Website migration guide: The role of SEO to website migration

Have you ever changed your website’s domain then all of a sudden, there is a drop in site traffic?  Or added or removed a page from your site, or changed your site’s structure and wonder why you’re getting low website visits after?

Well, if that’s the case, you haven’t migrated your website correctly.

A website migration is a term used to describe any event whereby a website undergoes substantial changes to the site’s location, platform, structure, content, design or UX.

If done improperly, these changes may affect the traffic that your website receives thereafter. For most people, they would not care, thinking traffic will return eventually. But for us SEOs, this can be bad for business.

And this is the topic that Growth Marketer Academy in Hong Kong wants to discuss with its community of professional marketers. On the eve of January 26, 2021, GMA invited Annelle Digital’s co-founder, Rhea Teves, to share her expertise on the matter.



In a webinar entitled “The Role of SEO to website migration – How to keep your organic search performance post-website migration”, Rhea shares the essential factors of the entire site migration process – from strategy, optimizing, through to improving performance post-migration, and explains why you can stand 100% chance to execute a site migration without suffering significant losses.

Rhea Teves is not new to the digital marketing scene. Aside from being the co-founder of Annelle Digital, a digital marketing agency based in the Philippines, she also is a well-rounded SEO professional with over 10 years of experience managing global and APAC region SEO projects, both from in-house and agency roles. Along with this, she has experience managing regional website migration projects.

“When you’re migrating a website, you must make sure it (the website) is crawlable or indexable. You must think of the technical SEO elements. And technical part is the foundation of any SEO project” was Rhea’s opening statement.

“If you don’t want to incur a huge cost or expense post site migration, you must consider SEO at the beginning (of site migration).” She then added.

This is true in so many ways. In an article in BBC last 2019, they ran a story of how ASOS, a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer, reported an 87% decline in profits since 2018, with SEO and organic traffic partly to blame.



“To stay competitive, the retailer launched 200 versions of its website depending on which country the customer is in, which had a negative effect on ASOS’ search engine rankings.” according to the BBC article.

The 200 versions of the ASOS website that the BBC is referring to here are 200 different regional domains used to rank for different languages and regions around the world. ASOS suffered from this, thus the 87% decline in profit.

Any site launch, domain change, or large site change should have an SEO strategy in place to ensure that organic performance is protected.

So why do we need to have a website migration?

Here is a list of the main reasons why.

  1. Add or remove pages
  2. Rebranding or domain change
  3. Site hierarchy change
  4. SEO driven changes
    1. http to https
    2. mobile first indexing
    3. introduction of accelerated mobile pages

Rhea then shared that there are 4 factors to consider when optimizing your website for SEO during website migration

4 factors to consider when optimizing your website for SEO during website migration

Factor 1: Audit the website and discuss Technical requirements to developers

In website migration, you need first to audit the existing website to see what’s working well or not working well in terms of SEO.

.After gathering audited data, you need now to come up with technical SEO requirements with the given findings that you will then give to your developer.

The objective of the technical SEO requirements is to make sure that the website is crawlable, indexable, and equipped to rank.

Technical SEO requirements

  1. Infrastructure and Components
  2. Site Hierarchy
  3. URL Structure
  4. Status Code and Redirects
  5. Robots file and XML sitemap
  6. CMS Functionality for on-page SEO

screenshot of Audit the website and discuss technical SEO requirement with developers webinar slide by Annelle Digital


Factor 2: Make sure you have the right tools

Here are the essential tools that an SEO specialist must be familiar with in order to perform our roles.

1. Crawling Tool
We need to know the current and on-page SEO elements. Examples are Screaming Frog / DeepCrawl / OnCrawl

2. Analytics
It shows us the website performance i.e., the pages with traffic and conversions, and what channels are being used. Examples are Google Analytics / Adobe Analytics

3. Google Search Console
This is a free Google tool that provides reports that can help measure your site’s search traffic and performance.

4. Backlink Tool
This shows what are the landing pages of your website’s backlink. Examples are Ahrefs/ Majestic

5. Ranking Tool
Tools that show what pages have migrated and how they are performing pre and post-migration in terms of ranking for important keywords. Examples are BrightEdge / Accuranker / Advanced Web Ranking

Factor 3: Gather and Analyze data

Use the SEO tools to gather and analyze data needed for website migration.

