SEO For A New Site – 7 Steps

by Jim June 9, 2015

UPDATE: Video transcript available for ‘SEO For A New Site – 7 Steps’

I’ve written and talked about this a lot but based on discussions I’ve had with business owners at conferences this year, it’s worth revisiting. If you have an established site and are pushing to a new one make sure you have a plan for Google. If you follow these steps you should maintain your rankings. If you don’t be prepared for your Google traffic to disappear.. completely. This is true even if you are a big brand.

1. Know your traffic

Firstly you need to understand what keywords are actually driving traffic. The best tool for this is the Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools). It won’t just be one phrase of course it could be hundreds or thousands depending on the age and authority of your site.

2. Setup Ranking Reports

Once you’ve established which phrases are important, set them up in a rank monitoring tool like MOZ, SERPScan, AWR or WEBCEO. You need to get a feel if they bounce around over the course of a week. This is so if there up two spots one day and down the next you get a picture of normal fluctuation. This will save you from going into a panic when you look at results after going live with a new site. If they do drop beyond this normal fluctuation you know you have a problem.

3. Why is my SEO working?

If you are ranking for valuable phrases (other than your brand) you need to understand why. The elements that have you ranking at the moment need to be transferred to the new site. These will be things like page titles, headings, content, filenames and internal linking.

4. Know your index

Make sure you check the Google index and tidy it up. Get rid of duplication and URLs you don’t want crawled. Make sure that the URLs listed in your Google Sitemap are a close match for the URLs that are in the index.

5. Map your URLs

Use a tool like Screaming Frog to map all your URLs . You’ll need this list to redirect to the new equivalent URLs. Make sure when you do the crawl that you fix any errors you come across.

6. 301 redirects

Once you have gone live with the new site redirect all the old new URLs to their new equivalent pages. DO NOT just redirect all your URLs to the home page like some web companies do.

7. Get a new sitemap

Hopefully what ever platform you are moving to or staying on has a dynamically generated sitemap. Make sure it is visible in the Google Search Console.

These are the main areas of work and depending on your site some may require more effort than others. Don’t go live though until you are confident you have followed them all or you have employed a great SEO to do it for you. We have done this for hundreds of site and the results are always great. Your should be too.


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