12 SEO mistakes when relaunching a website

12 SEO mistakes when relaunching a website

Written by Editorial

For more than 15 years, we have supported our customers in all digital challenges and contributed significantly to their success.

March 26, 2024

Relaunching a website is a critical undertaking that can have far-reaching effects on the visibility and user experience of an online presence. While the refresh has the potential to improve technical performance and update content, there are numerous pitfalls lurking in the process. From indexing and internal linking to mobile optimization - the list of SEO-related aspects that need to be considered is long. This article highlights the twelve most common SEO mistakes that can occur when relaunching a website and offers practical solutions to avoid them. The aim is to raise awareness of the complexity of the relaunch process and lay the foundations for a successful website overhaul.

12 SEO mistakes when relaunching a website

1. error during indexing

Incorrect indexing of pages when a website is relaunched can have negative consequences, both for search engine optimization and for the user experience.

  • Loss of search engine rankings:
    If pages that were ranked high in search results before the relaunch are not indexed correctly, this can lead to a loss of visibility in search engines. This in turn can result in a drop in organic traffic.
  • Duplicate content:
    Incorrect changes can lead to problems with duplicate content if both old and new URLs are recorded by search engines.
    This can affect SEO performance as search engines cannot tell which version of the page is more relevant or up-to-date.
  • Impairment of the website structure:
    Correct indexing is crucial for the presentation of the website structure to search engines.
    Errors here can affect the ability of search engines to crawl the website effectively and highlight relevant pages in the search results.

To avoid or remedy these problems, the following measures are recommended:

  • Plan carefully before the relaunch:
    Make sure that all old URLs are properly redirected to the corresponding new URLs to minimize the loss of SEO value.
  • Monitor crawl errors:
    Use tools such as Google Search Console to identify and correct errors when crawling the website.
  • Update sitemap:
    Make sure that the sitemap is up-to-date and correctly submitted to search engines to facilitate the indexing of new pages.
  • Check contents:
    Check the content for duplicates and make sure that the new pages are unique and relevant to promote a good ranking in the search results.


2. missing 301 redirects

When relaunching a website, 301 redirects are an important step that is often overlooked. The absence of these redirects can lead to duplicate content, as both the old and the new version of the website remain accessible. This causes competition between the two versions, which can have a negative impact on search engine rankings.
Canonical tags serve as a temporary solution; these signal the preferred page to search engines. The 301 redirects offer a more effective solution by indicating to search engines that the original content has been permanently moved to a new location. This has the advantage that the new page can benefit from the rankings and backlinks of the old page, allowing a seamless transfer of link authority.

Another problem is deleting old pages without setting up redirects, which leads to a 404 status code. As a result, all backlinks pointing to the old page lose their value and do not contribute to the authority and ranking of the new page. 301 redirects keep the connection between the old and new pages and successfully pass on link authority.

3. keyword optimization

A website relaunch is an excellent opportunity to rethink and optimize your own keyword strategy. However, this opportunity is often missed by removing keywords that already rank well in search engines from the content of the redesigned site. Such an approach carries the risk of losing valuable rankings.

To counteract this, it is crucial to consider comprehensive keyword research as an integral part of the relaunch process. The aim should be to identify which terms are important for the target group and how these can be effectively integrated into the new page content. This will not only maintain visibility in the search results, but also improve it.

12 SEO mistakes when relaunching a website

4. incorrect forwarding

When relaunching a website, it is essential to set up redirects correctly in order to avoid ranking losses. Incorrect redirects, for example due to incorrect status codes or unsuitable target URLs, can impair the online presence.

  • Understanding status codes: A 301 status code indicates a permanent change and is suitable for most website relaunches, as it informs search engines that the old page has been permanently replaced by a new one. A 302 status code, on the other hand, indicates a temporary change and should only be used in specific situations.
  • Targeted forwarding: In order to maintain visibility, it is important not to redirect old pages to the homepage, but to new pages with corresponding content. This helps to maintain the relevance and ranking of the pages.
  • Avoidance of forwarding chains: Direct redirects from old to new pages are more efficient than redirect chains, which can put a strain on the crawl budget and reduce loading speed. Careful planning and implementation of redirects contributes significantly to the success of a website relaunch.

5. meta snippets

Meta snippets that have not been adopted are a common cause of loss of rankings after a website relaunch. If important keywords no longer appear in the page titles or the meta descriptions are missing, this can significantly reduce the findability of the pages despite correct indexing.

Even if the meta information was possibly not optimally designed before the website was revised and optimization is only planned afterwards, it is essential to at least adopt it in its original form. It becomes particularly problematic if the meta snippets are completely missing after the relaunch or are identical across all pages. The page title, as a significant ranking factor, plays a decisive role in visibility in search results. It is therefore essential to ensure that the meta data on the new website is filled in correctly and completely. Careful handling of these snippets not only supports ranking, but also improves the user experience by providing clear and concise information about the content of the page.

