18. August 2021 By Filiz Yilmaz
The website relaunch: using SEO to generate reliable success
Is it time for a relaunch? A relaunch means change. A change that should make a website better, more modern and more successful. Companies want their relaunch to improve their reach, position themselves on the market and ensure customer loyalty in the long term.
If you factor search engine optimisation (SEO) into your relaunch, you can ensure that it is a major success. In my blog post, I’ll take a look at the most important things you need to seize the opportunity to improve and prevent your website from becoming invisible.
What influence does SEO have on a relaunch?
SEO is about chasing rankings first and foremost. The aim is to be displayed as the top result on the first page of search results on Google and other search engines for all keywords that are relevant for a website. This is because good rankings strengthen brand awareness and can lead to an increase in sales.
Although SEO was initially simply a case of fulfilling search engine criteria, it is now increasingly transforming into search experience optimisation – the optimisation of the search and browsing experience of a website. That’s why holistic optimisation is responsible for the success of a website.
The preparation stage – when should you get started with SEO?
It’s never too late, but the competition never sleeps and your target audience won’t wait for your content.
The relaunch is a good starting point to get a lot of things right from the beginning. It’s best to optimise what needs to be optimised directly while the relaunch is being developed and not afterwards, because that often drains a lot more resources.
Tips for before the relaunch:
1. Allocate sufficient time and resources.
2. Involve all of the relevant people from the different departments involved in the relaunch to work out what the website needs to achieve.
3. Analyse the target audience: who is your target audience and how can they be addressed?
4. Status quo – SEO analysis: record and analyse the initial situation. Where does your website currently stand? What content do people visit frequently? What should be changed?
The implementation stage – the five SEO disciplines for the relaunch
‘The things that are complicated for the user are often then complicated for search engines, too,’ says John Mueller – Google Senior Developer.
Therefore, make everything as easy and pleasant as possible for your users and the search engines.
The technology – streamlined and in full working order
Technology plays a crucial role in the relaunch phase. Make sure you work in a structured, logical way when it comes to the technology in particular, otherwise problems and errors that may cause major, irreparable damage can slip in. It is the foundation of the website and should be up to date and be in perfect working order. It’s vital that you pay attention to the crawlability, the URL accessibility, using an encryption and that you set up sitemaps.
The content – unique and relevant to the target audience
When the content on offer is unique, relevant to the target audience and of high quality, then ‘content is king’. Search engines capture the text of a web page and decide whether it could be relevant to the rankings for a search.
It’s vital that you have a content and keyword strategy in place here. Define the relevant keyword and optimise the content accordingly for each URL.
The design and the experience – make it appealing both visually and in terms of functionality
Even if SEO and design don’t seem to have a lot in common at first glance, each one is responsible for the success of the other. This is because the right design can strengthen the brand experience and pique the interest of the target audience. But for this to happen, they must be able to find the content. This is where mobile optimisation, page load times and the new Core Web Vitals metrics impact the ranking. Navigation design is also important from a UX and SEO perspective. It may be worth evaluating the internal search as well as a keyword search.
The link profile – natural and relevant
Search engines use links to move through content on the web. Google considers placed links as recommendations, which is why they have been one of the key ranking factors for decades. In the relaunch phase, it is therefore important to intercept backlinks, break up forwarding loops and link your own content strategically.
Monitoring – trust is good, control is better
Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. Extensive testing is just as important as the work that goes into planning the relaunch. This is the only way to identify and correct problems and errors. Don’t forget to set up tracking and targeting.
The result – who falls by the wayside?
A relaunch can generate a real ranking boost, but it can also undo years of effort and hard-fought climbing up the rankings.
A good example of a loss is the domain frankfurt.de. The relaunch was planned over eight years, with the aim being for the domain to create a positive impression with a unique design and an easy user experience on mobile devices. Unfortunately, due to the lack of redirects, Google was not explicitly informed that important information had been moved to new URLs. This meant that each new URL had to re-establish itself, resulting in a 50-per cent loss of visibility.
The basis for a functioning relaunch is always a redirection concept. This is the only way to transfer previous rankings to the new page.
The comprehensive analysis of the domain can be found on sistrix, the leading SEO toolbox.
What does a loss of visibility mean for companies?
To put it simply, a loss of visibility means that your website will be more difficult to find, or even not found at all, when certain search terms are used, which results in the website traffic collapsing. That said, not every loss of visibility automatically means a loss of traffic. It’s important to pay attention to which ranking losses are responsible for this and whether they are relevant to the company.
Nevertheless, you can generally assume that a downward trend or abrupt drops can have an impact on traffic and sales.
As you can see in this example of a domain, going about a relaunch in the wrong way can result in:
1. A loss of visibility (or ranking)
2. A loss of revenue
3. Competitive disadvantages
4. Losing customers
5. A drop in quality
Please note: A small drop in visibility after going live is natural and isn’t a cause for concern. In the case of major relaunches with a new domain and/or a revamped design in particular, search engines may want to first examine the site and test rankings.
The conclusion – who is winning the SERP race?
Website operators will no longer provide a website with the best search experience and the best search results without using SEO. Nowadays, you have to pay more attention to your target audience and their needs, as well as to the question of what differentiates us from our competitors and how can we impress both search engines and visitors?
The website relaunch offers the perfect opportunity. What may seem simple and clear at the beginning can quickly become a website’s undoing. This makes good project planning and monitoring all the more important. One thing is certain: companies that factor in SEO from the outset avoid serious risks and can create a long-term competitive advantage.
Do you need support?
Please get in touch us if you have any questions or if we can help you with your project.
Simply send an e-mail to our SEO team leader Katrin Diener firstname.lastname@example.org or get in contact directly via our website.
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