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Peak Ace on Air #24: Site migration best practices & fatal errors

First, we have a confession to make: this episode was not only about site migrations. As Black Friday is coming up this week, Bastian and Dominique put together an impromptu rundown of some essential info before the biggest day of the e-commerce calendar. That’s the thing about live episodes: plenty of room for surprises!

Black Friday 2020 Statistics

Black Friday hasn’t even been and gone yet, but that didn’t stop our friends at SEMrush from putting together an extensive study of key trends from this year’s edition. Fair warning, the findings are pretty USA-centric, but nevertheless it offers a tonne of fascinating insights. 2020 has turned everything upside-down, so it’s interesting to see how far COVID-19 has affected Black Friday purchases and searches.

According to the study, the most popular brands and products are the following:

With the cancellation of many events this year, there was clearly some concern that with the discouragement of Thanksgiving gatherings in the USA, Black Friday would also be for the chop as thousands of people Googled whether the day would not go ahead.

Another interesting find was that sustainability-related shopping queries increased by 650% YoY. That’s a good sign, as far as we’re concerned: clearly, more and more people are considering sustainability as a factor in their shopping habits and how and where online shopping fits into it. This is worth noting for e-commerce sites: people are searching for sustainable ways to shop, so if that is part of your business model, make sure to emphasise it on your sites and in your content.

The guys at SEMrush also analysed the most popular Quora questions about Black Friday. For the most part, they were more questions about the origins of the day, e.g. “Why is it called Black Friday?” – these aren’t especially relevant for retailers looking to optimise their copy for search. However, the transactional queries could be of some interest – we’d recommend you take a look at those.

Site migration: best practices and 5(-ish) fatal errors

Enough about Black Friday! Back to this episode’s advertised topic: website migrations. A site migration is often a huge project, where a lot can go wrong without adequate planning. However, some of the most crucial errors can easily be avoided if you know how, and that’s exactly what Bastian shared in this episode.

You can find his full presentation right here:

Domi also asked a very good question: what is the recommended time frame for a site migration? How long should it take and where should you be spending your time? In our experience, you should spend the bulk of your time on preparation. Fail to plan, plan to fail! When a site migration is well executed, it means that post-migration checks are minimal – you will save time there.

For example: an agency working with a new client needs a minimum of 3 months for the whole project. That should translate to 6-8 weeks prep time and one month of clean up after the big day.

All in all, a successful migration process comes down to two things: a meticulous, well-thought-out process and an excellent project manager.

And that’s a wrap! Next week, we’ll give you another recap episode with all of November’s organic search updates – stay tuned for more info via our Facebook and Linkedin channels.

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