Columnist Janet Driscoll Miller outlines the steps you should take pre-launch and post-launch to ensure a smooth transition to a new website.

So you’re going to redesign and relaunch your website. Congratulations! That’s certainly a major undertaking. But before your relaunch is live, you may want to perform an SEO audit, just to be safe. A proper SEO audit identifies potential SEO pitfalls prior to launch, giving you time to get issues fixed before you replace your current website.

Unlike a general SEO audit on your website, an audit for a relaunching site is a bit of a different animal because you’re looking at and comparing two different sites: the old site versus the newly designed site. Relaunch audits also come with their own set of challenges.

Many of the tools used to perform an audit require a website to be accessible on the web to scan the site, but when you’re doing a redesign, the new website may be hidden behind password-protected gates or may be on an internal server, inaccessible to these tools.

When performing a relaunch audit, I break it down into two main pieces: pre-launch and post-launch.
Pre-launch audit

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