When a relaunch becomes mandatory, you should plant the launch. There are many things to do but you should plan the relaunch. It should be gradual and you should make sure that you keep the SEO advantage. Here are 7 steps to relaunch your site.
- Crawl new URLs and get 301 redirects right
When you are switching to new URL, you need taking some precautions so that you don’t lose value of the existing links. Crawling website pages could help but it could be tricky, if there are lots of pages to crawl or the navigation is complicated. Check externally linked pages to make sure that each page retains its link juice. While moving to new URL, you need maintaining link authority of each page by redirecting each page to the new URL.
By implementing 301 Redirect to all links, you can retain their value and juice. Crawling and redirecting each page could be a tremendous job especially when there are many pages and you need redirecting each page manually. Here using a spreadsheet could help. Mention all the pages on the spreadsheet and tick the pages that are redirected. It will help in checking that all the web pages and links are moved to new URL.
- Audit your website
Resolve your SEO problems before building new URL. If the problems are left unresolved, they will be carried over the new URL. Audit your site to prevent such things from happening. A comprehensive study of the redesign process is necessary to highlight the problems and find solutions. It is good, if you can do audit of your site before its relaunch. Early audit but an experienced SEO professional will avoid last minute work. In this way, you can ensure that your SEO strategy is according to search engine guidelines and you’re getting attention of search engines.
- Use meta robots tag
If you don’t want to get penalized by Google for duplicate content or you want to ensure that Google doesn’t index some pages then you should use “no index” meta robots tags to the pages that you don’t want to get indexed. It is like directing the search engine to which pages to crawl and index.
- Follow a phased approach
The best way to build a new URL is to adopt a phased approach. For instance, move a subdomain to the new URL and wait for Google to crawl the moved pages. If you see that everything is right, you can move the other pages in small chunks.
- Update the sitemap
When you move your site to a new URL, you should also add new URL to the XML sitemap. The better way is to add the sitemap to Google Search Console and also to the robots.txt file. The last one is necessary, if the URL is changing with the relaunch. Also you can consider different XML sitemaps for different content types.
- Make use of email subscription/signup service
If you can keep the email addresses of your customer intact with the site, you can take advantage of the email addresses to stay in touch with the customers and also to alert them about the new web address.
- Make sure your social accounts are connected
Gear up to connect the new URL with the social media. Visit each of your social profile and link the profiles to the new web address of your website. It will help in leveraging your present online activities for the relaunched website.
Website relaunching is common and sometimes, it is a necessity in digital marketing. Relaunch improves user experience and help websites in remaining relevant. It doesn’t mean to hit the “reset” button but to ensure that relaunch doesn’t affect your SEO and online reputation of your site negatively.