I know you would never change a URL without identifying where to 301-redirect it and making sure that the links, XML sitemaps, and/or canonical tags are also updated. But if you’ve been doing SEO for a while, I bet you’ve also had a few clients even big ones coming to you after they’ve tried to do structural web changes or migrations of any type without taking SEO best practices into consideration.
Whenever this happens, your new client comes to you for help in an “emergency” type of situation in which there are two characteristics when doing the required SEO analysis:

You need to prioritize:
Your client is likely very nervous about the situation. You don’t have a lot of time to invest at the beginning to do a full audit right away. You’ll need to focus on identifying what hasn’t been done during the migration to make sure that the fundamental causes of the traffic loss are fixed — then you can move on with the rest.

You might not have all the data:
You might have only the basics — like Google Analytics & Google Search Console — and the information that the client shares with you about the steps they took when doing the changes. There are usually no previous rankings, crawls, or access to logs. You’ll need to make the most out of these two fairly easy-to-get data sources, new crawls that you can do yourself, and third-party “historical” ranking data. In this analysis we’ll work from this existing situation as a “worst-case scenario,” so anything extra that you can get will be an added benefit….Read More