how to optimize Showit site canvases like an SEO pro here.
How to Get SSL on Your Showit website
When migrating a site to Showit, it’s important to make sure your SSL is installed.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a way of encrypting information on your website and in contact forms. It helps keep the data secure and private.
Is SSL Required for Good Showit SEO?
Yes. SSL means that your website is hosted securely and is necessary to improve your Showit SEO. Google prioritizes content from secure sources.
HTTPS has been a confirmed Google ranking factor since 2014.
About Showit’s Free SSL Certificates
“Showit now provides free SSL (HTTPS) Certificates for all hosting plans.” – Showit
Showit includes free SSL with all subscription levels. The process of installing SSL on your Showit site might take up to 24 hours. To install a SSL, Showit will move your site to a new server to enable SSL and update your DNS.
Follow these steps to get SSL on your Showit website
If you’re worried about getting SSL on your Showit website, don’t be! It’s actually really simple and requires 0-tech knowledge.
- Step 1, open Showit and click on the chat icon in the bottom right corner.
- Step 2, send them a message requesting SSL, and it should take no more than 24 hours to process. In some cases, it might even take less than an hour.
How To Tell If SSL Is Installed On Your Showit Website
If your website has “HTTPS” at the start of its URL, then it is secure with SSL. If it just has “HTTP”, then your website is not secure. You can also tell if a website is secure if there is a lock symbol next to the URL.
If you want to learn more techy-stuff about SSL, keep reading, otherwise press the button to skip ahead.
Way back, in October 2017, Google Chrome made an update to show a ‘NOT SECURE’ warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.
In other words, if you have a contact form or subscription form on your website and it’s not using HTTPS, Chrome users will see a message that says your website is ‘NOT SECURE’.
What is SSL and HTTPS?
SSL and HTTPS are terms that refer to a way of encrypting website data to and from your web server before transmitting it, instead of sending it as plain text. This is especially important for online stores when sending sensitive information (like credit card numbers).
You can tell if a website has a secure connection if the web address starts with “https://” instead of just “http://”. SSL Certificates act as a third party to verify the website owner’s identity for website visitors.
In the past, most websites on the internet didn’t use HTTPS, similar to how people didn’t lock their doors decades ago. But now, technology developers like Google are promoting tighter security and offering rewards for it.
If your website isn’t using HTTPS yet, don’t worry. The ‘NOT SECURE’ message is scarier than what’s actually going on. Your website content is still secure on Showit web servers, and all contact forms created in Showit are sent using HTTPS, even though it’s not indicated in the Chrome web address bar.
Showit SSL Troubleshooting
Having trouble with privacy errors or getting a “not secure” message? This Showit knowledge base explains some of the common SSL issues and provides steps on how to fix them.
Establish 301 Redirects
When managing your Showit site migration, if a page URL is going to be changed, it is important to set up a redirect to the new URL.
There are two main types of redirects:
- Permanent redirects
- Temporary redirects
In the free checklist, you can watch me walk through setting up redirects step-by-step. Once you’ve established the redirects, you can install & utilize RankMath to setup all of your redirects.
This will help ensure that visitors find the page they are looking for, and that search engines can properly index your website. It’ll also maintain the rankings you have established for your page and help you reach your desired audience.
Having redirects in place will ensure that any backlinks to your old pages will still be pointing to the new page.
Get your copy of the Free Showit Site Migration Checklist to watch me setup redirects step-by-step!
Free Showit Site Migration Checklist
Install GA4 Tracking
Connecting your Showit website to Google Analytics 4 is a breeze! GA4, or Google Analytics 4, is a free tool from Google that allows you to track all aspects of your website’s visitors and traffic. With Google Analytics, you can gain insights into user behavior as they explore your website.
In Showit, select ‘Site Settings’ – Third Party’ – and then input your GA4 measurement ID.
Whatever you do, DO NOT select “do not include on blog templates”. If you select that, your blog traffic will not be tracked.
Need more help?! Click here to learn how to set up Google Analytics for Showit, step-by-step.
Verify GA4 Tracking
To make sure the GA4 tag has been added correctly, use the Google Assistant Legacy tool — a free Google Chrome extension.
The Google Assistant Legacy tool is an invaluable tool for verifying that the GA4 tag has been added correctly. It works by scanning the page to ensure that the GA4 tag is present and correctly configured. It also provides a detailed overview of the tag, including the properties and values associated with it.
Additionally, it provides a preview of the tag to help ensure that it is correctly configured and working as expected. This can be extremely useful for verifying that the GA4 tag has been added and configured correctly before deploying it to your website. This is especially important as incorrect configuration can lead to inaccurate data collection, resulting in inaccurate insights and reports.
How to Check Your Showit Sitemaps
Your next step in migrating your site to Showit is to check your sitemap.
Do I need a Showit sitemap?
Having a Google-friendly sitemap of your website makes it easier for Google to put your URLs in search results.
Think of it this way, instead of letting Google decide what’s important on your site, you’re telling Google what’s important!
How to find your Showit sitemap
Sitemaps are primarily formatted as XML files–only search engine bots can read this file format. Sitemaps always end in ‘.xml’. If you’re looking for your Showit sitemap, try adding one of these to your primary url:
/sitemap_index.xml — https://yourdomain.com//sitemap_index.xml
/wp-sitemap.xml — https://yourdomain.com//wp-sitemap.xml
/sitemap.xml — https://yourdomain.com//sitemap.xml
Note: When using RankMath on a Showit-Wordpress site, it will generate separate sitemaps for pages, posts, products, categories, etc…
Checking Your Sitemap Before Submitting It to Google
It’s important to check the sitemap for “dead” pages & posts before submitting it to Google Search Console.
Common “dead” pages:
These are the most common “dead” pages & posts on Wordpress sites & in sitemaps because they are auto generated when you install Wordpress.
Request Google Recrawl Sitemap
Has my sitemap been submitted to Google Search Console?
To find out if your sitemap has been submitted to Google Search Console follow these steps:
- Navigate to search.google.com
- Under ‘Index’, select ‘sitemaps’
- Determine if any sitemaps are submitted
How Do I Submit a URL to Google for Indexing?
Submitting a URL to Google for indexing is an essential step for ensuring that your Showit site appears in search engine results. By submitting the URLs of all your pages, you can ensure that when people search relevant terms, they’ll find what they need on your website. Plus, it could improve your SEO ranking.
Fortunately, requesting a recrawl from Google is easy. All you have to do is visit the Submit URL page and enter the full web address of each page you want indexed by Googlebot (Google’s crawling robot). You’ll also be able to check whether or not the request was successful. With just a few clicks, you’re well on your way to having more visibility online!
If no sitemaps are submitted, copy the URL, https://yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml, of your sitemap.xml file into this area and click ‘submit.’
- Copy the URL of your sitemap.xml file into the area that says ‘Add a new sitemap’
- Click ‘Submit’
Here’s a Video Showing How To Submit a URL to Google
Showit Website Migration Recap
When you’re ready to make your website SEO-friendly and migrate to Showit, here are a few tips to consider:
- Find a Showit template. Designs created by experienced SEO professionals already have your pages structured for SEO, so you just need to add the details.
- Get a FREE SEO audit. An audit will show you how your website is performing and provide insights on how to improve its SEO.
- Work with a Showit SEO Expert & Website Designer. If you’re considering building from scratch or relaunching your website with SEO in mind, find a website designer that specializes in brand identity and SEO.
Take your next steps today by connecting with me today and establishing the best move for a search engine optimized website to start generating organic traffic from Google.
Contact me today and/or leave a comment with your questions!