Launching your own website can be quite the headache, but you can deliver an engaging platform for your audience with the right guidance. From soliciting audience engagement to sponsoring content, here are the top 10 things to think about when creating and launching your new site.
1. Install Google Analytics
Do you know how many people are coming to your site on a daily or hourly basis? Well, you should— tracking audience engagement is critical to your company’s performance.
One of the easiest methods to track your website’s traffic is to set up Google Analytics, receive the Analytics code and follow Google’s instructions to install it on your site. Once installed, you can view your hourly, weekly, monthly and yearly traffic. Not to mention, which pages people visited and for how long, site visitors’ location and so much more.
Google Analytics helps to collect and report on your site’s performance, which provides ample information for improving your site for visitors.
2. Test Your Website’s Speed
Who likes a slow website? Oh right, no one—it’s important to periodically check on your site’s speed so that any issues can be addressed immediately. Google even offers a free PageSpeed Insights Tool for the occasional speed-check.
It’s also important to note that a faster website will help you move up the ladder on Google’s search rankings. Google’s algorithm ranks fast, user-friendly websites higher than their slower, not-so-easy-to-use counterparts, making quality site speed a necessary aspect of any website.
3. Double Check EVERYTHING
Let’s face it, mistakes happen. Here are some tips to help check over and fine-tune your website before launch:
- Online spelling and grammar editors—like Grammarly—help to ensure your content is free of errors.
- Click through the new website to make sure each tab goes to the correct page and that all hyperlinks work correct—no one likes a dead link!
- Smartphones are everywhere, which means that your beautiful website needs to look just as beautiful on mobile devices as it does on desktops. Much like Pagespeed Insights, Google offers a Mobile Friendly Test to analyze your mobile site for free.
- Have forms on your website? Make sure they’re short and sweet, keeping it at a NEED TO KNOW basis! Visitors don’t have time to list every detail about themselves—therefore, you need to only ask the most important information for the most responses.
4. Prepare a Pre-Launch Page
Visitors can only go to your brand new site if they know it exists, so it’s important to spread the word! A great way to do this is with a small, simple pre-launch page for your site. On your pre-launch landing page, be sure to include basic information about your company and the launch date—make sure the page is visually appealing and on brand, too!
5. Optimize For Search Engines
An elegant website is great, but it won’t be effective unless users can find it online. This is why it’s a good idea to have a search engine optimization (SEO) expert work their magic to ensure your site is ranking on search engines.
There are also some actions you can perform yourself, with little to no SEO expertise. Here are a few of the fundamental SEO tips and elements that you should have in place when you launch your website:
- Use Keywords. When web users utilize search engines, they enter specific keywords to search for the information they are trying to find. The keywords that are specific to your business are the words and phrases that best represent your target audience. What are their needs, wants or problems? What solution does your product or service offer for the consumer and what are their first questions when searching for answers?
- Placing these words in strategic areas on your site—like post titles, headers,title tags and your navigation bar—can help your site rank better in the right search results.
- Add new content frequently and update old content regularly.
- Build links to the new website to help create initial traffic, while extending your brand’s reach. Try to get your website mentioned on other website’s relevant to your industry,expertise, products or services—this can also help build more authority for your brand.
- Add internal links to your site content. Having external sources link to your website is excellent for site traffic and reach, but what do those visitors do once they’re on your site? Internal links connect visitors to relevant content in other areas of your site, which prevents visitors from having to dig for information—or leave the site altogether. Make sure you paint the entire picture by making all of the information you offer on a subject easily available.
6. Update Your Listings
Is this your first website? Did you get a new domain for your website? If so, you will want to make sure the correct link is listed in directories, social networking accounts and don’t forget about that email signature! Although this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s an important part of the checklist that’s often overlooked—so make sure visitors are being sent to the right website.
7. Plan Your Email Marketing
Email marketing can successfully garner audience interest in your business, while producing a substantial amount of leads along the way. Include a call to action button on your site that allows visitors to join your email list, or even offer free incentives for opting-in. Curating an email list allows you to better communicate and interact with your customers and potential customers.
One way to utilize an email list is with routine newsletters. Newsletters are an easy way to inform your audience about what’s happening, provide links to your blogs or even host special offers. Think all that effort will put a strain on your work? Think again, email marketing platforms—like MailChimp or Constant Contact—can simplify the entire process for you!
8. Start A Blog
A new website provides a new opportunity to interact with your target audience, but how can site visitors trust in your business? Blogs. Blogs are a way to share your expertise with the ones who need it most, your audience. The information offered in blogs doesn’t need to have a high-dollar value or expose trade secrets—it just needs to be relevant and helpful to the people you aim to serve.
And don’t forget to share your blog posts on your social media!
9. Create Social Media Accounts
Social media is a goldmine for marketing. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ have provided ample opportunities for an entirely new level of communication, allowing businesses to further expand their reach to the right audience.
The number of social networks available puts a strain on businesses trying to build and maintain a following on every platform. Therefore, you must consider the networks that are most relevant to your audience. Some considerations for social networks are:
- Facebook and Twitter get the most engagement. However, Twitter’s newsfeed is more quantity than quality—requiring much more attentiveness on the business’ part.
- Linkedin is the professional social network, which makes it a great platform for B2B companies and less-effective for B2C.
- Instagram is great for visuals.
- Google+ can help boost SEO efforts.
Remember that no matter which social network you choose, you must be ACTIVE. People usually don’t pay attention to inactive accounts.
Launching a new website is an exciting, yet strenuous process for those involved, so don’t forget to consider these tips for your next launch! Thinking about forgoing the headache and opting for professional designers? Well, we have the sharp minds and gifted hands to craft an elegant site for your business that gets results.