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SEO 20 SEO aspects to check before launching a Site


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The objective of this thread is to provide a list of the main SEO elements that can be set up in a site before launching. The list is not giant, but it includes aspects whose SEO is important for a good indexing of the site.

  1. Keyword research and addressable market identification (beyond the "star" keywords there are many opportunities that we can identify by using specalized keyword research tools).
  2. Identify key competitors at the level of SEO visibility, the keywords they are working on, and their SEO optimization strategy.
  3. If we are discussing the re-launch of an existing website, we will check to what extent the current URLs are kept and a list of corresponding URLs can be created by paralleling the current form and the old one.
  4. Check to see if the new structure is missing some LPs to decide how the site will handle it (301 redirects needed).
  5. Analyze the internal link structure (it is important that a large number of products with attributes for filters in categories and subcategories are published on the test site). Insights can be extracted about broken links, incorrect redirects, pages blocked from indexing, pages that use crawl budget unwarranted.
  6. Site Navigation: Allow Google to index items (without being implemented incorrectly) and be as contextualized as possible. For example, general navigation may contain main items, while category level will be in navigation and the subcategories included in it. The idea is not to have an identical mega-menu on all pages of the site.
  7. Checking canonization pages (first, to be defined self-canonically, if there are multiple URLs for the same content, the canonical one is automatically chosen, and all others refer to it).
  8. Identify technical issues that duplicat content (you can use the similar title, description, h1, h2 reports available in Screaming Frog).
  9. Analyze Headlines and meta data items (title and description) by page types. From now on, we can propose formulas for the dynamic production of these elements, depending on the type of the page (eg for catgories, subcategories, filters, product pages, etc.).
  10. Analyze how SEO filters are handled, what kind of pages they generate, whether they are crawlable or indexable. The objective is to be able to control the crawl-ability, index-ability of the pages, but also the headlines, content and meta data (headline and custom description). In order to be able to perform this analysis, however, it is necessary to add a large number of products with set attributes to the test environment so that several filters are visible.
  11. Checking Sitemap XML files and formulating recommendations for generating them. It is essential to use multiple sitemap files for different types of pages to make it easier to identify indexing issues. Including image sitemap.
  12. Analyze how the site is implemented on the site and whether Google's official recommendations are respected on this issue. Incorrectly implemented, paging can cause LP cannibalization problems or duplicate content.
  13. Website speed. While we cannot access Google's recommendations in Search Console (site is not yet launched), we can use tools such as GTmetrix or Pingdom Tools (applying the hacks listed above) to get insights about site speed.
  14. The implementation of Schema.org microformats helps search engines to better understand the content of the site. For an online store we recommend implementing at least the following schemes: Product, BreadcrumbList, Rating, SearchAction, Organization (Store).
  15. Image optimization, other text, size (for speed), filename.
  16. Mobile SEO Preliminaries. Even though the site is not yet launched, some elements related to optimization for mobile terminals may be observed, depending on the implementation method (responsive, different URLs, dynamic serving). For example: alternate tag deployment on mobile version if different URL; Viewport definition, Google AMP implementation, etc.
  17. Local SEO setup, by confirming your business in Google My Business, and addressing how sites are managed on the site (if there is more). Implementing NAP in site pages.
  18. Write for categories, subcategories, and index pages chosen for indexing. They must use natural language and provide useful information to visitors. They may include internal links to relevant sections of the site.
  19. Writing articles for the site's blog. These can be published gradually after the official launch. We prefer forms of evergreen content, that is, themes that do not depend on a particular event or once, but will be of interest over a long period of time.
  20. Implement eCommerce and set up conversions in Google Analytics for the main events in the site: subscribe to the newsletter, search the site, apply a filter, add a product to your cart, etc.
Bonus: Implement an SSL certificate. If we are discussing about an existing site, which is already on HTTPS, more attention is being paid. For details, see the SEO Guide for Correct Site Migration from HTTP to HTTPS.

Even though all of these SEO activities can be (theoretically) carried out on a website still in the test environment, they can not all be done at one time. SEO optimization usually comes in "layers" that have crawling website sessions crafted with specialized tools to see how real-world view of the site's implementation of a set of recommendations is reflected.