First, gather a list of active pages and determine what are the must-have pages to migrate.

Second, determine what pages not included in the must-have list that are receiving the most traffic or bringing the most conversions.

Third, create a list of the old URLs including HTML, pages, PDF, images, and paid media landing pages

Lastly, extract the keywords driving traffic to the site and pages receiving organic traffic and then track them.

Factor 4: Retain existing website authority

Probably one of the most important factors in site migration. You need to redirect pages to keep link equity.

Link equity is a search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. Links that pass equity are one of many signals that Google and other search engines use to determine a page’s rankings in the SERPs.

So, it is important that if you have existing link equities, to redirect them to your new site via a 301 permanent redirect or a 302 temporary redirect.

Steps to take to keep and further improve your SEO performance

The four factors mentioned earlier is just to ensure that the existing website’s performance is retained. But your SEO effort must not end there. It is a continuous effort here on out, to better improve your website’s SEO performance. You need to consider additional strategies to increase SEO performance.

Track SEO performance

Prepare a pre-launch performance report and a post-launch performance report in order to compare the data and see how you are doing after site migration.

Check the ranking, organic search traffic, page loading speed, Google search console queries and pages, and if there are any 404 pages or broken pages.

Conduct quarterly website health check.

You should conduct a quarterly website health check in order to see if there are any irregularities in your site. By using the crawling tool like Screaming Frog, you can see if your site’s internal links can be crawl.

You can check if there are missing, duplicate, too long/too short tittle tag, meta description, and H1. If you have broken links, missing canonical tags, and no-index and no-follow directives.



Analyze data and determine growth opportunity

 By using the Google data studio dash board, you can determine opportunities for your website’s SEO performance to grow.

You can optimize your content or on-page SEO as a quick-win strategy. Or create a new page and target new relevant keywords. You can also collaborate with publishers or synergize your SEO and SEM efforts.

Move on to off-page SEO

 Off page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages.

Think about off-page SEO as building your site’s authority, and without this, your site won’t outrank those that already have higher authority. It is important for businesses to build citations for the brand to be recognized.

Google tend to give preferential treatment to recognizable brands leading to the website to rank easier, generate better click rates and less likely suffer from SEO penalties.

Link building is often considered to be the main off-page tactic, but this also includes tactics such as content marketing, social media, appearing on podcasts, landing reviews, building local citations, and more.

Don’t stop optimizing your website for SEO

Optimizing the SEO of your site is a continuous process. Just follow the SEO cycle. Keep yourself updated with the algorithm updates. And adjust your SEO strategy accordingly to changes in the algorithm.

And with that ends the webinar of Growth Marketer Academy. Present marketers learned valuable insights regarding the migration process, and the importance of SEO in site migration.

Visit this link to see the deck that we have used in the webinar:


Or visit this Youtube video to watch the replay:



Gone are the days of the classic office Christmas party

Gone are the days of the classic company Christmas party. We Filipinos welcome Christmas uniquely among any other nation. We boast the longest celebration for the yuletide season. As early as the “Ber” months start, as far as the celebration of the Epiphany, Feast of the Three Kings, which is 12 days after Christmas. Now that’s four months of Philippine Christmas mania.

The Christmas of old

Imagine entering the mall on September 1st and hear the echo of Christmas songs played on the mall speakers. Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in our hearts” and Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” graze the ears of mall-goers. Christmas flash sales pop up every week.

We head to the streets and marvel at larger-than-life Christmas decorations on building facades, lamp posts, and homes. From Christmas trees, inflatable Santa, parols, and unending Christmas lights, Christmas is truly more fun in the Philippines.

And now we come to the office Christmas party. Office Christmas parties are a tradition to every adult Filipino. It is time we get to relax after a year of hard work. The time we strengthen the office camaraderie by exchanging gifts with work friends, the office salo-salo, playing games, and the Christmas raffle. And above all else, the office Christmas party is the time new hires go up the stage and perform a dance or song number. Some say it is tradition, others, initiation. A coming of age if you will, “If hindi ka pa sumayaw sa Christmas party, hindi ka pa officially empleyado”(If you haven’t danced at a Christmas party, you are not yet officially an employee) a buddy of mine jokingly uttered in the past. 

