Are you planning to redesign and relaunch your website? That is indeed a significant endeavour. But before you relaunch the site, you should carry out an SEO audit, just to be sure that there aren’t any major loopholes. A thorough SEO audit detects any possible pitfalls before the launch and provides you enough time to fix the issues before you replace your existing website.
Unlike the typical SEO audit of your website, an audit for a relaunch differs to some degree as you are considering and comparing two distinct sites: the former site versus the newly designed site. Also, there are certain challenges that tag along with a relaunch audit. Several tools that are utilized to perform an audit require a website to be available on the web (in order to scan the site), but when it comes to redesigning, the new website can be secured through a password and is inaccessible to these tools. A relaunch edit can be divided into pre-launch and post-launch.
Well, you can surely wait to perform an SEO audit until after the relaunch, but isn’t it better to identify most of the SEO errors before your site goes live?
The pre-launch audit should include:
While relaunching the website, you’ll need to be certain that your web analytics continue to smoothly track from the previous website version to the new version. It would be awful if you gathered records (current as well as past records), just to realize later that your tracking was inconsistent. Ensure that your analytics tracking code is on each page of the new site and that it is programmed perfectly.
Are you making use of GTM (Google Tag Manager)? No? Then it is high time to integrate it. GTM helps in adding extra marketing tags to your site easily and you won’t need your web developer or designer’s help every time you want any tracking component added to the site.
Well, if you add GTM for the very first time, then don’t forget to delete any Google Analytics code from the site and add it rather through GTM. The same goes for different conversion tracking components and scripts – make sure to shift them to GTM and not replicate them on pages.
SEO can be truly troubled by technical issues. You may have an idea how your current site functions with SEO, but you have to be sure that your new layout, design, images and code will be effective. It usually won’t be a fair comparison. Also, the most general technical SEO drawback with a relaunch is that the loading time of a new page is not considered.
If your test site is available on the web, even for a brief period, you must test it with Google PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your page load times before the launch. Along with this, Google will provide specific instructions to improve the page speed for both desktop and mobile versions of the website.
Are you planning to change servers with the relaunch? Not all web hosts and servers are made alike, and some are not fast enough to load your pages. Use ByteCheck to test out your time to the first byte. Compare existing server with the new one.
One of the general issues found on sites is image size. Commonly when a CMS (content administration framework) is being utilized, the people who update the website are not a web designer by profession. Hence, this result in issues related to page speed due to the image uploads.
If a large photo is uploaded to a smaller space then it is a waste of file size and page load time. The page will take more time to load a large file in comparison to the smaller one. Fortunately, CMSs have plugins to handle this issue. The WP Image Size Limit plug-in for WordPress can be utilized to limit how large the dimensions of the image upload can be.
If you are editing the website content, then you should review your keywords. If there are keywords that you want to optimize (and currently there is no appropriate page on the site), then consider adding a new page on the site where it seems necessary.
If you are not going to change your domain, then the inbound linking might not be a grave issue for a relaunch. However, make sure that you optimize your internal links from page to page on your website. You can also do this post-launch, but only if you are editing or adding content, it’s the appropriate time to add the internal links to the respective pages.
Google Search Console displays the existing internal links on your site. Also, when you are updating content, consider adding appropriate internal links.
Lastly, when your relaunch is about to go live, you should benchmark your SEO metrics. Use the benchmark data (organic traffic and current rankings) after the relaunch to examine and to make sure that your SEO is persistent.
After the site is live, you have to monitor any variation in the organic traffic and rankings. If there are any drops or losses, identify the issue quickly. If some pages are not getting any organic traffic, then check your 301 redirects for those pages. Also, if some pages rankings and organic traffic has dropped in comparison to the benchmark, then analyze the changes that occurred on that page. Even if you need to postpone the relaunch plan, it is better to make sure that the redesigned website is SEO-friendly as this will probably lead to an increase in the rankings and traffic of your site.
Well, you need professionals to handle the pre-launch as well as the post-launch audits for your website. Vrinsoft Technology has a team of proficient SEO service providers which offers extensive SEO solutions for increasing your website’s rankings as well as organic traffic.