Your Checklist for a Successful Website Launch


Written by Sarah York

Committed to success? Have a new website in the works?

With all the changes Google has made in the last year to support mobile-friendly websites, savvy business leaders are getting on board. They’re ditching outdated websites for fresh, mobile-responsive designs. 

You have invested a significant amount of time, creative energy and money into your business’s new website. When it’s ready to go live, you want as many people as possible checking it out. Ensure your Launch Day is a smash hit by creating a buzz leading up to the big event. 

Here’s nine things you can do to get great results. Tick off these items from your checklist for a website launch:

Number One: Great Content. Long before launch day, devote ample time to creating high quality content. Ideally, three published pieces on Day One gives your audience enough variety to click through and read. Test and test again. Check the functions and appearance on mobile devices before you go live. First impressions are important. Initial content quality signals the experience readers can expect in the future. You want to build a loyal following of return visitors.

Number Two: Coming Soon Page. Create a “Website Coming Soon” page to let people know about your new website. In addition to informing them that it’s on the way; a “Coming Soon” page get’s people excited about your business, services or products. Offer new visitors a place to sign up for your email newsletter and provide links to “follow” and “like” you on social media. 

Number Three: Email Subscriber List. Build your email list in the lead up to your website launch. If you already have an email subscriber list, enlarge it through your social media accounts and your “Coming Soon” page. If you don’t have one already, ask your existing customers for their email addresses. Supercharge your ask by adding a promotional boost; offer incentives for signing up for your email newsletter (email newsletters provide ongoing contact with customers). Promote the newsletter and special incentives through social media.

Number Four: Launch Day Email. Your business’s website launch is an unique opportunity to get customers excited about your business. Create a catchy-looking email to blast out on your launch day. Use an email marketing tool like MailChimp to design an attention-getting email. The email should showcase your value proposition by highlighting your best content. Encourage subscribers to visit your new website with a promotion (e.g. a free consultation, or discount coupon for giving your website a mention).

Number Five: Grow your Social Media Presence. After you’ve completed your target audience research; it’s time to setup accounts on relevant social media platforms. Your business doesn’t need to have a profile on every single channel; just the ones your target customers generally use. Instead of wasting time setting up profiles and sharing posts across 7 or 8 platforms, spend your time creating valuable content in places where your preferred customers are likely to find it.

Number Six: Mobilize your Existing Friends. If your business already has an active social media following; give your fans a heads up that your new website is coming. Share the news a few times per week in the month leading up to your launch. The average Facebook user has 338 friends. Not all your friends or social media followers will “like” or “share” your posts. But, you’ll never know if you don’t ask. Ask friends, family, other local businesses (nicely!) to like or share the news about your business’s new website on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

Number Seven: Online directories. Your business’s presence in online directories will influence your search engine optimization (SEO). Depending on your industry, your business has a number of options, for example: Yelp, YellowPages, Google, OpenTable, Bing, Wedding Wire, to name a few key ones. Do your research and submit your business information to the most relevant sites. Here’s a list of the most popular online business directories in 2016. Online directory entries only contribute to SEO if the business’s information (name, address, phone number and website url) is accurate and consistent across all directory websites.

Number Eight: Reputation Review. If your website is launching at the same time as your new business venture, you likely won’t have an online reputation. If you’re building a new website for an existing business, now is the time to see if people are discussing your business online (and what they are saying!). A good place to start is by reviewing each of your business’s online directory entries and social media accounts. Update any outdated information. Respond to any existing reviews. In any case, setup Google Alerts to notify you anytime someone mentions your business online. Click here to learn how to get people to review your business online (and handle negative reviews). Most consumers are influenced in their online buying decisions by positive, and critical reviews.

Number Nine: Set up Google MyBusiness. Google is the gold standard when it comes to web searches. To get (and stay) ahead of your competition; take advantage of some great tools for getting noticed. With Google MyBusiness, you can customize how your business contact information will look to customers on Google search. MyBusiness uses your business name, address, phone number and website uniformly across the platform, including: Mobile Search and Google Maps. Your customers, and potential buyers, see consistent, accurate information anytime, and anywhere they search. You can also add attractive photos and manage your reviews on Google. Both measures will help you stand out from the crowd.

Launching your new mobile-friendly website is an important and exciting day for your business.

You’ve spent valuable hours and dollars building the perfect website. You want to make a great first impression on your current and potential customers. This means you need to create and implement an effective strategy well in advance. Follow this Checklist for a Website Launch and you’ll be well on your way.

If you don't have time to execute all these activities or you're not sure how, Webware helps launch your website with a bang. 

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