A new site is always a dangerous and exciting time in marketing. All the stake-holders get their input, old becomes new and opportunity is right there for the taking. Unfortunately, this is also a time where disaster can lurk in the shadows waiting for a deadline being pushed up to jump out and say BOO!
SEO: Know Thy Site
The best way to avoid problems is to get to know your old site better. Run a thorough site crawl, and check out the results no matter how ugly they are currently. I recently did this for a client and found out that a contest they had run in the past was creating hundreds of pages that were supposedly redirected, but were still out there in the wild!
Create a Redirection Map
Export that crawl of your URLs into a spreadsheet and make sure that your new planned sitemap is matched up correctly. This can be a bit of a pain, but making sure your new site captures all existing traffic is key to not losing out in the process!
Launch, Fetch, Correct!
Once you launch that new website, go to Google Search Console, fetch & render and submit the site and all related URLs to the index. Give it a day and check out the crawl errors in Search Console. Sometimes it’s caused by new code being wrong on the site, a missed redirect or even a link on another site to a truly non-existent page, fix those and “Mark as fixed” as quickly as possible.
That’s it! New site launched! Time for a mojito and some sun!