How to Successfully Migrate from Magento to Shopify or Shopify Plus without Losing SEO Positioning

How to Successfully Migrate from Magento to Shopify or Shopify Plus without Losing SEO Positioning
How to Successfully Migrate from Magento to Shopify or Shopify Plus without Losing SEO Positioning

How to Successfully Migrate from Magento to Shopify or Shopify Plus without Losing SEO Positioning

Are you considering moving your online store from Magento to Shopify or Shopify Plus? It’s a significant decision that can bring more features and flexibility to your business. But, understandably, you might be concerned about how this move could affect your website’s SEO ranking. Don’t worry; we’re here to guide you through this process successfully.

In this user-friendly guide, we’ll simplify the process of transferring your online store from Magento to Shopify. We’ll explain all the essential steps and provide you with practical tips to ensure that your SEO rankings remain strong and unaffected.

Why SEO Matters for Your Online Store

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand why SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial. SEO is like the magic that helps your website appear higher on Google searches. When your site ranks well, you get more visitors, which can lead to more sales.

When you switch from Magento to Shopify, it’s important to take care of your SEO. If you don’t do it right, you might lose the precious rankings you’ve worked hard to achieve. So, let’s dive into the steps to ensure a smooth transition.

Checklist for Migrating from Magento to Shopify

Migrating your online store from Magento to Shopify is an exciting journey that can bring significant improvements. However, it’s essential to plan carefully to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s your comprehensive checklist to guide you through the process:

1. Understand the Risks of Migration
2. Create a Development Store
3. Migrate Your Products and Collections
4. Ensure Proper 301 Redirects for Products and Categories
5. Deal with Categories/Collections
6. Migrate Your Pages
7. Implement 301 Redirects for Pages
8. Migrate Your Blog Content
9. Set Up 301 Redirects for Blog Posts
10.Spot Test from Google Search Console
11. Perform a Full URL Test
12. Create the Store’s Look and Feel
13. Migrate Your Customer Data (At the Very End)
14. Go Live and Keep the Old Site Accessible on a Subdomain
15. Continuous Monitoring After Migration

1. Understanding the Risks of Migration

Understanding the Risks of Migration

When you’re moving your online store from Magento to Shopify, it’s important to know what could go wrong. One big concern is losing your good position on Google’s search results. Many websites get a lot of customers from Google searches, and these customers don’t cost anything to acquire.

But here’s the problem: If you don’t handle the move from Magento to Shopify correctly, you might lose your high ranking on Google. This means you could miss out on sales from people finding your site through Google searches. To avoid this, you need to make sure the transition goes smoothly.

Using our Magento to Shopify migration checklist is a good way to start, but if you’re not sure how to do it, it’s a good idea to ask us for help. Fixing a migration that went wrong can be time-consuming, and it can also be expensive. So, it’s important to do it right from the beginning.

Here are some key things to keep in mind for SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

  • Keep Your Content Similar: Make sure the stuff on your new Shopify site is similar to what you had on Magento.
  • Use 301 Redirects: Redirect everything from your old site to your new one using something called “301 Redirects” to keep your SEO power.
  • Test Everything: Check that everything on your new site works well, including links and how easy it is for people to use.
  • Check Your Redirects Again: Make sure all your redirects are set up correctly.
  • Triple-Check Your Redirects: Go the extra mile and check them again to be sure.

By following these tips and being cautious during your migration, you can switch from Magento to Shopify without harming your SEO rankings and your business performance.

2. Create a Development Store and Get the Right App

Create a Development Store and Get the Right App

When you’re all set to begin your migration, the first thing you should do is create a development store. Think of it as your practice space where you can test everything without impacting your live store. To get one, simply sign up for a free 14-day trial on Shopify.

Once your development store is ready, it’s time to seek some assistance. Consider reaching out for professional support to ensure a smooth transition from Magento to Shopify. This expert guidance can be invaluable in simplifying the process and avoiding any hurdles along the way. With the right help, you can confidently migrate your data between the two platforms and maintain a seamless online presence.

3. Migrating Your Products and Collections/Categories

Migrating Your Products and Collections/Categories

In this step, we’ll guide you through moving your products from Magento to Shopify without the use of any specific app:

  • Export Products from Magento: Log in to your Magento admin panel and navigate to System → Import/Export → Export. Utilize the standard Magento CSV export feature to export your products.
  • File Renaming: After the export, rename the file by including “Magento” and “Products” in the name. For example, you can name it “Magento_products_20201201_12345.csv.”
  • Upload the File: Now, upload this renamed file directly into your Shopify admin. You don’t need any additional app for this part.
  • Enter Your Magento Store Domain: Provide the main domain name of your Magento store, such as “https://mystorename.com.” This step initiates the migration of images from your Magento store to Shopify.
  • Optional Test Run: If you’d like to double-check everything before proceeding, Shopify offers a test run feature. This allows you to ensure that everything is functioning correctly and make any necessary adjustments. Once you’re satisfied, proceed with the import.
  • Review Import Results: After completing the import, download the generated Import Results file. It will contain three sheets: “Products,” “Smart Collections,” and “Redirects.” Review this file to ensure that everything appears as expected.
  • Reupload and Finalize: If everything checks out, reupload the file to Shopify. This action should place all your Magento products into Shopify Smart Collections.

