Launching a new site is a very exciting and nerve-wracking process. The old website that looks like it was made in the Atari era is almost gone, soon to be replaced by a sleek new up-to-date design. The old ways of uploading products where you had as much creativity as a Soviet journalist will be gone too. You’ll test it and retest it to make sure the user experience is second-to-none in your industry.
The day is almost there where you show it off and reap the rewards of all the hard (and expensive) work. Unfortunately, most new sites have a major problem – their rankings suffer. Which means less natural search traffic. Which means less potential buyers. Which means (most importantly) less sales. So that excited feeling quickly becomes panic that the new expensive site isn’t going to live up to expectations.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
First of all, why do re-platformed sites’ rankings tend to drop off a cliff? The simple answer is that SEO is not just a line item when you’re purchasing a new website. We’ve seen it so often where a site owner is convinced that the new site will be SEO-friendly because part of the sales process said “SEO-friendly URLs” or “SEO Included”. Yes, the basics of SEO may be done by the web development company, but more often than not, the SEO work does not go past those basics. The web design firm is good at web design – making user-friendly, admin-friendly, functional, attractive websites. Most are not experts in SEO as well.
Optimizing any website is difficult. Coming up with the best strategy for site structure, linking both internal and external, content, social signals, and more (there are over 200 ranking signals in google’s algorithm), takes an expertise and specialization in the field.
Optimizing a re-platformed site is even tougher because there are so many other factors to consider, such as:
- Are the old URLs being redirected properly?
- Do you have an inventory of all the old URLs and new URLs to assure everything was done?
- Are there any instances where soft 404s are appropriate?
- What is google caching two weeks after launch? Two months after launch?
- What do you do with the old sitemap? How should the new one be constructed?
- What happens to the URLs that were ranking well?
And this is just the start of what to analyze. Executing a proper re-platforming for SEO purposes is a process left for experts in the SEO field.
This is not to preach doom and gloom with a relaunch process. Like I mentioned, it doesn’t have to be this way at all. When done properly, a re-platformed site’s rankings can actually improve fairly quickly.
If you’re looking at re-platforming your website and you want to make sure it’s done properly, don’t wait. Waiting until after the launch only means more work – plus months of potential traffic loss. Contact Triangle Direct Meida today and make sure your website launch is done properly from the ground up.