Have you ever gone through a Website relaunch disaster and saw rankings drop drastically?
These are some really simple things but they are absolutely essential to making sure that you don’t totally ruin your website’s rankings when doing a redesign.
It’s crazy how many times I’ve seen someone’s traffic go for hundreds of people a day down to 30 or 50 because a website company launching a redesign didn’t make sure these things were in place. Don’t be that company or web designer – follow these 5 simple steps when re-launching your site.
Website Redesign SEO Checklist
1. The Option for ‘de-indexing the site for SEO’ should be switched off. *Important* (on other platforms besides WordPress there are settings like this,
2. Make sure all of the URL’s from the old site either match the new site or have redirects set up
3. Ensure that Google Analytics and Google Search Console is installed and tracking. Ensure that Search Console is working as it should.
4. Make sure you have a sitemap.xml and a robots.txt file – and they are submitted and indexed through Google search console
5. Ensure meta titles and descriptions have been migrated over to the new site + or you’ve written new ones. For small to mid-size business – at least consider your most important 10 for sales stuff + look at your top 10-20-30 pages traffic-wise and ensure those are solid / optimized as well.
6. Key pages/service pages have 500+ words on them (they aren’t thin and duplicate content.)
7. WWW redirects to Non-WWW or vice versa.
8. Https is activated / The site is secure.
9. Thin and duplicate content like categories and tags on WordPress are de-indexed if appropriate / and another basic technical setup is done in Yoast SEO or Rankmath if you’re on WordPress.
10. Any structured data is carried over from the old website – like FAQ schema, Local schema, etc.
I do like re-checking work and stuff after the re-launch manually by searching site:website.com on Google and clicking each result, ensuring that pages that are indexed are properly redirected. Not a bad idea to really do all 50-100 first 5-10 pages of results.
That’s one of the biggest ones (besides the no-index tag) that I see ending up really messing with people’s rankings. This is why I strongly suggest working with a website design company that knows SEO in and out.
These are some basics, just to ensure you don’t blow the whole thing up. What else would you add to the list?