Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 5th, 2009

SEO Tips To Consider Before Site Launch

The Internet rat race just keeps getting faster: Search engine algorithms change with the seasons, new standards seem to be set every week, and more companies in your industry launch websites every day. If you don’t keep pace, you don’t get any cheese. Capisce? It’s pretty simple: keep up with the online trends and technologies and you may not only sniff some sharp cheddar, but get a mouthful of that $500/lb moose milk cheese from Sweden (Google it). But I digress.

It is absolutely imperative for a successful website redesign to encompass SEO practices throughout the process. Many website owners tend to get too involved in the look and feel of the site and fail to evaluate the elements of search engine optimization. This mistake costs companies tons of hours to retro-active SEO and immeasurable dollars for business they may have lost by ranking poorly post-launch. SEO should be a key consideration throughout the redesign process.

Here are three SEO tips to avoid the post-launch blues:

Information Architecture

Usability and functionality should be a primary concern while designing the information architecture of your new site. Make sure that you have pages that are dedicated to specific keywords that your business targets for search rankings. Add pages to your new site and show that search engines that your new site is growing.

Don’t Change URLs

If you change the URLs of your web pages that survive the redesign, the search engines will treat them like brand new pages and all your link juice and credibility will be gone. Be sure to maintain the URLs, if they are SEO friendly, and focus instead on making the content keyword-rich and engaging. This will help the individual pages of your website rank well.

New Content

The spiders of the search engines that crawl and index your site are always on the lookout for fresh content to feast on. A website redesign is the perfect opportunity to get fresh content and marketing messages onto your website and into your traffic’s brains. Start with the homepage and work your way through the most important pages.

While you are working through a redesign, always remember to check everything five times over. Be very careful and choose every word, coding, and link wisely for the best rankings upon launch.