Website migrations that don’t take SEO into account or are done with hurried or inadequate SEO preparations can be devastating. You probably have good reasons for undertaking a website refresh, migration, or relaunch, as well as hopes for improvement in specific areas. You can accomplish these with the help of SEO.
Before launching, put in place what you want to achieve in redesigning your website. Setting appropriate goals is a key to ensuring success. Keep in mind that changes to the information architecture, sitemap, and overall content plan in the redesign process can impact SEO. You want to make sure valuable pages to your SEO strategy are not deleted from the site. Knowing what context and overall architecture are changing or remaining the same can help you protect the specific elements that help with relevancy. Another thing to consider before launching is that all pages with links pointing to them are redirected correctly.
Perform whatever quality control tests you can think of on the work you’ve done so far on the staging site before launching. A slight delay launch is better than undoing damage later or have to roll back to the old website.
Once you have launched your website, remember to do some post-launch checking. You can start by returning to your redirect file, old site map, and old site crawl. Verify that all old site URLs perform 301 redirects to the new site URLs. If you catch any 404s, implement additional redirects.
Never assume that the live website will perform as the staging site did. To ensure that the site achieved a passing grade, run the homepage and vital pages through a mobile-friendly testing tool. You can also run page speed tools to find potential areas of improvement on the new website. Do note that databases and tables of websites with a lot of dynamic content sometimes get missed in migration. Ensure that all pages and specific on-page optimizations from the development site are carried over to the live site.
SEO is not a one-time thing. Over the next 1-2 months, keep an eye on Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools for 404 errors, crawl errors, and any HTML on-page issues. As quickly as possible, take care of these. Take care of these as soon as possible. After the dust has settled, the monitoring phase begins, you can return to your original plan and goals to assess the new site’s performance. You can now return to your regular optimization routine.
- Planning for your website redesign cannot be rushed.
- Setting goals is crucial to achieving success.
- SEO is a long-term commitment.
“Take every opportunity you have to use the redesign and relaunch for performance improvement to maximizing the return on your investment in your site.”