Pre Site Launch and Post Site Launch SEO Checklist

There’s a lot to think about when putting a new site live. For developers, it’s easy to become so absorbed in it that the little things can get overlooked and certainly from an SEO perspective then its important these elements are taken into account.

So we’ve put together this handy pre site launch and post site launch SEO checklist so you can be sure you’ve got the essentials covered:

Pre launch SEO checklist

  1. H tags in place – semantically correct?
  2. Elements page created – properly styled
  3. HTML sitemap in place – sitewide and containing all pages
  4. Absolute URLs used throughout site
  5. Clean and tidy URL structure – dashes used over underscores and no special characters
  6. CSS and JavaScript called from an external file – helps with page load time
  7. Alt tags on images
  8. Navigation – can you navigate to all your important pages easily?
  9. Keywords – used naturally and where relevant
  10. Use of Flash – kept to a minimum
  11. Google Analytics installed / code carried across to new site
  12. Webmaster Tools linked to Analytics
  13. Custom 404 page created
  14. 301 redirects mapped and implemented
  15. Static pages used wherever possible – avoid dynamic product pages
  16. Cookie policy added
  17. Privacy Policy added – Bing regards this as an important element in their algorithm, so there’s no reason why Google wouldn’t too
  18. Ts and Cs added
  19. Editable text throughout – avoid text embedded in an image
  20. Check potential duplicate content issues – clean up or canonicalise
  21. Blog or News section – adding one of these will allow for regular content updates
  22. Meta data written or script generated
  23. Xml sitemap generated
  24. No unnecessary HTTP redirections used
  25. No doorway pages used
  26. No cloaking techniques in place
  27. Different types of content used – images, videos, text helps with diversity
  28. Text links used over image links – when directing users to important pages on the site
  29. Breadcrumb trail added
  30. Sufficient content on homepage and throughout site
  31. Ecommerce tracking set up
  32. Check 3 or 4 step process for ecommerce checkout – reduce down as much as possible
  33. Goal tracking set up
  34. Rich snippets used
  35. “rel=author” set up – if relevant
  36. Sufficient call to actions used throughout the site
  37. Google Product Feed updated to coincide with new site
  38. Contact details added to header and footer – adds trust
  39. Do a test purchase if its an ecommerce site
  40. Trust badges added to site where possible
  41. Social media icons prominent
  42. Check unique URLs for success and thank you pages
  43. Responsive design used or mobile site created (Google recommends responsive)
  44. Test, test and test again!

Post launch checklist

  1. Check rankings
  2. Check Google Analytics working correctly
  3. Check the non www. resolves to the www.
  4. Check 404s – if erroring, correct ASAP
  5. Check 301s have been implemented correctly
  6. Check duplicate content
  7. Meta data in place and unique throughout
  8. No over-optimised text
  9. Xml sitemap – set to re-crawl with the new site launch and uploaded to Google Webmaster Tools
  10. Check which pages are noindexed – are these the ones you specified?
  11. Check Webmaster Tools data – correct errors
  12. Check page loading time
  13. Ecommerce tracking working correctly?
  14. Goal tracking working correctly?
  15. Check no 302 redirects – they pass no SEO value
  16. If running Adwords, have you updated the ads to go to the new URLs?
  17. Site search – set up in Analytics to monitor what people are searching for
  18. Conversion optimised site?
  19. Consider A/B testing
  20. Check newsletter sign up works correctly
  21. Check contact form works correctly
  22. Check purchase process is streamlined and works correctly
  23. Responsive site or mobile site works correctly?
  24. Set up Google Places / amend existing account with new details if necessary
  25. Create a Google + page / update existing one with new details if necessary
  26. Check sitelinks – what is Google displaying as most relevant pages on your site?
  27. Regular content added to site in News or Blog section

You’ll notice a clear overlap with pre and post launch elements, but that’s important for consistency and to make sure all elements are implemented, working correctly.

You can download this checklist here

Gary Hartley

Gary Hartley is The Floating Frog. A seasoned freelance web designer with skills in UI/UX, CRO design, WordPress, branding, PSD-HTML conversions and more. Got a project you need to start or take to the next level? Please, get in touch!