4 Tips for a Successful Website Launch
It’s almost that time. You have waited several weeks, maybe even months for your new website to come together. Now is the moment of glory. You launch your beautiful new website, and then your clients start to notice you have broken links, typos and your form submissions are getting lost in the abyss. This is not uncommon, but hopefully these tips will help you prepare for a successful website launch.
Tip #1 – Review Your Content
Your site can look beautiful and have amazing functionality, but if your content isn’t powerful and engaging then your sites success may be limited. First, make sure that visually all of your pages look complete, and that content is well aligned. Make sure headers stand out from the body text and that there are hyperlinks throughout your content. This helps with both overall engagement and SEO. Also, be sure that you have proofread all of your content. Typos make your business look bad and might make clients question your attention to detail. From a marketing perspective, make sure you have strong “Calls to Action” or CTA. Calls to Action let the website visitor know what you want them to do next and where you want them to navigate to. A good example is a large, clearly labeled “Request a Free Consultation” button that stands out from the rest of your content or navigation.
Tip #2 – Be Mobile Friendly
Be conscious of different display sizes as well as mobile devices. According to Google, 52.2% of all site traffic is viewed on a mobile device. Best practice is to build your website using what is called “Responsive Design”. This standard of website design allows your site to adjust automatically based on the end users resolution or device. This will make life easier as you go to make website updates, so that you only have one site to maintain and not separate desktop and mobile versions. Having a mobile friendly site also factors in heavily with SEO, as Google has suggested it may penalize sites in search if they are not mobile friendly. Ouch!
Tip #3 – Check Those Links
A link to nowhere is definitely an easy way to frustrate your website visitors. We’ve all seen those annoying 404 Not Found error messages. Double check to make sure all navigation links, footer links, buttons, CTA’s and links embedded in your content are working and going to the right place. Once you’ve checked them all, check again! It’s also a good idea to have a friend or co-worker go through the site as well.
Tip #4 – Data, Analytics and Integrations
If your website just serves as a business card online for your company, you’re missing a huge opportunity. An effective website should serve many purposes. The two which I find to be most important are lead generation and customer insight. Rather than simply having a phone number and email address on your contact page, your site should have several “lead capture” forms. These forms prompt users to provide their information, even making some of it required. Once you’ve setup your forms, make sure that the submissions get sent directly to your Inbox. Also as best practice, you should direct users to a thank you page and send an automated email confirmation that their inquiry was received. This is also a great time to consider integrating your forms with your email marketing service or CRM. Email marketing tools like Mailchimp, iContact, Constant Contact and CRM’s like Salesforce have integrations to feed those leads directly into their database.
The other value of having website is the data it can provide. Make sure that you have a tool like Google Analytics installed from the start. Analytics is free and gives you tremendous insight on your website and visitors. Through Google Analytics, you can find out how people are finding your site, what pages they’re visiting, how long they spend on each page and even measure performance of marketing campaigns.
As the manager of our design team, I can fully appreciate the anxiety that comes along with launching a new website. At IMG, we use a pre-launch checklist which really helps us through the process. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can click here to download a printable version. Good luck with your website launch, and if you’d like to discuss how we can help feel free to reach out to me directly!