Search engines like Google are constantly updating the technical and content quality standards for websites to improve the user experience. If companies and their SEO experts do not react promptly to these developments and demands, the changing search engine algorithms can negatively impact organic rankings, among other things. This blog post thus presents the most important SEO and UX measures that are needed for a successful website relaunch.
What is a website relaunch?
Search engines regularly increase their technical SEO standards via algorithm updates and the focus on users’ needs (user experience). In the course of a relaunch (i.e. the replacement of the old website with an improved one), there is a chance to get rid of all content that no longer corresponds to these guidelines at the core. At the same time, a restructuring and redesign of the website can be undertaken. Since a relaunch is an extensive project with many players and complex processes, it is important to plan everything well in advance. Below you will find a checklist you can use to get a website relaunch underway at your company.
The advantages of a website relaunch
- Possibility of rebranding and repositioning for strategically important products, services, and topics
- More flexibility to customize the pages by updating or changing the content management system (CMS)
- Optimization of page structure for a better user experience
- Improved organic ranking and increased traffic for strategically important keywords
- Optimization of page speed to improve customer satisfaction and business-related KPIs
The anonymized example below shows a website relaunch that received SEO support only after go-live. Visibility (a value based on the number of keyword rankings, keyword search volume, and competition) dropped by two-thirds after go-live without SEO support. As a result, rankings for relevant keywords deteriorated massively or dropped altogether, which had a major impact on organic traffic. It took more than three years until the visibility reached the level it was before the relaunch.
Sistrix, March 2022, Visibility index
The following measures will help you achieve a successful website relaunch:
Strategy and preparation
- Targeted selection of the CMS as a basis for a successful implementation
- Content audit of the old setup to (de)prioritize the pages for the new information architecture
- Competitor analysis and keyword research to optimize the existing and new pages after the relaunch
- Conception of the new information architecture based on the content analyses
- Keyword mapping to assign search terms to relevant pages, optimization of metadata and onpage elements
Implementation (pre-launch / go-live / post-launch)
- Technical specifications for a clean setup and correct indexing
- Optimization of page speed in collaboration with the development team
- Iterative testing of measures to ensure correct implementation
- Content creation guidelines for search engine and user friendly content
- Redirect mapping and testing to ensure performance transfer from old to new site
- Support a smooth go-live by testing and submitting the sitemap to Google Search Console
- Monitoring, review and outlook meeting to improve measures
Conclusion: The eight success factors for a website relaunch
- Sufficient time, because a relaunch is an important and demanding process that lays the foundation for the long-term performance of the website
- Good project management that maintains an overview and incorporates and promotes the requirements of all disciplines
- Timely incorporation of the SEO and UX perspectives into strategic and conceptual decisions
- A lean, user-friendly information architecture that provides clear user journeys and leads customers to deals quickly and easily through understandable content preparation
- Keyword mapping that assigns relevant keywords to each page in the information architecture and thus allows for precise and appropriate targeting.
- A proper technical setup with a strong focus on proper indexing and site speed
- A clean redirect mapping and a correct implementation of redirects from old to new URLs
- Observation and analysis of the development after the go-live and a proactive reaction in case of anomalies.
SEO and UX relaunch support by Webrepublic
When accompanying a website relaunch, our focus is clearly on holistic thinking, quality, and proactivity. For a project of this magnitude the goal is to prove profitable in retrospect for our clients, and for the resources invested to create a sustainable and fertile ground. Our SEO and UX team will be happy to assess your situation in a no-obligation initial meeting and is available with expertise at the cutting edge to answer any questions you may have about your planned relaunch.