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A Relaunch is a re-introduction or a restart e.g. of a product.
Fields and their goals
There is the relaunch of a product when it gets to the market in a modified form. For brands a revision of the whole performance is possible. The same is possible for websites by modernizing, improving and optimizing the layout and structure.
The goal of a Productrelaunch is to lengthen a product’s life cycle by slightly changing the design or the functions. The product should be kept on the market for a longer time, so time of a relaunch the price decline can be stopped and a sales decline can be prevented. Another growth phase would be the optimum. Alternatively the relaunch is used to give flopped products a second chance. After a few months the same product is launched as an improved version.
When re-launching a website it’s possible to re-create the complete layout so it looks more modern and interesting. Also the site can get more user-friendly which can be identified by e.g. Multivariate Testing. The content and existing graphics are tested on their practicality linked to a re-launch. In addition, new functions can be introduced e.g. a site can be expanded by adding a forum or a guestbook. In general the whole structure of a website should be checked and contain a certain recognition value. The basic aim is to create a more appealing site for the visitor to offer better information and to distinguish positively from the competitors. A website-relaunch can and should have OnPage-Optimization as a goal, e.g. by placing a *Call to Action“.
Checklist for the Relaunch
- Clean Website structure: a logical structure to analyze how long the clickpathes to the subpages are. They should not be nolonger than 5 clicks to reach a site.
- Redirections: If the URLs have changed, redirect from the “old“ subpages to the new ones with a permanent 301-redirect.
- Internal Links: make sure that all subpages are linked internally.
- Links to “older“ Subpages: Analyze your backlink profile to find out which links have to be changed because they are only reachable via another URL and contact your website operator in order to change the URL.
- Accessibilty: Make sure that the search engine crawler can reach all subpages that should be indexed. Check whether it is blocked in a robots.txt file or with a meta robot tag.
- OnPage Basics: make sure the OnPage basics such as: Title, Description and ALT attributes for pictures right from the beginning. The title should be set on each subpage, be unique and have an appropriate length. The same should be considered for the description. Title and description also appear as a snippet in the Google search. Describe in the ALT attributes of the pictures what can be seen and make information easier to reach for search engines.
- Tracking Codes: Integrate all Tracking Codes on the new website, so no data gets lost. Then check with the Google Tag assistant whether the codes are integrated correctly.
- Current Sitemap: Update your sitemap. Check whether all relevant pages are included in the sitemap.
- Loading Time: Check your website’s loading time and make sure it performs immaculately. Seconds are crucial here!
- Canonical Tag: Set Canonical Tags on every subpage. These should refer to the site’s URL. If there is a site with similar content, Google should also take this site into consideration.
Relevance for SEO
A website-relaunch offers the possibility for OnPage Optimization – but at the same time a good ranking-place could be lost.
An Ideal occasion for an onpage optimization
When a page is revised completely everything that is relevant for an increase in the search engine ranking or that makes an visitor choose this website and keeps him on the site can be considered. Layout and structure of a page offer many opimization-potential to make the visitor a customer in the end.
Avoiding a loss of present ranking
If a site has a high search engine ranking position before the relaunch, sure you want to keep it that way afterwards. But this is not granted if this is not dealt with consciously. This is because search engines index the exact URL of a single website and if the structure of a website is changed, most of the time the URL also changes. So a correct redirecting is very important. Somebody who opens an old page e.g. via bookmark should get redirected to the correct URL. This works with the 301 Redirect Status Code which indicates that the site is permanently moved. The link popularity is transferred that way. The redirect should refer to the exact new site and not to the possible new homepage.
Also the OffPage Optimization must be considered when relaunching. All backlinks to old pages have to be identified, checked and updated.