So, you’ve finally done it. You bit the bullet after a year of ‘meaning to’ and redesigned your website. The best part is you really love it and you’re ready for the world to see your new, updated and more polished look! Whoa there. We know you’re excited, and we’re excited for you, but there is something very important that needs to be done before you launch and put the website relaunch project behind you; S…E…O.
But why? Why do I have to go through this SEO mess again? Didn’t we already do that five years ago when we designed the original website? Hopefully, the answer to the last question is yes. If it’s no, then SEO definitely needs to be a top priority on your relaunch. It is important to understand that a nicer, newer, prettier website in and of itself will not drive traffic. If you are unfamiliar with SEO, here is a great resource to help you understand more. Essentially, SEO and all it entails is a way to increase the relevance of your website and to ensure that search engines can find you so that your customers can as well.
Back to the original question…why do SEO on a website relaunch if it’s already been done in the past? There are a few key reasons that this is not just a good idea, but a necessity.
Your Website’s SEO is Outdated
SEO has changed a lot in the past few years and is constantly evolving. The way that SEO is structured and best practices shift often. Google and other search engines change the way they collect and aggregate relevant data all the time. It is imperative that a site that had SEO done on it even three years ago get an SEO update. Sites from this period of time and older are most likely using a stuffing method for SEO, meaning that a relevant keyword is placed on a page as many times a possible. This method worked for many businesses, for a short time. Google got smart to black hat tactics like keyword stuffing and now penalizes websites that practice them. Instead, relevant content that positions you as an expert in your industry and that is useful to others is what search engines are looking out for.
You Will End Up with 404 Errors
The dreaded 404 error is never more of a nuisance than when you relaunch a website. If you haven’t done relevant SEO research on the new website, you could end up launching and losing people who have saved your website in their browser or who have tagged articles. The lovely anticipatory functions on our computers will direct users to the last page they visited on your website. If this doesn’t direct them from the old site to the new, then they will be lost and frustrated and most likely won’t keep trying to track you down. Google and their search engine friends don’t like 404 errors either and any good SEO you have done in the past can be wrecked when too many 404 errors pop up. A new website audit is in order any time you relaunch your website to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
Your Relationship with Google Could Be Broken
When relaunching your site, you want to make sure that your technical SEO is correct. Submitting a new sitemap, finding crawl errors and those pesky 404s are all essential pieces of your website’s relationship with Google. Without each of these parts working correctly, Google will think you just don’t want to talk to them anymore and write you off as unimportant. Ensuring all of these items are taken care of and that Google can find you when someone needs you means more than almost any piece of your SEO pie. If no one revisits your Google webmaster tools during the relaunch process, then this will never get done. The same can be said if an SEO plugin like Yoast is never added to the site. Remember, your website designer’s job is to design. Unless you have specifically discussed SEO and implementing it for your site, their only focus is to make things look awesome and function well. Do not assume that they will have anything to do with helping Google or your customers find your site.
After investing time and money into a new website you want to make sure that people will see it and be just as excited about it as you. There is no way this will happen without some foundational SEO work and a little extra search engine love. Get the best return on your investment by including SEO as part of your relaunch plans. We have a variety of SEO options to help you no matter which SEO stage you are in. Let us know if we can help you with your SEO needs and discover what your website can really do for you today!
My philosophy is more than just words or data, it is finding a way to marry content and SEO strategy with dynamic advertising to build online equity in our clients’ businesses. Writing is my passion, using it to help others is my pleasure and part of my mission at Hot Dog Marketing.