9 steps for a better Google Ranking after website relaunch
Keep the URL structure or create a 301 redirect
You should keep the URL structure if possible. Otherwise you have to setup a 301 redirect from the old pages in order that search engines and visitors don’t come to nothing. These 301 redirects should be thematically reasonable. If you create a new landing page it makes sense to redirect to it from the old one. There is absolutely no point in redirecting to an thematically unsuitable site because it will irritate customers and it will lose relevance, authority and link juice for search engines. It is important to notice that every 301 redirect is a negative factor.
Define the most important Landing Pages & continue them after the relaunch
Even before starting a new website define the most important landing pages. These sites must be recreated in a similar form.
The importance depends on the following criterias:
- Traffic (Google Analytics → Acquisition → All Access → Channels → Organic)
- Google Rankings ( Pro Rank Tracker)
- Sales / Enquiries / Booking ( Google Analytics → Conversions)
- Inbound Links(Majestic SEO oder Ahrefs)
If mistakes are made this will not only have negative impact on search engines but also on users. The most important landing pages deserve the most regard.
Check & adjust Backlinks
We already talked about 301 redirects but you should also adjust backlinks to the new address. You can check your backlinks for free at SEOKicks and with the Google Search Console. Only paid tools like Majestic SEO or Ahrefs provide an almost perfect overview (no tool is 100% perfect).
Afterwards you have to ask the webmasters to adjust the links. This is only necessary for the most important backlinks.
Don’t forget the Tracking Code
Finally the new website is online and then it happens. After 14 days you check the google analytics and realize you forgot to include the tracking code. That is not good because the data after the relaunch is particularly interesting.
Never work on your website while it is „Live“
Some work on their active Website or turn on the maintenance mode. But why? Nowadays it is easy to setup a test environment where you can try different things without consequences. Users and Search Engines will thank you for that.
Customize Google AdWords Landingpage
If the URL Structure changes within the relaunch you have to customize the landing pages of the google ads. Otherwise you pay for clicks that refer to nothing.
Rather extend than abbreviate text
In order to recognize the relevancy search engines need content in textform. Besides user experience and backlinks, text is the most important seo factor. That is why the most relevant landing pages should rather be extended than abbreviated.
Maintain the internal linking structure
Internal Linkings lead to relevance and authority. Changes have serious consequences.
The most valuable landing pages need the most internal links with suitable anchor texts. If a meaningful landing page has less links after a relaunch expect it to go down the google rankings.
Prior to the Launch: create a clever & appealing 404-Site
A 404 page is what pops up when you try to access a web page that doesn’t exist. Make sure the visitor doesn’t lose hope and stays on your website.
How to design such a 404 Site? Here are some brilliant examples.
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