SEO the Relaunch: 45 Questions for Stores and Websites

The most dangerous discipline in search engine optimization is the relaunch. If we see mistakes as SEOs, go up the rankings and revenues in the basement. And errors lurking around every corner! To be safe, you must therefore leave no stone unturned. Did you miss a stone? Our checklist will help you with your search!

From what SEO is important for the relaunch?

Good planning is the alpha and omega of a successful relaunch. That means SEO involve at the very beginning of the planning. And that also means, to allow sufficient time for a final check and sufficient resources for the implementation of the resulting measures. This takes time. For all participants save a lot of rework. So that nothing goes down and all project managers to sleep peacefully, we recommend to work with checklists. What all belongs to us in this checklist, you read here.

Don’t try this at home!

In this article we provide though a checklist that you take by the hand the relaunch. But if you have a little relaunch experience, you should always have a professional at once!

Planning Phase: Set sail!

Not to be a fait accompli later, SEO managers should equal interfere in the planning. The most important question you should ask you at the beginning of the project:

1. If too much change at once?
A relaunch then usually goes wrong if those responsible want too much at once:
  • The shop or content management system is changed
  • The design and layout is greatly changed
  • The contents of the site are greatly changed
  • The internal linking is greatly changed
A change too much at once, search engines need to evaluate the URL again. Only they can ensure that everything is above board. That would mean for you that you have to give up your good rankings first. We therefore advise caution. Basically, we recommend that you change a maximum of two of these points simultaneously.

2. Stay the same URLs?

URL changes are tricky. Even if only change the URL and layout, familiar Google the new page is not always immediate and rankings can be lost. The experience we have done once and we do not need again. We therefore advise of URL changes concurrently with design, content or structure changes. Instead, you can make any necessary changes URL either a few weeks or perform after the launch.

3. If the domain maintained?

The domain change is even more delicate than to change individual URLs. This is a chapter in itself. Basically search engines step by step to the new domain, and especially a new brand should be used. We therefore advise against a domain change the relaunch.

4. Do the developers and decision makers, what to look for?

Before we get cheerful Coden, all developers should one get this checklist of necessary SEO requirements. This saves correction time and is still to peace in the house safely.

Everything solved? Then the stage is all the designers and developers.

Test phase: Land Ahoy!

Once the test environment is, you go really. First of all you should each test paces a sample page per page type.

Micro level: Test by page type

Page styles include the home and the shop category page and a product detail page. For other sites could be the a sales landing page, a guide content, a news site or a tag page. For each of these pages you go once through all the questions:

  1. Is the content available and remained the same?
  2. If the meaning and content of the page above the fold (in the immediately visible area) clear?
  3. Is a unique main title yet?
  4. If the header structure logically?
  5. without CSS Are unexpected or unwanted content visible?
  6. Are the contents and links the crawl with and without JavaScript identical?
  7. all images are alt attributes exist?
  8. Are at least every existing structured data available?
  9. Is there a mobile version of the page?
Now is the time for crawlers and large Excel spreadsheets (Excel among fans: Christmas!). Since head is spinning and the PC. Here we go:

  1. Show crawling tools like OnPage.org error?
  2. Are all the pages from the crawl the old site in the crawl of the new site?
  3. If all URLs with organic traffic (remember PDFs) available?
  4. If no new, unwanted pages in the crawl the new page?
  5. Is an ordinary 404-page yet?
  6. Are all Titles remained the same?
  7. Are all descriptions remained the same?
  8. Are all H1 remained the same?
  9. Are all robots metatags remained the same?
  10. Are all Canonical's stayed the same?
  11. In international sites: Are all hreflang links exist?
  12. In international sites: references all hreflang links correctly back ?
  13. Have the most important pages similar to many incoming links as before?
  14. If there are no alternate spellings of URLs? (eg Trailing slashes and case-sensitive )
  15. If no internal nofollow links exist?
  16. Locks the Robots.txt not internally linked URLs and resources?
  17. Are all old and (if need be) new forwarders available?
If you can answer all the questions at once with "Yes", then hats off to the developers! If all measures derived are implemented, it is getting serious. By now, it is important again to ask a very clear:

  1. Are all managers and investors aware of the risks?
The more complex the relaunch and the page, the more likely that is to be expected ranking and traffic loss is. Our job is to keep this as low as possible. But in many cases is true: There is slight, temporary losses is to see this as a success. The important thing is that after a few days or weeks all einrankt einrenkt and it goes from there forward. In addition: Do not panic in the first few days after the relaunch! Carefully observe and forging action, but do not rush!

All Disclaimer placed? Then only a few things to clarify:

  1. If the tracking code is integrated on all URLs?
  2. If the Search Console verification even after the launch?
  3. If the page is no longer blocked for security reasons via robots.txt and robots meta tags?
  4. Have you prayed three Hail Marys?

Live program: set anchor!

Immediately after the launch, you should consider a few things immediately:
  1. If there are no internal links to more testing environment available?
  2. For all page types: Reads and renders Google all content correctly (according to the " Fetch as Google " in Webmaster Tools)?
  3. For all types of pages: Is the charging time in order ? (in test environments is a reasonable test only difficult to implement)
  4. For all types of pages: passing the pages Google Mobile Friendly Test ?
  5. Diving in Google Analytics Real-time report on any errors?
  6. There were no remarkable changes in OnPage.org etc. after a recrawl?

Monitoring: Trust is good, control is better

In the days after the launch, it is keep your eyes open. Daily you should consider:
  1. to keep the main rankings? (Do not panic but on parties concerned you should! See.)
  2. Diving in the Google Search console reports no errors?
In addition, we recommend that you even have to take a look at what the users and Google:
  1. If the bounce rate as good as or better?
  2. Diving in the log files on URLs that have not been crawled by Googlebot & Co.?
Only when the rankings lose several days and stay down, you can assume that something has gone wrong.Then you have hopefully appropriate action on the hindquarters or a professional at your side.

The biggest relaunch error

With each positive and negative experiences that we collect, we can better predict how Google responds. These experiences are important to evaluate which drop breaks the camel's back. In most cases, however, one of these culprits:

  • Pages removed or forgotten
  • Sites for Google blocked
  • changed too much at once
  • changed URLs
  • Forgot redirects

Some experiences You do not make. Therefore it is better to check out the site in detail and also to correct details. This takes time and nerves, but saves at the end even more time and hassle.


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