SEO Migration for AutoCircuit
AutoCircuit, formerly Handelsprijzen, is part of NDC Media Group. NDC Mediagroep has taken over the Handelsprijzen websites, after which the plan arose to create one occasion platform for the (North) Netherlands. Their online marketing department asked us to help with the SEO migration process. After all, an incorrect migration costs valuable positions.
The challenges of SEO migration
Based on our 7 steps for an SEO migration, we started making an inventory of the changes that will take place, the people involved and performing a baseline measurement. With the baseline measurement, we keep a close eye on the effects of the migration after going live, to make sure the SEO migration goes smoothly. It immediately became clear that an entirely new platform would be developed by an external web developer. All URLs would change, so none of the URLs would stay the same.
The second big challenge was that all the individual websites such as audi-kopen.nl, mercedes-kopen.nl and bmw-kopen.nl had to be merged into autocircuit.nl. In total, 41 of these “brand platforms” existed. The inventory immediately brought a third challenge to the fore: not all car models of the old platforms would be adopted on the new platform.
Drawing up a migration plan and writing redirects
To be able to set up redirects correctly, we determined the new URL structure together with Iwan Post, considering the various models and the existing situation. After drawing up the new URLs, we started drawing up the migration plan and writing the RegEx redirects. Manually drawing up redirects was a hopeless task since it involved 41 different websites with a total of over 4,000,000 URLs.
Thanks to well-thought-out RegEx redirects and a good migration plan, we were then able to simulate the redirects and test them in the right way. It soon transpired that several redirects did not run properly, after which the RegEx scripts were refined and tested again. We also had a thorough look at redirect loops.
After extensive testing, implementation of technical SEO improvements and filling the platform by NDC Mediagroep, the migration started. During the migration, we kept a close eye on the platforms to ensure the migration went smoothly. In the period after the migration, we then kept a close eye on the URLs based on the baseline measurement, Google Search Console and additional tooling.
Meanwhile, the old URLs have been well processed by Google and AutoCircuit receives tens of thousands of visitors from Google every month. This offers a good basis for further organic growth.