Keep in mind that not all categories will automatically transfer, and the way products are structured in Shopify may differ from Magento. The complexity of your products can impact this process, and in some cases, you may require assistance from a Shopify Developer. To be safe, we recommend conducting a test import with a few products initially and maintaining regular backups of all your exported products. This ensures a smooth and secure transition for your products and collections.

4. Ensure Proper 301 Redirects for Products and Categories

Ensure Proper 301 Redirects for Products and Categories

Redirecting your product URLs correctly is crucial when moving from Magento to Shopify. You can do this effectively with these steps:

  • Test Your Redirects: Make sure all your products are correctly redirecting to their new spots on Shopify. This ensures a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
  • Watch for Special Symbols: Keep an eye on product URLs with special symbols in their names. Sometimes, these symbols may not transfer perfectly during migration, so it’s smart to double-check them.
  • Update URLs: Remember that when you move products from Magento to Shopify, your URLs need an update. The URL structures of the two platforms are different. To keep things smooth, redirect all your old URLs to the new Shopify structure. This way, your customers won’t run into dead ends while exploring your online store.

By following these steps carefully, you’ll ensure a hassle-free shopping journey for your customers throughout and after the migration.

5. Managing Categories/Collections During Migration

Managing Categories/Collections During Migration

When moving from Magento to Shopify, your collections in Shopify will be generated based on your categories in Magento. While this simplifies your migration, there are essential things to keep in mind:

  • URL Redirects: Excelify won’t automatically redirect category URLs from Magento to their new collection URLs on Shopify. This part requires manual handling.
  • Content and Metadata: The app won’t migrate category text, images, meta titles, or meta descriptions. These elements need your manual attention. You can copy and paste content and set up redirects right within Shopify’s admin page. For larger-scale updates, consider using CSV export/import for hundreds of categories.

Be sure to handle categories with extra care, as they often hold significant SEO value as high-ranking pages.

6. Migrate Your Pages

Migrate Your Pages

In this step, you’ll need to do things manually. Here’s how:

  • Create the pages in Shopify.
  • Copy over all the content, including meta titles and descriptions, from your old Magento pages.
  • Don’t forget to set up 301 redirects for each page.

Here’s a simple example: If you had a page on Magento with the URL www.mystorename.com/contact, you’ll need to add a redirect to www.mystorename.com/pages/contact, which is the new URL on Shopify.

One important thing to remember: If you skip setting up these redirects, you’ll lose the SEO value your old pages had, and your customers might run into broken links. So, take this step seriously to ensure everything goes smoothly and stays SEO-friendly!

7. Double-Checking Page Redirects

It’s time for another quick test to ensure everything’s on track. Check that all your pages, the ones you moved and copied, are correctly sending people to their new spots on Shopify. This step might not be the most exciting, but it’s super important. By making sure everything’s working right along the way, you can catch and fix any issues before they turn into big headaches.

Feeling a bit lost about handling these redirects? No worries! If you’re not sure what to do, reach out to us. We offer a professional Magento to Shopify migration service. While we’re not the cheapest option around, our experience includes helping big-name websites, and we know exactly how to make your migration a success. Your peace of mind and a smooth transition are well worth it!

8. Migrate Your Blog Content

You can migrate your blog content to Shopify without relying on any app. Here’s a simplified guide:

  • Export Blog Content: Begin by exporting your blog content from Magento. Format the file into CSV for easy import.
  • Check Character Limit: For larger websites, be cautious, as Excel has a character limit of around 32,000 characters, which might not accommodate an entire blog post. You can find solutions and detailed instructions in their documentation here.
  • Manual Redirects: After importing, set up manual redirects for all your blog posts to ensure that old URLs align perfectly with Shopify’s URL structure.
  • Value in Old Blogs: Pay special attention to older blogs with extensive content. They often hold significant SEO value, so ensure careful redirection to preserve this value.

By following these steps, you can smoothly transfer your blog content to Shopify, maintaining its SEO value and engaging your audience effectively.

9. Set Up 301 Redirects for Blog Posts

Now, let’s make sure your blog posts redirect accurately to their new locations on Shopify. Follow these steps:

  • Spot Testing: Test your blog posts and content to guarantee they are correctly redirected to the new Shopify path. Look out for any errors that suggest the process was not carried out correctly. If you find any issues, promptly redo the redirects (and then retest!).

