Why is an SEO Checklist Needed for a New Website Launch?

The reason, an SEO Checklist is a powerful tool to meet your new website launch ROI goals, and beat the competition. Read more.

SEO checklist with list of tasks to accomplish.

Our client is in the highly competitive Product Design industry with top competition nearby in the Silicon Valley. They needed a new website to remain competitive while attracting entrepreneurs with marketable product ideas. The product design industry attracts many hopeful designers, but only a few have marketable product ideas. Those few are the target market where Return on Investment (ROI) is earned.

How to Attract the Right Customers and not Lose Standing with the Search Engines During a Site Re-Launch

Our client faced several problems:

Their first problem was attracting the right target audience – entrepreneurs with marketable product ideas.

Product design team discussing new website launch project.

In the product design industry not every inventor’s idea can be converted into a product that sells to consumers or businesses. There has to be market demand – either existing or that can be generated. Our target goal for the new website project was to improve lead quality by appearing in the top search results for keywords and key phrases most likely to be used by inventors/innovators who have products to be developed and marketed. This part of the project involved researching keywords and surveying sales and design staff. By inserting the researched, targeted keywords into METAs (Titles, Descriptions), headlines and main content, the search engines gave preferred search results positions to our client’s pages. Being found first in organic search by high-quality prospects improved lead quality, and the potential to close contracts.

Their second problem was to re-launch their website with new design and copy, and without losing organic Search Engine Results Page (SERP) position.

A new website launch adds an additional pitfall many companies experience without a search engine optimization (SEO) transition plan from the old to new website. Reaching well-qualified targets organically would create ROI at low cost over time. Not losing SERP position meant developing a customized SEO Checklist for a new website launch.

Our SEO team carefully researched and developed the following SEO Checklist for all phases of our client’s new website: Pre-Launch, Day-of-Launch and Post-Launch factors. The goal was to create a smooth technical and content transition for the new site that did not lose, and in fact would gain search ranking. This checklist can be used for any web launch.

Final Build Pre-Launch SEO Checklist

Before the website is launched you’ll want to make sure 301 re-directs are clean, you’ve added meta data and set up tracking in Google Search Console. The checklist below gives you a step-by-step list to check off before launch.

  • Check for Map Redirects
  • Check for 301 Redirects: Existing pages
  • Review for 301 Redirects: Directories
  • Confirm that the latest version Google Analytics Codes is on website
  • Make sure Universal script is in place
  • Make sure the Universal script is in place and the demographic line
  • Set up tracking in Google Search Console
  • Confirm Elements are optimized
  • Add Titles
  • Add Meta Descriptions
  • Write H1 Description
  • Make sure on page copy is finalized and approved by client and compliance (as needed)
  • Conduct W3C Validation

Benchmark Pre-Launch SEO Checklist

Once you’ve completed the above checks on the website, you should establish benchmarks for the website’s performance so that you can analyze results over time and observe areas for performance improvement. This involves benchmarking technical aspects of the website, such as 404 errors, as well as qualitative benchmarks such as pages per visit.

  • A very useful tool is Screaming Frog Pre and Post-Crawl
  • Another one is Moz Crawl
  • Search Console Benchmarks on top keywords, rank, impression, CTR, top landing pages
  • Track 404 Errors Pre-Launch
  • Track 500 Errors Pre-Launch
  • Documenting New Pages
  • Average Pages Crawled per Visit
  • Annotate the site launch in Analytics Software
  • Check Download Time of Each Page
  • Time on site
  • Pages per visit
  • Goal Completion

Day of Launch SEO Checklist

On the day of the launch, everyone gets so excited about the new website coming live, they often forget to do basic things like update passwords, and submitting a new XML sitemap. Make sure you check for the items below in the midst of your celebrations.

  • Update any Passwords
  • Remove NoIndex in page URL
  • Remove Nofollow in page URL
  • Take out Robots.txt Directives
  • Conduct Browser Testing (FF, Chrome, Safari, IE)
  • Google Search Console Update as needed
  • Bing Webmaster Update as needed
  • Submit your new XML sitemap in Google Search Console
  • Submit your new XML sitemap in Bing Webmaster Toolbox

Post Launch Benchmarking Daily for 2 Weeks

For two weeks after launch continue to monitor the site for performance metrics, such as download speed, and set up goals in your Google Analytics.

  • Conduct a Screaming Frog Post Crawl
  • Conduct a Moz Crawl Post Crawl
  • Track 404 Errors Post Launch
  • Track 500 Errors Post Launch
  • Check Google Search Console metrics and sitemap tracking
  • Document New Pages
  • Check Average Pages Crawled per Visit
  • Annotate the site launch in Analytics Software
  • Check Download Time of Each Page
  • Check Time on site
  • Analyze Pages per visit
  • Set up Goals in Google Analytics
  • Think about initiating a link-building campaign. A very useful tool is MajesticSEO Trust Flow by and download our white paper on link building.

The Results Were Amazing: Organic traffic increased 22% and keywords in top 5 results increased 216%

The results of carefully researching, developing and implementing an SEO Checklist for a new website launch are worthwhile. Our client’s qualified organic traffic increased 22%. Furthermore, keyword phrases in the top 5 search results increased 216%, and those in the top 10 increased 225%. Our client had very positive results in their Return on Marketing Investment.

Conclusion

The organic search engine landscape has become very competitive. Careful research, playing by Google’s rules and having digital marketing experts develop an SEO Checklist crafted for a specific industry’s website will pay off. Beasley has free marketing resources for those who are embarking on development of a winning online marketing strategy. Also contact us and speak with an expert if you have any questions.

How can Beasley Direct and Online Marketing, Inc.’s organic search marketing team help you create and implement a successful new website launch strategy? Contact us today and let’s get started.


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About the Author

Andrew Hoover has been a consultant in Internet Search Marketing, Web Site Optimization, and pay-per-click/CPM/Display for over 15 years. He has extensive experience with Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL and was a beta tester for Amazon’s search engine. Andrew started a Network Consulting corporation in 1999 (GLT, Inc.), and a search marketing company in 2003, Lead Adrenaline: he has worked with medical, financial services, real estate, retail, entertainment and high-technology companies. His educational background includes degrees from both the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, East Bay.

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Summary
SEO Checklist for a New Website Launch - How We Increased Qualified Organic Traffic 22%
Article Name
SEO Checklist for a New Website Launch - How We Increased Qualified Organic Traffic 22%
Description
This SEO checklist is a powerful tool you can use to meet your new website launch ROI goals, and beat the competition. Avoid website launch errors that cause you site to be de-listed by Google. Read more.
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Beasley Direct and Online Marketing, Inc.
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  1. I already had a sort of checklist of my own, but dang, yours is way more thorough than mine. I hope you don’t mind if I “borrow” yours? 🙂

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