The pandemic killed the office Christmas party

At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, everything went haywire. The world stopped. Lockdowns after lockdowns in order to curve the spread of the virus. Restrictions have been placed in order to limit the number of people that may gather in certain places. And just recently, one of those restrictions was that companies cannot celebrate their annual Christmas parties.

How technology saves Christmas

As the world adapts to the new normal, we too slowly change the way we interact with others. Gone are the days of physical contact. The accustomed social norms are shifting to virtual. Virtual meetings, virtual hangouts with friends, online classes, it seems the internet paved the way for people to still be connected though not in arms reach. With the restrictions of not more than 10 people allowed to gather for Christmas, the internet becomes the spark to still celebrate the yuletide season.


Annelle Digital Virtual Christmas Party 2020


Annelle Digital hops on the virtual Christmas frenzy

Annelle Digital too did not back down from the pandemic. The Manila-based marketing agency recently held its virtual office Christmas party via Google Meet. 

 Annelle Digital’s new hire social media marketer – Paolo Limpiado was introduced to the agency. The agency’s Employee of the Year award was presented to the agency’s Link Developer, Joe Cabriana.

Joe Cabriana Annelle Digital 2020 Employee of the year

To lighten up the Saturday afternoon, the team played “The price is right” where they figured out the price of various products, in this case, toiletries. Unlike the U.S. game show with the same name, they don’t get to bring the item home if we got it correct. The next game played was the “Bring Me” game where, as the title suggests, bring certain items required by the host. The fastest one wins. These games may be simple, but we had fun and surely our comradeship grew.

If the price is right game

We went virtual, but we still have food! 

The office Christmas party salo-salo is the much-awaited part of the celebration. Not knowing what food the company will serve, experiencing new flavors, fighting for that last crispy lechon skin. And knowing the fact you can go back to the buffet station and refill your plate. 

Annelle Digital’s virtual Christmas party too had food. The agency surprised their employees with delicious meals delivered to their homes. 

 Sausage in a bun with a side of fries and onion rings from Hotties Gourmet Sausages


Sausage in a bun with extra relish on the side and onion rings from Hotties Gourmet Sausages

Hotties Gourmet Sausages is a gem located in Marcos Highway, Antipolo. They serve 8-inch sausages in a bun (or with rice), served with the toppings of your choice, together with fries or onion rings. Another must-try from their establishment is their famous Hungarian Sisig and Flaming Wings.

two orders of beef shawarma with a side of nachos from Big Boys Shawarma

Big Boy Shawarma is a local favorite hangout spot in Deparo, Caloocan. They serve mouthwatering 100% beef shawarmas, either served in pita bread or rice. A crowd favorite are the nachos and cheese sticks. And if you happen to visit them, try their sizzling meals, for sure it will sizzle your food cravings.

Buffalo chicken bites and red velvet milk tea from Shamtea and Goldenarc food business

Shamtea is the King of Teas located also in Deparo, Caloocan. From mozzarella sticks to their saucy chicken bites, their unique take on finger foods will surely satisfy your cravings. Best paired with their specialty milk teas, and you have a winning combination.

Buffalo chicken bites with mozzarella sticks and strawberry kitkat milk tea from Shamtea and Goldenarc food business

Goldenarc Food Business is an establishment in Deparo, Caloocan that sells frozen packed foods. But that’s just one of their repertoire. They also serve quality and affordable cooked meals to customers. 

Screenshot of the members of Annelle Digital's team

Capping the event with a photo, or in this case, a screenshot of all the people that make Annelle Digital a successful digital marketing agency. Life may throw a stone at you. But nothing can dampen the human spirit. Strong, relentless, and adaptive to any situation. We will come out of this pandemic stronger. Merry Christmas to everyone! Wishing you a fruitful New year!

Annelle Digital shares SEO expertise on Kaplan Discover 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in internet usage. While this is a good thing for some, some businesses are not optimized to gain from this increase. With the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions in place, the digital scene is quickly changing its shape.

 That is why Kaplan Hong Kong, one of Hong Kong’s largest educational institution with over 140 expert professionals and dedicated staff, decided to make a series of webinars – Kaplan Discover 2020. It aims to help individuals and businesses embrace the new normal digitally. Each webinar will be guested by industry leaders, along with in-house Kaplan professionals.

