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Don’t Forget To Perform Audit before Relaunching Your Website
By: Admin Posted on: January 25, 2017 Category: Search Engine Optimization

Those who are associated with the digital world, they better know the significance of making changes to the website design, structure or content. It assures search engines that you keep on performing activities on your website and maintains the freshness of your site. Restructuring of a website is a major undertaking, but there is another important step that you should not overlook while relaunching your website, i.e. performing SEO audit. A website audit is vital just to be safe as it helps you identify SEO pitfalls, giving you time to fix all the issues present in your website.

 

Website SEO audit is not similar to general website audit where we compare our website to our competition. But in relaunch SEO audit, we compare our new website with old one. There are so many challenges that you may come across during this audit. We usually perform audit using some tool or software program which requires a live website to perform the scan. But when you redesign or restructure it, you keep your website hidden or password protected, which makes your site inaccessible to these tools. Janet Driscoll Miller, the President and CEO of Marketing Mojo, believes that the best way to perform website audit is by breaking it down into two main parts, i.e. pre-launch audit and post-launch audit.

 

Let’s understand what activities you need to perform under each audit type.

 

PRE-LAUNCH AUDIT

 

Most of us wait till website relaunch to perform an SEO audit, but it would be better to catch all SEO issues and mistakes before making your site live. This is because it will not only affect the website functionality on search engines but also cost you extra if you fix after getting your website live. So, it would be good to tackle all the issues before website relaunch by performing a pre-launch audit. Your pre-launch audit must cover the following reviews:

 

  1. Analytics Review: In order to let analytics works seamlessly, it is important that you must put analytics tracking code on every page of the new website and ensure that it is programmed appropriately. If you are not using GTM (Google Tag Manager), then start using it by integrating it into the new website. GTM is important as it makes easy for you to add additional marketing tags to the website and you don’t need to wait for designer or developer’s assistance to add a tracking pixel to the website.

 

Those who are adding GTM for the first time to their website, make sure you remove Google analytics code from the website and add them instead through GTM. Before taking your website live, don’t forget to add an annotation so that you can easily identify the relaunch date while looking at the graphs.

 

 

  1. Content Review: A very common issue seen on the websites is image size while using CMS. An improper image size also affects the page loading speed. This problem is commonly faced when the person is not a designer and still they use CMS themselves to put content. CMSs have special plug-ins to address image size problems. There is a WP Image Size Limit plugin for WordPress to restrict how large the size of the image upload can be.

 

Make sure that you use proper keywords on each page while writing content. If you don’t find an appropriate page for some keywords, it would be suggested to create a new page whenever needed on the new site to target the keywords rightly. Also, use Yoast SEO plugin to edit title tags and meta descriptions and uploading XML Sitemap.

 

 

  1. Technical Review: Technical issues can hit your website badly. We all focus on the SEO issues and how it can affect the working of the website, but we simply neglect how new website design, code, images will work. Are they SEO-friendly? One of the commonly ignored issues is new page loading time. Even if you make small changes to your website, it may increase the page loading times. Increased page load time is sufficient to drop the traffic and keyword rankings. This is how page speed can affect your website performance on search engines.

 

It would be suggested to test your website when it is on the web using Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check page loading time. You will not only get the information of page score but also get the knowledge of improving page speed on both mobile and desktop versions of the website.

 

 

A very common thing that we all perform is that we add a robot.txt file to the test site to disallow Googlebot from indexing that website. Although it is the right approach, but make sure when you relaunch your test website, the test robot file is not moved to the live site, otherwise, it will present your site from showing in search engine results.

 

 

  1. Link Review: If there are no domain changes and you take care of all 301 redirects, then inbound linking will not be an issue for you during website relaunch. Before you launch, make sure you optimize each link from page to page on your website. Though you can perform it post-launch, but if you are adding or editing content, it is good to optimize links before you launch.

 

  1. Benchmarking: Benchmark your SEO metrics just before you make your website live. Check organic traffic, current rankings for high-traffic keywords. This benchmark data will help you monitor your website perform later.

 

POST LAUNCH AUDIT

 

Once your website is live, it’s not the time to rest. Gear up for the new phase where you have to check your live website whether all the components are working in the right way or not. You need to monitor website rankings and analyze any change in organic traffic and rankings. This is not something that you can do for 1 or two days. You need to keep a check on your website performance for at least 2-3 weeks continuously. There are a few things that you need t check after your website launch.

 

  1. The most important thing that you need to check is website accessibility. Once it is live, it should be accessible to all. It will be accessed and indexed only if you remove a robot.txt file.

 

  1. Check how many pages have been indexed and those that are not indexed find out why. Also, check that there are not duplicate pages being indexed either.

 

  1. Check Home Page PageRank, HP Page Authority and Domain Authority should remain constant throughout.

 

  1. Initially you with find increase in the number of GWT errors and later these will decrease if you clean up 404 errors and make proper 301 redirects.

 

  1. Keep an eye on analytics data. Check which keywords are performing well and which are not showing a good response.

 

  1. Verify your website on Google Webmaster Tools.

 

  1. Check Sitemap, index errors (if any) and review crawl errors.

 

Make sure you don’t relaunch your website in a hurry. It is better to delay the relaunch than launching your website with lots of SEO errors. This might badly hit your website, affecting its traffic and ranking. If you notice any dips or losses, find out the reason these dips and ways to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

 

Contact Us for Complete SEO Audit