You have successfully designed your business website and have undergone all the rigours of the journey from conception to this point. All it takes for the global market to see it all is a push on the launch button. It natural to feel overwhelmed and you can’t wait to launch that site. But there is still one step to take to make sure everything is perfectly in order. Marketers put too much faith in web designers and developers. They are great especially when you hire the good ones. But they are humans too and what it takes to have everything you worked for crumbling down is usually a little things. Therefore, success lies in the little details. Instead of rushing to launch your website since every part of the process seems great, why not pay attention to last minute details to be on the safe side. What we have covered here is an SEO checklist designed to make your website launch a total success.
Crawl all your URLs for Accessibility
You shouldn’t focus your website to cater to only one group. All your content and pages should equally be accessible to all users and search engines. This is most important now that Google is shifting to a mobile-first indexing. Ensure they are all responsive on both desktop and mobile. Check also they are assessible on other search engines apart from Google. With the help of a good site crawler of your choice, make a list of all your pages, determine the various actions you want to take with each and export them over to a spreadsheet. Preferably, make use of Google Console to ensure all your pages can be properly indexed by Googlebot.
The satisfactory results should include that all the content you have already published on the site appear clearly on every device and search engine, your navigation is efficient on all search engines and devices especially mobile and that your loading speed is below 3 seconds. If any of these results is inadequate, make sure to quickly optimize them with more focus on mobile users since they are more demanding of good navigation and speed. More than 70% of the sites analyzed by Google took over 7 seconds to load which means if you launch your site without carrying out this particular check, it won’t have the chance it deserves as far as search ranking is concerned.
Create content before launch
Before and after you launch your website, content is king. Therefore, you need to already have a pile of those which you should upload before and after your site launched. This particular check is crucial since content is the best way to market efficiently especially as keyword incorporation is done through content. Make sure each article is written with your strongest keywords and begin publishing them once you go live.
This way, your readers see that you are active and you can easily become their go-to site for anything on the niche your website covers. HubSpot data report shows that websites with up to 16 blog posts a month got 3½ more website traffic than those who post less.
Never duplicate content
Duplicaitng content on your site will hurt your SEO deeply. Google does not like seeing content published already on another site on yours. This is because, it is a waste of reader’s time. What is more, it goes on to discredit other contents on your page and generally reduce your site visibility. Therefore, before launching your site, make use of any of the tools out there which are designed to help you fix any of the duplicate content you might have erroneously published. It is important that you take this particular check seriously since Google actively penalizes websites that publish duplicate content.
Implement Schema, rich snippets and OpenGraph
These are crucial elements and should be attended to. Therefore, once you are done with your page optimization, they are the next components you need to have working efficiently. Schema, for instance is what will really make your website rank high semantically which will significantly improve your visibility. It also affects the display of rich snippets in SERPs. Rich snippets is what helps search engines understand the what each content on a web page is. This is why you need to properly tag your website along with an image sitemap. Basically explore every content or image search opportunities available to you before you launch.
Set up important tracks and services
Before launching your website, there are a few important things you need to have set up. They are important for efficient running of your site. They include:
- Web analytics: the most popular one is Google Analytics which is free. But there are others you can use of. Some of these Google Analytics alternatives include Clicky, Piwik, Gauges, Mixpanel, FoxMetrics, KISSMetrics, Woopra, Adobe Analytics and a few others. You would also have to do a crawl just to be sure your analytics is loaded on all your web pages.
- Google Search Console: you need to set this up if you haven’t already done that before now as it can help you detect some errors you didnt see before.
- Your social and web profiles: make sure jump on all the social platforms and set up a profile with your business them. This includes even the ones you feel might never be on. It is better you get an account before your name becomes unavailable there when you need them in the future.
You should also set up your Google alerts or any of its alternatives.
Backup your site
Owing to the resources and time effort that has gone into the designing ajd development of your site, you’d need to be careful and always put on safety measures before doing anything. Therefore, before making any changes on your website, make sure you back it up or keep it live while you are doing that on a separate server. This will serve as a layer of security if anything goes wrong.
This checklist does not cover all the SEO checks you need to tick before launching your site but it contains some of the major ones which, if covered, will help your website perform incredibly well. If, however, you have all of them covered, you can go ahead to launch your site.