Whether you are a seasoned business professional or just getting your feet wet in the ocean that is entrepreneurship, launching a new website can be complicated and at time stressful. So many things go through your mind; are there any spelling mistakes, broken images or links is there enough content, is the site engaging enough – there is so much to consider.
At Redkey Media we’ve been launching websites since 2004 – and yes several have been “nail-biting” launches but all have contributed to our overall experience which we put into a list. This list, created based on our website and digital marketing experience, ensures our project performance remains strong with a new site launch, with most clients seeing great improvement. While each site may have some different boxes to check before launch, generally speaking, there are a few things to check, no matter the website.
1. Double check everything. Take time to review all of the content on your site to make sure everything sounds right and is working correctly. If the content was written for you then its even more important to ensure that the content reflects your business and vision. This is also a good time to review your content strategy to ensure you are targeting your keywords effectively throughout your site.
2. Use responsive design. A website today needs to be visually appealing on all devices, not just computer browsers, but on all mobile devices. Test your site on as many devices as you can get your hands on and hammer out any design issues to make sure that the site draws the viewer in and if delivering the experience optimized for the device. A mobile site user may want to quickly access some parts of your site where as a desktop user may want the “full experience”.
3. Check functionality. Make sure all details and features are functioning correctly across your site. This may include elements such as lead generation forms, email list signups, comments, and social sharing. Having a function that does not properly work is a great way to turn the user off in a hurry. This can also include internal and external links, as well as optimizing the site speed to make sure it loads as quickly as possible.
4. Prepare analytics. Once your website is launched, you’re going to want to know how it is performing and how you can test various aspects of it. These analytics will allow you to evaluate your site and continually improve it over time as you know what works and what doesn’t work. Do some type of web crawl to make sure that all your analytics programs are correctly accounting for the key data you need.
5. Use proven SEO techniques. If you want people to actually visit your site, some type of SEO work will help make that happen. Use proper search engine optimization techniques, such as having unique page titles and unique meta descriptions in place for the launch. You may also set up some type of link outreach plan, including ideas on how to amplify your launch and help generate buzz that will make it a success.
6. Back up your site. Finally, before launching a site, make sure to prevent any loss of data by setting up site security and regularly backing up your site. This can also help in case of any malware attempts against the site, ensuring that copies of the website are being created and stored regularly. This gives you added peace of mind that you always have a plan in place if something goes wrong.
There are few more challenging digital tasks than designing and launching a new website, especially when you consider all of the things that can go wrong. However, being prepared and working with experienced web companies who have proper plans and checklists in place can go a long way to making your launch a smooth one.