When we launch a new website, we work closely with our clients to ensure their site ranks the same – if not better – once it goes live.
Here are the top things to focus on to stop any impact on your SEO when you launch your new site:
Ensure all titles, keywords, and meta descriptions are copied across from the previous website. If any new pages are added, add in where necessary.
This isn’t simply a case of keyword-stuffing to suit Google. Meta information isn’t just for search engines anymore.
Think about your user, your optimal client, and the terms they’ll be searching for online. Ensuring you have content that will catch their eye on SERPs will help to improve the performance of your site.
Ensure that all images (wherever possible) have alt text on. Alt text provides context for search engine crawlers as well as for those viewing a page with a screen reader.
Again, not only for the benefit of Google, alt tags are becoming increasingly important to ensure you’re providing the most accessible experience possible to all users of your site.
Ensure that the website is fully optimised for speed.
Speed is a big factor in rankings these days, so ensuring that everything is developed correctly and images are optimised is key.
The five minutes it takes to optimise your imagery for use on your website can save your users crucial seconds on your site, keeping them on-page and on-site for longer.
Ensure that redirects are added for the launch. This ensures that any old/legacy pages that no longer exist are redirected to a page that does exist.
A step that’s often forgotten by some, redirects are super important to ensure your existing content and site performance are retained from your old site to your new site.
Using a site crawler on your current site will allow you to see which pages are currently indexed on search engines, which will require redirects on your new site, and which you won’t need to worry about.
This is a big one. Ensure that the content is at least on par with the previous website – but wherever possible this can be improved upon.
Content will drive people to your site, and a cohesive content strategy will ensure you are being found for your specific keywords on SERPs.
As aesthetically pleasing as your new site may be, users are visiting it for information. It’s important to make sure that you’re providing this.
Consider who your user is – what problems do they face? How does your product or service provide a solution? What makes you stand out from your competitors?
Ensure that an XML sitemap has been added to help search engines crawl the website to see all pages.
Bonus points if you set up your Google Search Console account and submit this to Google.
A simple step, but an important one to ensure all pages on your new site are submitted to search engines.
A website should not be a ‘launch it and leave it’ project.
Reviewing and making regular updates to your website will further improve SEO, and show Google that your site is active and up to date.
Whether it’s sharing news, or adding new case studies, the importance of content on your site can’t be overstated.
It may be time-consuming, and it may be something you’d rather avoid, but the value of top-quality content will help your website perform as you want it to.