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Website Redesign SEO Checklist

Here is a seo checklist of items I compiled for a client recently that is in the process of a website redesign and wanted to know what things they should be concerned about when they make the site live. Hopefully the list is useful to others; items with a * mean it can be worked on slightly before the new website actually goes live.

  1. Send an updated XML feed to Google and Yahoo – This will involve generating a new fresh xml sitemap file for Google and a urllist.txt file for Yahoo and submitting them to the search engines so they pick up the new pages as quick as possible and remove old pages quicker.
  2. Check for dead links – Once the site is on the live domain we should run a quick test for dead links to ensure there are none in existence.
  3. *Update/review all title tags and meta descriptions – This will be a good opportunity for us to review and update all title tags and meta descriptions.
  4. Setup 301 redirects for key pages – As many people will be hitting old pages that are no longer live we should setup custom 301 redirects for pages that had considerable traffic to them and redirect them to the new equivalent page.
  5. *Fill in empty alt tags – We should ensure there are no blank alt tags on the new website.
  6. *Setup internal linking from subpages – We should double check that we have a strong internal linking structure with the new website content.
  7. *Setup custom 404 page not found webpage – Again, since many people will be hitting dead pages we should create a custom 404 error page where they can quickly find what they were originally looking for.
  8. *Setup a custom HTML sitemap page and link to it in the footer – We need to make sure there is a custom HTML based sitemap page that includes a link to all pages on the site to help the search engines index the new pages faster.
  9. Create custom robots.txt file – We can create a robots.txt file to tell the search engines to not index any of the old page urls anymore.
  10. Request manual deletion of old pages via Google webmaster tools – Once we have the robots.txt file up we can actually tell Google directly to remove old pages permanently from their index.
  11. Modify goal conversion tracking in Google Analytics – Since the URL structure may be changing we need to make sure the conversion tracking for Google analytics is still functioning.
  12. Ensure Google Analytics is working properly – We should double check that google analytics is functioning properly and still capturing data so we can compare stastics from the old website to the new one.

Article Provided By:
Adaptivity Pro Web Design
Salt Lake City Utah
P.O. Box 951049
South Jordan, UT
o: 801-512-2006

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