So, you have finally realized that it would be best to update that antique website that was invented back in the 2000s. You may be thinking about right now “I may already have enough stress without switching a perfectly good running website for one I am not going to know about or understand.” Sure, but getting your site noticed on Google’s search results and on the first page at that, then you are going to need to let an SEO company plan for you.
You can launch a journey for help navigating around your new website. The following is a checklist that consists of the important things to do prior to launching your SEO campaign. If you are short on time and/or resources to take time for the list, you can ask an SEO agency to help you out.
If You Know the Target Keywords, Then Create A Keyword Roadmap
Of course, you are not going to find keyword research to be as appealing as you would selecting a design style, logo, or a new design, yet someone must do it. Researching keywords is one of the main parts of revamping a website, and more so should you be making a rebrand or launching a new service site altogether.
There is a tool called SEMRush that is helpful in performing keyword research, and so is Google’s Keyword Planner, and SERPs, all of which let you uncover the volume of keywords through searching. It also will let you make the final decision on the ones you want to work on.
The main goal for researching keywords is in establishing and improving your content which is going to be included as part of your website content. The research can also be used for building roadmaps that can serve as a guide for creating more content, and it could even be used for updating previous content.
A good way to go about creating roadmaps is to put all the pages side by side and decide which of the keywords you need to focus on first. How does this help? It helps you to stay organized while figuring out the best way to go about optimizing the headers, titles, on-page content, and alt text.
The content You currently Have Should Be Analyzed
Study the content you currently have on your website, really study it, now decide as to what part of the content should be moved to another site. It needs to be moved in the current state it’s in. You will need to decide what part of the content you will have to modify, what part you can add later, and which parts can be deleted.
You will need to start this process by analyzing your best landing pages from the past couple of years. Now you will go over the content and establish your pageview threshold, which must work for the business. If there are any pages that go over the threshold, just hang onto them as they are.
However, the pages that are under the threshold will have to be:
- Redirected (unless you are going to remove them)
The pages that are above by just a little will need to be re-examined on a regular basis, with the intent of repurposing and/or refreshing.
Commence with A Redirect Strategy 301
You now know which content will be staying, which is going to be redirected, and which will be removed. It is crucial that you set up a redirection strategy to use on any URLs that are going to be changed or removed. The thing I dread the most is when launch time comes around, and my site has all these different 404 error pages popping up on my screen.
To get started with this, you will need to crawl the website you are currently using. Next, gather the current pages and catalog them. Once that is finished, the time has come to determine where the pages that are going to be redirected will go. You may not be able to get around this tedious part of the process, but after you get through this part, it will have all been worth doing it.
In case anyone was wondering, the best way to go about cataloging this part would be to work with an excel document. Using the first column of the document for the older URL and the second column to put the new URL in. With tedious work such as this,
I would suggest having someone go behind you and double-check the spreadsheet prior to implementing it into your site, just to make sure everything is right and that there is nothing missing.
Time for Sitting up the Page Titles, Along with the Meta Data
Now that the pages which will stay have been selected and the redirects have been set up, it’s time to begin optimizing the content. This begins with the titles of the pages and the metadata. Use the keyword map to decide on titles and meta. Other things that would help are existing page rankings and business priorities.
I would suggest that the target keyword be placed before the title, such as “Technical SEO Used by Your Local SEO Company.”
Although meta data is no longer as vital to search engines as they once were, they play a crucial role in click-through rates. Focus should now be on having the ability to persuade those searching to maintain their accuracy while clicking so that the expectations can be met.
The On-Page Optimization
Prior to launching, quickly go over all the pages to make sure the elements below have been optimized.
Image Alternate Text
Alternate text needs to talk about the image, using unique and useful things that include target keyword(s) whenever necessary. Do not overuse keywords!
Graph Tags Need to Be Opened
Used for social media sharing for the presence and visibility on social media.
The headers should include the targeted keywords with both h1 and h2 whenever possible.
Your Bots Should Be Checked
Double check that you have the no-index/no-follow and dis-allow tags set up, making certain the search engines do not end up indexed content as they are not to be seen.
An XML Sitemap Must Be Created
Prior to having your site launched, you will need to create an XML sitemap, which has to be placed in the robots.txt.file. This is what tells search engine crawlers what order the pages and their content are to be placed and also creates hierarchy to your site.
Click here and go to the step-by-step guide in Google if you want to create your own sitemap.
Be Positive About Your User Experience
You are going to want to get up to date on your user experience for every one of you. These are ranking factors of Google; some of these are already ranking factors of Google, and those that are not yet will be soon. So, double-check that your new site has secure HTTPS is mobile-friendly, with quick loading times.
Keep a lookout for duplicate content
For identifying duplicate content, titles, and many more improvements, click here and again on Search Appearance>HTML Improvements. There is also a tool called ‘Siteliner’ that can be used to identify duplicate content. Let Google know which content is to be considered primary by implementing ‘rel=canonical’ tags.
The reason for setting up Both Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console
If you want to be able to get the critical insights of your ROI, you will need to be connected to Google’s Analytics and Google’s Search Console. For instance, after launching, you start noticing the Analytics having a higher bounce rate; this could be telling you that your site has bigger problems you will need to deal with.
Having Search Console gives you the ability to see the keywords that drive traffic your way; it also will be monitoring the overall health of your website, and it will alert you if your website has any problems.
An SEO Pre-launch Checklist for Your Website
Click here to go to the website’s SEO pre-launch Checklist.