Major website redesigns and replatforms can kill organic search traffic. Use this checklist to minimize the impact.
Involve SEO staff from the beginning to ensure that the strategy does not hurt overall rankings. For example, an approach that focuses only on content that converts immediately (product page descriptions) and removes higher-funnel article content (how-to articles, buyers’ guides) would likely harm organic search performance.
Preserve content relevance.
Protect link authority.
Test on Staging
This is the time to flag issues that may impact organic search performance at launch. Confirm that the staging site is complete before you begin testing.
Test 301 redirects.
Check for crawl errors.
Review tagging and bot-related files.
Launch New Site
It’s time to go live. Review important SEO moments: when the new site hits production, when crawl blockers are removed, and when the 301 redirects are in place.
Testing the live site is critical. Search engines crawl and index your site as it is now, replacing yesterday’s version and impacting rankings, traffic, and revenue.
Don’t assume that a site that passed pre-launch testing will pass once it goes live.
A redesign or replatform where the URLs change in any way is a major event for SEO. Watch the data closely. Correct issues that impact performance.
This content was originally published here.