Website Relaunching and SEO: How to Do Both Effectively
Relaunching your website is not just a simple matter of doing a redesign (a facelift, if you may). If your business and website are successful and growing, a relaunch may be called for. Your business growth and needs may already outgrow the current website set-up. You may be adding different products and divisions or need to integrate security and a new database. Whatever the case, structural changes in your website will have effects on your current SEO rankings.
If you do not have a well-planned outline that carefully considers all the ramifications of each step of the relaunch, you may stand the risk of suffering from a steep drop in ranking after the launch, especially if you are moving to a new URL or a new content management system.
Here are some items you should consider to avert a possible SEO disaster after a website relaunch:
- Make an inventory of your website URLs. Identify high-performing pages, pages that have high traffic or SEO value. Type in your domain name in the Google search field with this format: “site:com”. You can also look at the Index Status under Google’s Webmaster Tools.
- Crawl your website. You can use a website crawler to do this job for you. This helps you identify URLs that can change and the possible effect this would have on website crawlers. When crawling your site, make sure to include subdomains. The pages should be indexable. This means that indexed content should be written in HTML, images should have alt tags and any audio or video elements should be accompanied by a transcript that is also included on the site.
- Check your inbound links. Your inbound link profile is also very important so that you identify the links you have and which pages these links are pointing to.
- Draft a 301 redirection plan. This is a plan that identifies all relevant URLs and links and ensures that any “lost” URL or link is redirected to the new pages. This minimizes any lost SEO equity. As much as possible, try to pattern your URL structure after the current structure. Do not delete any pages. If you do need to use 404 errors, do so with a little creativity so that you still provide information and entertain at the same time.
- Keep the site running. The old site should be available for your readers while you are working on the new site. At most, the website should be down only for a few minutes. A prospective customer should be able to visit your website and see something other than a disappointing “Our site is currently under construction” message.
- Review your keyword and content strategy. How well does your keyword optimization strategy work? Can further improvements be made? Keep high-performing keywords for content, as well as headers, title tags and meta descriptions (even as you freshen up and revise your copy). Also, test new long tail keywords that could help improve your SEO results for the new website.
- Make the needed updates. This includes adding a revised sitemap, providing links between the pages in the new website and reviewing Google Analytics codes.
- Review and make improvements on mobile friendliness and user experience. With the changes in how people view websites, the emphasis is on making your new and revitalized website more responsible and mobile friendly. This way, you are relaunching a new and improved website that visitors can enjoy more.
About Adaptivity Pro
To forestall any issues with your website relaunch, it is highly recommended to have a Utah SEO expert at the very start of the project. The expert will help in the planning, implementation and testing phase to minimize any loss of SEO equity. Aside from this, Adaptivity Pro also offers you a team of experts in the area of Utah web design, Internet marketing and social media marketing.