AutoCircuit, formerly HandelsPrices, has taken over the Handelsprijs websites, after which the plan was created to create a single used platform for the (North) Netherlands. Loyals Group label SmartRanking was commissioned by NDC Mediagroep for the SEO migration process.
In 2019, the NDC Mediagroep took over 41 different websites, all of which had to be migrated to one new platform: AutoCircuit. Loyals Group search engine optimization specialty agency SmartRanking served as the single point of contact of the NDC Mediagroep for SEO issues and has taken care of the complete SEO migration for this process. From drawing up the migration plan to writing and testing redirects, migrating more than 4.000.000 URL’s in the process.
SEO migration for AutoCircuit
AutoCircuit, formerly Handelsprijs, is part of NDC Mediagroep. NDC media group has taken over the Handelsprijs websites, after which the plan was created to create a single occasion platform for the (North) Netherlands. We received a request from NDC Mediagroep via Iwan Post, online marketer, to help with the SEO migration process. Since an incorrect migration costs valuable ranking positions and traffic, we outlined and executed a complete plan.
The challenge of the SEO migration
Based on our 7 steps for an SEO migration we have started to inventory the changes that will take place, the parties involved and to perform a baseline measurement. Using the baseline measurement, we keep a close eye on the effects of the migration after going live, to ensure that the migration results in the SEO ranking position being maintained.
Our first challenge was that it immediately became apparent that an entirely new platform would be developed by an external web developer. All URLs would change, so no URL remained the same. The second major challenge was also that all individual websites such as audi-kopen.nl, mercedes-kopen.nl and bmw-kopen.nl had to be merged into autocircuit.nl. In total there were 41 of these “brand platforms”. During the inventory, a third challenge immediately came into play: not all car models from the old platforms would be taken over on the new platform.
Drawing up a migration plan and writing redirects
In order to set up redirects correctly, we determined the new URL structure together with Iwan Post, taking into account the different models and the existing situation. After drawing up the new URLs, we started drawing up the relocation plan and writing the RegEx redirects. Setting up redirects manually was impossible, as it involved 41 different websites with a total of over 4,000,000 URLs.
With the help of well-thought-out RegEx redirects and a good migration plan, we were then able to simulate the redirects, so that they are tested correctly. It soon turned out that a number of redirects did not go entirely well, after which the RegEx scripts were refined and tested again. This also specifically looked at redirect loops.
After extensive testing, implementation of technical SEO improvements and filling of the platform by NDC Mediagroep, the migration could be started. During the migration we kept a close eye on the platforms, so that we were assured that the migration went well. 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.
In the meantime, the old URLs have been properly processed by Google and AutoCircuit receives tens of thousands of visitors from Google every month. This provides a good basis for further organic growth.