Robots.txt Make certain that the search engines can visit and index your website. The blocking of search engines occurs more often than you may think. Developers disallow all spiders on the beta site then forget to change over the robot.txt file when the new website goes live. – Published at Portent Interactive, an internet marketing company.
Robots Meta Tag Make sure any noindex Meta Robots tags have been removed, except those which should be in place for SEO or security reasons. – Published at Portent Interactive, an internet marketing company.
Run a Crawl The only way to view your whole website the same way that search engines do is to crawl it. Two tools that do this are Xenu Link Sleuth and Screaming Frog.
Check for Broken Links Sometimes the switch from development or beta site to live site does not go as planned. Use the crawl that you ran to check for broken links.
HTTP Headers After launch all your pages should return a 200 File Found server response code. Use your crawl data to confirm this.
Analytics & Webmaster Tools Code Check that your analytics and webmaster tools code is in place and working. Your website should be registered with Google and Bing. I’d also register with Yahoo Site Explorer until they officially shut down. You can register with Yandex too.
XML Sitemaps If your website uses XML sitemaps, verify them in Bing and Google webmaster tools.
301 Redirects When redesigning a website an SEO best practice is to reuse as many URLs as you can. Of course this is not always possible. Be sure old URLs 301 redirect to their replacements. This will help the search engines index your new website and transfer ranking authority from off-site links. It provides a better user experience for visitors from off-site links too. Not every page has a one-to-one replacement. If the category for a depreciated page exists, 301 redirect to the new site’s category page. Otherwise a 404 is permissible.
Check for 302 Redirects A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. Search engines know to forward ranking authority through a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page. The other type of redirects is a 302 or temporary redirect. Search engines will not pass authority through a 301 redirect. It’s like a brick wall, so it should never be used.
Check 404s for External Links After you make certain your 301 redirects are in place and working, check the 404 ages for external links using a tool like Open Site Explorer. Ranking strength is passed from site to site via links. Recycle unused ranking strength by pointing them to SEO keyword hub pages that can use a boost.
Page Speed Page speed, how long it takes pages to appear in the browser and finish loading, is both a usability and an SEO factor. Check your website’s page loading speed. Pages should load quickly, within a couple seconds. Just to be clear, I am only listing a thin slice of SEO here. I assume you will cover bigger SEO opportunities like site architecture and keyword either before launch as part of the website design or after launch as part of ongoing SEO efforts. – Published at Portent Interactive, an internet marketing company.