Launching a new website is an exciting time for any company. Updating your website design, content, and user experience can go a long way to improve traffic and conversions.
One important item to keep in mind when launching any new site is a strategy to ensure your SEO isn’t negatively affected by the change.
Below, is a look at a few key items to keep in mind that will put you on a path for a successful website launch.
Are you planning on changing any of your site’s URL structures? If so, make sure you 301 redirect all old URLs to their new locations. This will ensure Google and any other sites that link to you understand the new location of your site’s content. Websites failing to 301 redirect pages to their proper location will take a hit, not only from search engines, but by also loosing 3rd party site links, one of the most critical factors to organic search placement.
Title Tag Changes
Are you planning on changing your website’s title tags? If so, make sure your content on the associated page matches your tags. Title tags are a major factor in SEO and ensuring on-page content matches your tags is critical. Having title tags without the content to match could send messages to Google that your site is trying to gain the system and may induce penalties.
Search engines love when sites update content with vibrant, new material. Just make sure you keep in mind you target keywords. Its recommended you use keywords at a rate of around 1-3% on any given page. Avoiding “overstuffing” will enable your site to have meaningful targets without being too spammy from a user perspective. Remember to check your content incessantly for grammatical errors which do carry negative consequence if many are detected.
If, like most sites, you are generating leads via your website, ensure that your contact form is functioning properly. Companies sometimes go for months scratching their heads trying to understand why their marketing efforts aren’t working when site functionality was to blame the entire time. Its seems obvious, but make sure you triple check that contact forms on all pages are working properly.
Making sure your website is friendly to mobile devices is more important now than ever. Mobile continues to skyrocket, Google is placing more pressure on companies to ensure websites meet users needs on mobile devices. Make sure to test your website on any screen size including desktops, tablets, televisions, and mobile phones using tools like Screenfly.
If your site is connected to Google Webmaster Tools, Google will even tell you if anything needs to be fixed from a mobile perspective.
Finally, check and make sure that all your site’s internal links are leading to the pages you intend them to. This includes everything from anchor text links within content, all the way to links to your social media accounts. Broken links will harm your SEO and are easily avoided with a quick check prior to launching.
If done properly, launching a new website can set a company on a path to growth. The most important thing to remember is not to rush the process. Forgetting these items can have dramatic negative effects on your site’s SEO that may take months to recoup from. Always remember that doing it the right way is always better than expediency.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sean Killian is the marketing team lead at Enola Labs, a custom web and mobile application development company headquartered in Austin, Texas. Connect with @enolalabs on Twitter.
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