By taking these steps, you ensure that your blog posts smoothly guide your readers to their new destinations on Shopify, providing a seamless experience.

10. Spot Test from Google Search Console

After ensuring everything is running smoothly, it’s time to perform a spot test from Google Search Console to double-check your migration from a search engine perspective. Here’s how:

Select Top 10 Pages: Identify the top 10 pages based on traffic.

Test the Redirect: Copy the URL of each of these pages and paste it at the end of your Shopify domain. This step aims to confirm that users are redirected to the corresponding content on Shopify. If redirection doesn’t occur, it’s an indication that something went amiss in the migration process, and you should investigate step by step.

If you find yourself puzzled by any issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to assist you in your transition from Magento to Shopify, ensuring a seamless migration.

11. Perform a Full URL Test

After your successful spot test, it’s time for a comprehensive URL check. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Get Your Magento URLs: Gather all your URLs from Magento, either from Magento itself or using Google Search Console.
  • Create a Google Sheet: Put these URLs into a Google Sheet.
  • Prepare Shopify URLs: Temporarily remove the password from your Shopify store.
  • Match URLs to Shopify: In the Google Sheet, create a new column with the new Shopify URLs using the Shopify domain. You might need to use a function for this.
  • Check Status Codes: Using a script (there are many available, or you can use our custom one), check the status codes of your pages. The script will show the status codes for the pages on the temporary Shopify URL. Ideally, they should all show “code 200.”

If any other code appears, it’s a sign that something might be wrong, possibly missing content or redirects. In such cases, it’s a good idea to consult with a Shopify developer for help in resolving any issues.

12. Create the Store’s Look and Feel

Create the Store’s Look and Feel

It’s time to make your store look great and work smoothly. This includes design and ensuring everything runs well for both you and your customers.

Consider hiring a Shopify expert for this step. They can help navigate the unique aspects of your store, making the process quicker.

By focusing on your store’s appearance and functionality, you’ll create an enjoyable and efficient shopping experience for your customers.

13. Migrate Your Customer Data (At the Very End)

Now, you’re almost ready to launch your new Shopify store. Your content is safely moved, and the technical setup is in place.

Migrating customer and order data is optional, but it can simplify things, especially if you have many repeat customers. Excelify provides helpful instructions for this.

Remember: Customer passwords won’t transfer, so let your customers know they’ll need to create new ones. Save this step right before you launch your store.

14. Go Live and Keep the Old Site Accessible on a Subdomain

Go Live and Keep the Old Site Accessible on a Subdomain

As you prepare to launch your Shopify store, keep your old admin accessible on a subdomain with the help of your Magento host. Ensure your entire Magento site has a “no-index” tag to prevent duplicate content issues.

Here’s what to do:

Keep the old site available for admin tasks and handling post-migration order issues.

On the day of the transfer, change your DNS settings to point to Shopify. First, make the new site live, then set up the old store on a subdomain.

By following this approach, you’ll minimize downtime. Ensure your host can assist you on the Shopify switch day. There may be a brief period when customers see the old or new site, so you might need to adjust your host’s file locally to access the old site admin.

Note: Expect about 10 minutes of downtime during SSL issuance. For busy stores, plan this step during low-traffic times to reduce disruptions.

15. Continuous Monitoring After Migration

Once your migration is complete and your Shopify store is live, follow these steps:

  • Double-check that everything is set up correctly and functioning smoothly.
  • Place your old domain on a subdomain and set it as ‘no-index’ to avoid duplicate content.
  • Re-submit your sitemaps to Google to ensure search engine visibility.
  • Keep an eye on your Google search positions for 2 to 6 weeks to ensure they stabilize.
  • Monitor Google Analytics for any 404 URLs to catch missed redirects. Redirect any 404 paths to relevant content.
  • Over time, you can wind down and archive the old subdomain.

 

Conclusion

By following these steps, you’ll ensure a seamless transition and maintain your SEO rankings on your new Shopify store.

Moving your online store from Magento to Shopify is quite a task, and there are several complexities involved. That’s why it’s often a good idea to seek help from experienced professionals, like Shopify Experts or Shopify Plus Experts, who can guide you through the process.

If you decide to tackle the migration on your own, be prepared for potential challenges such as missing redirects and a drop in your hard-earned SEO rankings. To go the DIY route, make sure you thoroughly understand each step and don’t overlook any important details.

At Optamark Digital, we’ve successfully migrated many online stores without any SEO setbacks for our clients.

If you ever need assistance or want to ensure a smooth transition, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to make sure your journey to Shopify is trouble-free.

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Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark is an outsourced service provider to a network of experienced, independent distributors of printing and promotional products. The Company’s services include product sourcing and order fulfillment via access to a network of preferred vendors, invoicing, collections, back office support, sales and marketing support, professional development training, and working capital support.