What To Check For Before Going Live With Your New Website
Are you just about ready to go live with your new website? Have you undertaken any final checks? More often than not, before a website goes live certain checks should be done to ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption. This would normally consist of checking layouts, text and images, but very rarely are 'SEO' checks made. By 'SEO' checks I mean checks that could potentially help gain traffic through the different Search Engines. In this article I will be discussing 5 SEO checks that you need to make before switching your new website on. Also, if you have an existing website and you are putting a new one live to replace it, you certainly need to take note of some of the points below.
Lets get started and discuss some of the points that you need to take note of and take action on.
Are all your pages Optimised for Google?
The first point of call is to look if all your web pages have been optimised for Google and the other Search Engines. By this I mean has every page on your website got a relevant Title Tag, Meta Description and Keywords, as well as having great, unique content on every page? All you need to do is make a list of every page on your website and then write a Title Tag, a Meta Description and some Keywords. You can then pass this onto your website company to add to your site. If you want to learn more information about Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords, here is an article which can help - 9 Different On-Site Optimisation Factors for Your Website
Has Google Analytics been installed?
Google Analytics can be incredibly useful when wanting to see data about your website. You are able to get so much information from it that you can take action on straight away! It is surprising just how many people don't have any kind of analytics installed on their site, meaning they are missing out on some very curtail data! Once you install Google Analytics on your website all you need to do is wait, after a short period you can start to analyse your data. To learn more about this, read this article – How To Analyse Google Analytics For Better Website Conversions
Have all Images been given relevant ALT Text?
You next want to check that all the images on your website have relevant ALT text added. This again will help search engines when they crawl your website as it means that when they crawl an image they will also be able to pick up the ALT text, meaning they will learn more about your website. Adding ALT text can be very simple depending on where your website has been built. All you need to do is ask your website company if this has been added, if your site is already live then there are online tools out there that can check your site and give you a list of the images which need ALT text adding.
Has an Internal Linking structure been used?
You now need to see if there are any internal links within your website content. This again is not only important as Search Engines will see internal links and be able to crawl your site in a much better way, but also it is important for the user. If you have a person on your website and you have internal links, if they are reading something they can easily learn more by clicking your internal link. You do not want to go crazy with internal links, you would want to aim for around 3-5 internal links per page.
Have 301 Re-Directs been added?
If you have an existing website which already drives a lot of traffic and ranks well within the different Search Engines you need to make sure that you have set up 301 Re-directs. Setting up 301 Re-directs will mean that any 'link juice' your old pages have, will then be passed onto your new pages. This is a great benefit as it means straight away when you turn your new website live many of your pages will have great 'link juice'! Another great benefit of 301 Re-directs is that if, for example, you have been making a lot of posts on Social Media accounts back to your website, when your new website goes live all the links will still take you to your website! If you didn't do a 301 Re-direct and your URL structure changes then if a potential customer clicks on a post you have made they will most likely be taken to a 404 error page! If you do not know where to start with a 301 Re-direct, you should start by matching up your old web pages to your new web pages. Making sure you make a note of the URL's, you then simply need to send this list to your website company who are making your new site and they will be able to implement this for you.
There are of-course many other checks that you may need to do depending on what your website was designed for. If it is an E-Commerce website then the most important check would be to make sure all the products work and that your checkout works as intended. If your website was built for specific unique features then one of the biggest checks would be to make sure every aspect of it works. No matter what your website is there for, you need to make sure you have fully checked it before it goes live!
Article by: Adam Jones