 Last 26 November 2020, Rhea Teves, co-founder of Annelle Digital hosted a webinar for Kaplan as part of Kaplan Discover 2020: Embracing the New Normal. Her webinar titled “How SEO became the essential marketing channel post-covid” Rhea discussed the important role SEO or Search Engine Optimization will play post-covid. Rhea focused on four main topics: introduction to SEO, search engine listing types, 2021 SEO trends, and benefits of SEO to businesses post-covid.


How SEO became the essential marketing channel post-covid Kaplan Discover 2020 webinar by Annelle Digital

Rhea Teves, Annelle Digital co-founder and Karly Yau, Marketing Manager Kaplan Higher Education during Kaplan Discover 2020

In the introduction to SEO, Rhea defined what is Search Engine Optimization, explained what is the search engine process and what are the 3 main SEO strategies.

 Rhea enumerated and explained what are the various search engine listing types, namely Regular web listing to Universal Search, Google Images, Videos, News and Top Stories, Maps and Local 3-Pack, Zero-click search results.

Screenshot of Google Maps and Local 3-Pack SEO Webinar slide by Annelle Digital

Rhea also shared in her talk about the 5 SEO trends that will emerge in 2021. These are Machine Learning, Core Web Vitals, Mobile-friendliness, Voice Search SEO, and E-A-T.

 And finally, Rhea shared the benefits of SEO to businesses post-covid. There is a dramatic shift on how people shop and do business online, and businesses need to adapt to the change. SEO is a cost-effective way to bring in organic and legitimate traffic into business’ websites. SEO can help businesses to become more visible on searches being performed now, and also to set themselves up for success once search behavior normalizes.

Visit this link to see the deck that we have used in the webinar:

Watch the FB live video here:

FRIENDS Sitcom Easter Eggs and Vocabulary: Google’s Tribute to FRIENDS’ 25th Anniversary

The globally renowned sitcom FRIENDS celebrates its anniversary every 22nd of September, the day when it aired its first episode in 1994. In 2019, FRIENDS had its 25th anniversary, and to commemorate the show, companies such as Google have given a tribute by creating Google Easter eggs hidden treats and FRIENDS vocabulary.

FRIENDS Google Easter Eggs

When you search one of the six main characters from the show in Google, Ross Geller, Monica Geller, Rachel Green, Chandler Bing, Phoebe Buffay, and Joey Tribbiani, a knowledge graph would appear on the right showing the details of the character. The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people, or places that Google knows about and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query.

Google Knowledge Graph for the search query "Ross Geller

In the Knowledge Graph, find the name of the FRIENDS character and then click on the icon next to the name to see the hidden Google Easter egg. The icon for Ross Geller’s from the image above is a couch that when tapped will trigger Ross’s famous “PIVOT!” line from the episode “The One with the Cop” episode. Clicking more than once would cause the Google search results to literally “PIVOT!” before eventually, the sofa splits in two. 

Here’s another Easter egg dedicated to Monica Geller showing a bucket icon releasing an animation of sponge cleaning when tapped.


The remaining Easter eggs would return a guitar icon triggering the “Smelly Cat” song for Phoebe Buffay, a reclining chair icon for Chandler Bing that would show his pet duck and baby chick, a pizza slice icon that would trigger Joey Tribbiani’s famous line “Joey doesn’t share food!”, and finally, Rachel Green’s hairstyle icon that when tapped would bring out a Google image search for “The Rachel.”

FRIENDS Glossary

An avid FRIENDS fan would also be familiar with some of the words the show immortalized. Apart from the Easter eggs, Google has created a “FRIENDS glossary” tool; with famous references and quotations from the series. It will include phrases like “transponster”, “hand twin”, “frienaissance” “phalange,” “Fancy Guest,” meat sweats”, and “on a break” to name a few. Hit “Another word” to see the rest of the phrases.


Have the Easter egg clips and FRIENDS phrases refreshed your memory of the show? If you are familiar with all of them, it shows you are a true FRIENDS fan. If not, maybe it’s time to have another round of FRIENDS marathon.

What is E-A-T and How Does it Affect Your Content Strategy?

In 2020, people are more reliant on the digital space. Businesses can use this opportunity to develop websites and improve traffic with digital marketing. Search engines and social media platforms are critical players in this digital age, and it’s essential to utilize them. If you want to increase your viewership and reach, you should deploy the necessary strategies and plans.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an excellent technique to gain organic and legitimate traffic into your website. Annelle Digital will give you an in-depth explanation of the Google EAT update and how this affects content marketing effects.

