Website Redesign SEO + Site Migration Checklist

Published: 07.16.2019

Category: Blog

Relaunching your website is a big deal for any brand. Chances are, you wouldn’t be doing a whole website rebuild unless you had some amazing things in the works, and your site deserves some amazing SEO to make sure all your hard work and creativity are rewarded. Naturally, you’re looking to make a big impact with your website re-launch and you want to see real results such as improved traffic and increased audience engagement.


To achieve your goals, however, you need some powerful relaunch SEO and tips for site migration to seal the deal. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. 


1. Crawl Your URLs 

One of the first steps to take when preparing your old website for site migration is to crawl your URLs. A popular tool SEO experts use is Screaming Frog. Take inventory on all your URLs in a Google Sheet. Note which URLs have errors that need to be resolved in addition to URLs that need to be redirected to a page on the new site or sent to a 404 error. 


The goal is to make sure you have an exact idea of all your site’s URLs, some of which you may not have known you even had to begin with. More importantly, this is a good time to address each URL so Google can properly index your site. 


2. Sandbox Action 

Using a sandbox is just lingo for using a test server that’s isolated and private. Now that you have a comprehensive list of your website’s URLs and the appropriate redirects, you need to verify that the redirects work properly. All of them! A test server allows you to work in private and prevents possible, unforeseen errors post-launch. Ultimately, this saves you weeks of frustration than if you launched your website without testing its URLs. 


3. Manage Your Sitemaps

You should keep your old sitemap in Google Search Console. You should also add in the sitemap for your new site. When the time is ready, requesting Google to crawl the old sitemap can accelerate the process when it discovers the redirects to your new site. 


4. SEO Optimize New Pages as They Are Created


As you transfer your data and design the new content pages of your website, be sure to optimize each one for SEO as you go. This will ensure that each and every new content page packs a powerful punch in the page ranking competition. Here are a few quick pointers for optimizing your content pages:

  • Use Keywords in URLs and page titles. Use your top keywords in the URLs  of each page as well as the page title text. Keep your URLs as short as possible, short URLs rank better.
  • Use organic SEO copywriting on every page. Organic SEO copywriting is the opposite of keyword stuffing. It uses natural phrasing and phrase variations (LSI) to make use of your keywords in a rich and organic fashion. In other words, write your pages with keywords that fit into the natural flow of speech.
  • Optimize your image metadata. When you use images (and you should use lots of images) be sure to optimize the metadata. Give the images clear descriptive file names, alt-text names, and so on so Google knows what it’s looking at when ranking your pages.
  • Embed links to trusted websites. Get enthusiastic about linking out to trusted websites to reference facts, provide useful online tool suggestions, or other practical purposes. Helpful, reputable external links are great for SEO.
  • Create a network of embedded internal links. Internal links are also useful, to Google and your users. Use internal links to create a helpful network of internal references. Guide readers to other site content they may be interested based on what they’re currently looking at.


5. Optimize for Mobile


Don’t forget to optimize your entire re-launched site for mobile. Many site-building platforms or custom-site services will do this automatically, but you want to make sure your mobile performance is top-notch to really compete in page ranking. Test on every size of screen resolution and make use of modular design elements for a dynamic page layout.


6. Have Re-Launch Content + Existing Content SEO Ready-to-Go


The top keywords for your business may have changed since your last website design, so use this opportunity to completely renew your keyword research. You want the full array to properly optimize your new website pages. Get the top keywords and secondary keywords, the keyword synonyms, and LSI alternate phrasing. Get the long-tail keywords and the question-style keywords. Then resolve to use them all.

Finally, have content ready to drop on relaunch day. Having at least ten new blog posts and corresponding social media content ready to go is the best way to celebrate the launch of a new website.


Is your website SEO ready for the relaunch? If not, we can help!  Let us handle the tough stuff like analytics, keyword research, and organic SEO copywriting so you can focus on what you do best: Providing a top-notch product or service to your customers. For more great SEO insights or to consult on the SEO needs of your website relaunch, contact us today.

Back to Blog