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Mar 14, 2017
In this presentation, you will learn how to plan your website content for a successful website relaunch or redesign. First, a case study of a website redesign that caused a loss of organic search traffic is presented. Next, important SEO KPIs for the evaluation of content are discussed. Then, ideas for dealing with important content when a website is relaunched are brought forward. Last, 7 additional important tips for website relaunch SEO are shared.
Planning your website content for a successful relaunch
In this presentation, you will learn
which role your website content plays
for your SEO performance after a
Contents of this
1. A little story
2. How to evaluate content
3. Dealing with important content
As a young SEO consultant, I assisted in a massive website
Let’s start with a story…
We had a big SEO budget and we were able to influence every
little detail of the new website.
Here are some of the things we
were able to do:
We took care of all of the technical SEO basics, like
indexability and crawlability, or 301 redirects for the
We influenced the web design and user experience to create
maximum synergies between user and search engine
Web design and UX
We defined the content of the main navigation as well as the
internal linking structure and internal link anchor texts.
We optimised every relevant aspect of the new website and
achieved an overall result that was almost perfect from an
From an SEO
consultant point of
view, it really was
the perfect website
When the new website was
finally launched, this is what
- 25% visibility loss
- Significant traffic and revenue
- 12 months of hard work to
restore the previous state
What went wrong?
While planning the new website,
the client had decided to delete
old content that was no longer
We were so focused on
creating a perfect website
for SEO that we ignored
what seems like common
If you remove
content, you will
lose the traffic this
Don’t delete old content.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Here’s what you can
Start by identifying
on your old website.
● Visibility, traffic, goal KPIs
● Data sources for the above
● Additional data to use
How to identify important
The following KPIs will help
you determine which
content is important and
should not be deleted.
Visibility KPIs (per URL):
● Impressions in search results
● Search engine rankings
● Clicks in search results
● Website visits from search
Traffic KPIs (per URL):
● Conversions from search traffic
● Revenue from search traffic
Goal KPIs (per URL):
Use the following data
sources to compile a list of
your important URLs with
the relevant KPIs.
Google / Bing / Yandex
Webmaster Tools for
impressions and clicks from
Google Analytics or another web
analytics tool for visits,
conversions, and revenue from
Use a custom attribution model
for numbers of conversions and
Specialised ranking tools (like
Sistrix or Searchmetrics) for
search engine rankings.
Too many URLs? Often, less than
40% of your URLs account for
more than 90% of your
performance. Focus on top URLs,
Add all URLs that have backlinks.
You can get this information from
specialised backlink tools.
Pay special attention to
non-HTML files, such as PDFs,
that drive organic search traffic.
PDFs and other file types often
rank very well, but they will not
show up in your web analytics
data, because they don’t have
Images are another special case:
Check which images are
performing well in image search
Now you have a list of HTML
pages, PDFs, images and other
file types that you don’t want to
delete from your new website.
Let’s have a look at how best to deal with the different types
of content you want to keep.
Dealing with important content
● HTML pages
Ideas for dealing with different
types of important content:
● Don’t delete it
● Integrate it into your new website structure
● Improve it (if you can)
The general rule is:
Every old HTML page that
has visibility, traffic,
backlinks or that
contributes to business
goals should be kept on the
Content is not relevant anymore
or not up-to-date? Improve it to
make it relevant again.
Old blog posts can be updated
and re-published with a new time
stamp. This tactic normally
boosts a post’s SEO performance.
Evergreen content should be
kept up-to-date and can be
placed more prominently in the
navigation in order to boost its
Popular content can be
repurposed and published in
different formats. Try trading
high-end file formats for shares
(pay with a share).
Use your best content marketing
techniques to turn your old
content into an amazing new
Make sure that your new content
satisfies search intent even
better than your old content.
For content with backlinks,
replace “search intent” with
Let’s talk about PDFs.
There are several good
reasons for not wanting
PDFs in search engine
● are not mobile-friendly
● are not easily trackable with web analytics tools
● do not allow the user to navigate to other pages
My recommendation for a
relaunch is to replace all
indexed PDFs with
equivalent HTML pages.
Of course, you should still offer
PDFs (let users pay for them with
a share, if you like), but don’t
make them indexable by search
Don’t forget to redirect your old
PDF URLs to the new HTML
What about images? You might
have the urge to use entirely new
images on your new website.
Keep the ones that are
Find a way to integrate your
important images into the new
website and try to put them in
the same context.
If you want to make sure to keep
your image SEO performance
after the relaunch, don’t change
the image sizes or file names.
This is a good foundation
for your relaunch and you
have taken an important
step towards saving your
7 more SEO tips for website relaunches.
Redirect every old URL that no longer exists to its new equivalent. Set up
direct redirects (avoid redirect chains).
Don’t change your URLs if you don’t have to. URL changes often lead to
visibility losses, even if redirected.
Pay attention to your internal linking. A page that loses lots of incoming
internal links can also lose visibility and traffic.
Not on https yet?
Now is the time.
Allocate SEO and IT resources for the days and weeks after the relaunch.
You will need them for troubleshooting.
Domain switches are always a big risk for your SEO performance. Be
prepared for temporary losses.
Reach out to webmasters that link to your content to let them know
about URL changes. This is also good promotion for your new website.
● Co-founder of searchVIU
● Based in Galicia, Spain
● Very important: “Eoghan” is
pronounced like “Owen”
● Website relaunch SEO tool
● Automatic 301 redirects
● Traffic loss prevention
Get in contact