6. neglect of the content

Content is at the heart of any SEO strategy. However, during a website relaunch, there is a risk that content is neglected, which can include removing high-quality content, changing content that already ranks well or failing to create new, targeted content. To avoid such mistakes, conducting a content audit is essential. This process helps to ensure that existing, high-quality content is maintained and new content is developed that meets both user needs and the requirements of effective search engine optimization.

12 SEO mistakes when relaunching a website

7. empty content and placeholders

A website relaunch not only serves to update old content and adapt the page structure, but also to integrate new content. It often happens that placeholder pages or texts are used that still need to be filled with content. It is crucial that all content is complete and carefully maintained before the new website goes live. Putting many empty pages online, which may only have an H1 heading, or pages that are only filled with "Lorem ipsum" text, can affect the performance of the entire website. Such pages offer no added value for the user and are classified by search engines as "thin content", i.e. pages with little content.

To prevent ranking losses, it is essential to take sufficient time to adequately and comprehensively maintain all content. This ensures that the website is not only valuable in terms of content, but also search engine friendly.

8. internal links

The internal linking structure is a critical factor for the SEO performance of a website. Pages with a high number of internal links are generally rated as more important by search engines than those that are only sparsely linked. A relaunch can cause subpages that were previously well integrated into the network of internal links to lose their connection, especially if they are removed from the main menu. A significant reduction in internal links can affect the visibility and performance of these pages.

While adjustments to the website structure during a relaunch make sense, it is crucial to be aware of the impact on link relevance and therefore SEO performance. Before the revised website goes live, it should therefore be checked whether all essential content is still accessible via the navigation or whether an alternative internal link has been created for previously linked content. Careful handling of the internal linking structure helps to minimize potential losses in search engine rankings.

9. canonical links

Incorrect canonicals are a common problem with website relaunches. Originally intended to solve duplicate content problems, they can exacerbate the situation if used incorrectly. A common mistake is that URLs from the test environment are still entered in the canonical tags. When the new website is published, these should be replaced with the final URLs. Otherwise, the canonical tags could point to pages in the test environment that are no longer accessible or redirect to the final URLs. Search engines such as Google could still crawl these incorrect URLs and possibly include them in the index.

It is therefore essential to check carefully when the new website goes live whether the URLs in the source code - especially for canonicals and meta robots instructions - have been correctly updated to the final link targets. Correct configuration of the canonical links is crucial to effectively avoid duplicate content and ensure the SEO performance of the website.

10. problems with SSL certificate

When switching to HTTPS or moving domains to another server, the correct integration and release of the SSL certificate is crucial. A missing or incorrectly configured SSL certificate can cause considerable problems, especially if it is not provided in time for the go-live of the new website.
Without a valid SSL certificate, a website cannot be delivered securely via the HTTPS protocol, which leads to warning messages in the browser for users. Such error messages can deter visitors and undermine confidence in the security of the website. Search engine crawlers also rate the lack of an SSL certificate negatively, which can lead to a drop in visibility and rankings.

To avoid such problems, it is essential to carefully plan and implement SSL certificate integration when moving servers or switching to HTTPS. Make sure that the certificate is not only integrated but also correctly approved to ensure a secure and trustworthy connection for all website visitors and crawlers.

12 SEO mistakes when relaunching a website

11. analysis before the relaunch

A critical mistake that is often made when relaunching a website is the omission of pre- and post-measurements of SEO performance. A thorough SEO analysis prior to relaunching the site serves to establish a performance baseline against which subsequent results can be measured. After the relaunch, a re-analysis allows the impact of the changes made to be assessed.

Without these comparative measurements, there is no basis for evaluating the success of the relaunch or identifying which areas of the website may require further optimization. Such analyses are essential to ensure that the objectives pursued with the relaunch are achieved and that the overall performance of the website is improved.

12th test phase

A comprehensive testing phase before a website relaunch officially goes live is essential to ensure that the site is free from errors that could affect SEO performance. This phase serves to check the website for a variety of potential issues, including broken links, 404 errors, duplicate content and mobile optimization difficulties.

By omitting such a test phase, you risk these errors remaining undetected and only being noticed after the website goes live. Not only can this negatively impact the user experience, but it can also have a significant impact on the website's ranking in search engine results. Carefully checking and correcting these issues during the testing phase will help to safeguard the website's SEO performance and ensure optimal results after the relaunch.


A website relaunch goes beyond aesthetic upgrades and represents an opportunity to fundamentally improve SEO performance. These SEO mistakes highlight the complexity of the challenges associated with a relaunch. By paying attention to these sources of error and implementing proven SEO strategies, you can not only ensure the visibility of your website in search engines, but also optimize the user experience. Careful planning, comprehensive testing and continuous monitoring of SEO metrics are essential to ensure the long-term success of the relaunch.

We are happy to support you with the Relaunch your websiteplease contact us for a personalized free initial consultation.

Recommended posts

Looking for a reliable and competent marketing & WordPress agency?

Let's tackle your project together!

Bajorat Media has 4,9 from 5 Stars | 3055 Reviews on ProvenExpert.com