What is EAT?

EAT is the abbreviation for three words that determine high ranking content, and it’s a part of the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines. The list has included processes and procedures to come out at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) and EAT is specifically listed as one of the most important factors when selecting an overall Page Quality Rating.

Page Quality Rating

To summarize, EAT signifies:

  • Expertise – defines the knowledgeability of the site owner on the specific subject matter discussed.
  • Authoritativeness – speaks about the credentials of the site owner regarding the topic.
  • Trustworthiness – talks about the character and credibility of the author and the website as a whole.

Before going into detail, let’s discuss the meaning of the EAT update and its contribution to search engine optimization practices. 

Here are the factors in a broader perspective: 


To establish expertise, you should identify the author of your Top Ranking Articles through bylines and biographies. Well-researched and high-quality outbound links gain a better reputation, primarily when the articles are written by someone specializing in the field.

In simple terms, Expertise refers to the author’s reputation and specialization.


Search engines value what other experts in the field say about a particular website. They encourage human rating and critiquing to know which sites are offering the most important and useful information. Recommendations, awards, and positive feedback can go a long way.

Reviews and comments can serve as support for a site’s prominence. In general terms, Authoritativeness refers to the organization’s reputation as a whole.


In essence, Trustworthiness doesn’t just refer to your website’s credibility but the integrity that it can be trusted with user sensitive information. You should utilize essential security tools and best practices, such as using HTTPS and SSL certificates.

Overall, the primary purpose is to ensure that users and raters know where they are getting their information. Search engines prioritize medical articles from hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, instead of those that originate from bloggers with no medical background.

EAT and Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites

The EAT quality standards primarily affect YMYL websites. YMYL means Your Money or Your Life, and these websites offer health or medical information to impact your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. These pages provide impactful advice on major life decisions such as home and vehicle purchases, parenting, etc.

YMYL are sites that solicit personal information (driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, personal identification numbers, etc.) that may contribute to identity fraud. They are involved in monetary transactions and receive details like bank account numbers and debit or credit information.

Here is a rundown of YMYL topics Google gave in section 2.3:


YMYL excerpt from Google Search Quality Rating Guideline

Content Strategy that’s Ready for EAT 

Now that you have a good grip on what EAT means for search engine optimization, it’s time to build your website’s strategy. Annelle Digital can help jumpstart your website, but we have furnished a guide if you wanted to prepare things for your brand.

Here are some of the SEO steps to improve your content strategy:

1. Craft quality content based on expertise

Improve your content strategy by deploying high-quality articles and developing a niche. Plan your articles and website content carefully and methodically for better EAT compliance. You can create your content strategy according to the most searched subjects within a particular topic. 

If you’re not an expert in a particular field, you can hire freelance professionals who can write about them. 

2. Include contact information

Contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and office locations can enhance reputation. This will assure the search engine crawlers that you or your company is legitimate. Ensure that the address is also connected to a Google Business address to enhance your reach within the local community. 

3. Develop a reputation

You can develop a reputation by having other blogs and websites link to your content. If you own a medical website, gaining the support or recommendation from other medical websites will go a long way in securing your position in the digital medical industry.

Aside from that, it would help if you built your website’s About Us page to give users more information about who you are and why they should believe your expertise. Create a Google Business page to gain more traction and localized legitimacy within your area.

4. Consistently update the website

Websites that include financial, legal, medical, and other YMYL matters need up-to-date information. There could be updated medical terms or breakthroughs, so make sure to refresh your articles from time to time or add new articles to support or improve the older ones.

5. Identify the author for each article

You should include a byline that mentions the authors and their credentials to boost your website’s expertise. The users and raters should be able to identify the writers and their specialization. Create a summary or biography for your author so that the crawlers can get a glimpse of the expertise.

6. Link to and from other websites

One of the best ways to develop credibility is by reaching out to websites within the same niche or specialty. The more high-quality websites link to your site, the better your ranking will fair. This kind of practice develops your brand’s trustworthiness and reputation. 

Moving Forward

Content marketing is a must-have for a successful website. It’s essential to arm yourself with the right information to make strategic decisions. There are steps that only true professionals take. If you want to increase your organic reach, you can ask Annelle Digital for a bespoke content campaign to suit your needs and budget.