The Art of SEO Migration: A DisabledGo Case Study

angshuman sett

5 Nov 2021

DisabledGo, now called AccessAble, was a company founded back in the year 2000. Its main product was an app called AccessAble, which provided information to people living in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Its founder, Dr. Gregory Burke, had been motivated by his own experiences, being a disabled walker and wheelchair user. He was frustrated to find that the best-case scenario when he looked for accessibility information was a few unhelpful words that only resulted in more uncertainty.

The idea behind the app was to give people detailed information to work out if a place is going to be accessible to them, backed by facts, figures, and photographs. According to the website:

“We know everyone’s accessibility needs are different, which is why having detailed, accurate information is so important. It’s why we send our trained surveyors to check out every single place in person and why the information we collect has all been decided by our user community.”

Working alongside 100 different disability groups, DisabledGo’s first website was launched in 2002. Since then the organization has grown and developed, continually meeting and listening to its user community. By 2018, DisabledGo was used by over 1.5 million people each year to plan a visit or a trip outdoors. By 2020, that number had crossed over 1.8 million people.

AccessAble’s website has detailed guides for people with disabilities

In June of 2018, DisabledGo began working on a new website, along with iOS and Android Apps, something which their user community was vocal and passionate about. A key issue they experienced during this migration, was the task of achieving this without hampering their SEO Rankings. 

This was when the company decided to hire some professional help to make this migration as smooth as possible. A marketing company called Agency51 was hired for this task.

What Was The Task?

As we’ve already mentioned, a marketing firm called Agency51 had to perform an SEO migration from an older platform to the new one. Their primary concern was to reach a new audience and at the same time retain all loyal customers. To make this process as stable as possible, they decided to implement 301 redirects to new URLs from the older ones. Thankfully, the company did everything right and managed to fulfill all of AccessAble’s needs and preferences. Now, let’s take a look at the details of this process.

SEO Migration

From an SEO perspective, everything was great. For example, 301 redirects from old URLs were implemented to the new ones. These redirects helped send search engines and readers to another URL. Using this method, it’s possible to redirect users to another page while keeping the ranking power on search engines.

Since this approach makes it possible for sites to preserve their ranking power, this decision was brilliant. Another important thing was to keep the website’s SEO alive during the migration. This meant readers would still be able to navigate the website and use all of its features.

So, the ultimate goal was to successfully perform this migration and boost the number of new customers after the process was complete. They also decided to transfer their metadata and build a whole new site map from scratch. What’s even more impressive is that this process didn’t affect the users. The website was performing just fine, without any problems.

What Was The Result?

After they completed the migration and improved the SEO features, DisabledGo’s activities continued. Due to all the transferring and restructuring of URLs, DisabledGo managed to increase its visitors by 21% year over year. At the same time, URL migration and ranking through relevant keywords helped improve the website’s rankings. Over time, the company changed its name to AccessAble and is now one of the most reputable companies in its niche.

The Bottom Line

SEO strategy migration is a highly complex process that requires a lot of resources and effort. Add to that the situation where the website in question was operating during the process without any problems. Many consider DisabledGo’s example one of the best ones when implementing or changing an SEO strategy.

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