First off, don’t clone MacOS - it hasn’t worked reliably since Lion introduced recovery partitions on some of the newer Macs! You want to backup the Mac and restore it from a backup after clean installing the OS.
Second, make sure you swap the HD cable in these - the original cables are often SATA II and they will not work right with SSDs due to that. It’s one of those issues I fix in these right away as soon as I have it open, so I know it’s been fixed due to how bad a failure can be. Before you install the new cable, the trick is to put electrical tape where the old cable lived before installing it.
In terms of where to cover, refer to this photo of my old 2011 13” - I did the same in my 2012 13” when I swapped cables.
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