6 Things To Do Before You Launch Your Site; Once your site has been designed and put in place, you might think you’re ready to launch in to the world. However launching in with mistakes can cause issues with Google and other search engines and can take Google a long time to pick up on the corrections. Here are 6 things to check before you launch your site to the world.
Check 301 and 404 errors:
Make sure all the correct redirects are in place where needed. This is especially important if you are moving domains or have changed the site structure in some way. Also check that 404 pages are helpful and work in the correct way.
Check site structure :
Check your site structure is appropriate and its easy to navigate as well as having URLs that make sense. Does the site work if you delete parts of the URL or does that lead to a 404, for example does /blog exist or do only posts on /blog/post-title work. This can be confusing to your users and search engines.
Webmaster Tools :
Add your website to webmaster tools. This gives you a point of contact with Google, allows you to submit your site and check for errors, as well as get notified when things are wrong. Google is getting better and better at using webmaster tools to communicate with site owners so make sure you have your website set up with them.
Make sure you have some kind of Analytics installed on you website, most of it is easy to set up and provides you with lots of useful data including referrals, time on site, pages viewed, visitor location and the keyword used to reach the site. This can be a great way of tracking how well your website is doing.
Check your robot.txt file is set up to allow search engines to crawl and visit the areas of your site that you want them to visit. By blocking search engines you may be stopping yourself from being listed in web searches.
Create a site-map :
If your site is especially large (but still important if your site is small) set up a site-map using a tool like xml-site-maps.com. This will run through your site and create a handy document to submit to search engines to let them know where all your pages are. You can also find plug-ins for WordPress that will automatically create a nice xml site-map for you.