Website Launch Checklist | See Girl Work

Website Launch Checklist

Ten Tips to help you Launch Your Website with a Bang!

When you first create a website, nobody knows about it but you. It’s just your little space in a corner of the internet. But in order to build a successful business, you’ll need to drive traffic to your website, increase its readership, build relationships and convert your audience into paying clients or customers.

The purpose of a website launch is to get max traffic and establish your brand as an authority. Click To Tweet

The main purpose of the launch, beyond getting maximum traffic and engagement on day one, is to truly establish you and your brand as a new authority in the niche that you’re entering. Since I just launched my own website for See Girl Work Marketing & Branding, I know exactly what this is about. Below is the website launch checklist I followed to make sure I was starting off with a bang!

Tip #1 Treat Your Website Launch Day as an Event
Treat the launch of your new website like an event – something important that happens on a specific day where your brand and everything it has to offer becomes available to the public. The specific date also helps you schedule what happens and when, and if anything, it gives you a target date or deadline.

Tip #2 Install Google Analytics
One thing you definitely want to make sure you add to your new website or blog is a solid analytics and stats tracking tool. I recommend using Google Analytics. It will allow you to properly track the visitor trends on your website such as daily new visitors, average time spent on your website, the most visited pages on your site and much more. Not only will it be helpful to see how many visitors your site receives on launch date but this information is extremely valuable in the long term success and optimization of your website. By being able to recognize trends you will be able to adjust your website appropriately.

Tip #3 Tag the Actions that Matter
No matter what your site is, there are actions you’re hoping visitors will take ─ from tweeting a link to your post to leaving a comment to buying a product or subscribing to an email list. Whatever those actions might be, you should set up Tag Managers within Google Analystics so they can be recorded.

Tip #4 Run a Crawl Simulation of Your Site
No matter how perfect you or your developers are, there’s always problems at launch ─ broken links, improper redirects, missing titles, pages lacking rel=canonical tags, etc. By running a crawl test, you can check your site’s accessibility and insure that visitors and search engines can reach pages successfully in the ways you want.

Tip #5 Test Your Site Design with Browser Emulators
In addition to testing for search engine and visitor accessibility, you’ll want to make sure the gorgeous graphics and layout you’ve carefully prepared checks out in a variety of browsers including: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. I actually spent two days doing this manually on a PC and MAC, but you can also do this with a browser testing tool.

Tip #6 Create Your Google Alerts
Set up Google Alerts to help you track any mentions or links going back to your site.  It’s not perfect, but it’s free and can give you the heads up on some of the sites and pages that mention your brand or link to you in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the service sends through a lot of false positives ─ spam, scraper sites and low quality junk ─ so be mindful of this.

Tip #7 Create Your Site’s Social Accounts
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to set up social media accounts for your website. Social media has become popular and powerful enough that any new site should be taking advantage of it. At a minimum, I’d recommend creating accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Depending on the scope of your business, you can also set up LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope profiles. Don’t do everything! Nothing is worse than outdated social media profiles. Do only what you can manage. Focus on where your audience is and if it makes sense for your business.

Tip #8 Build an Email List of Friends and Business Contacts for Launch
A friendly email blast to just a few dozen of your close contacts can help set the stage for a successful launch. Start by building a list of the people who you’ve previously worked with, past clients, existing clients, anyone who you’ve recently met at a networking event. Something that really worked for me was exporting my LinkedIn contacts into Gmail. If you’re feeling a bit more aggressive in your marketing, you can go one circle beyond that to casual business partners and acquaintances. Once you have the list, you’ll need to craft an email. Keep it short and sweet, highlighting only one or two pages that you really want the world to see (aside from the homepage). Be transparent and request feedback. This will allow your contacts to engage with you on it which could lead to a new opportunity or sales lead. Be sure to use BCC and make yourself the recipient. No one wants to be on a huge, visible email list to folks they don’t know.

Tip #9 Guest Posts
Guest posting can be a great traffic driver to your site. It also builds buzz for your brand and adds to the process of establishing yourself as an authority. During the same week as my website launch, I had two articles published. I linked the homepage of my site in the bio section. This was definitely helpful as I could see traffic from the online publications coming through to my site.  This is also a great way to build links back to your site, which helps with your Google search rankings.

Tip #10 Set Targets for the Next 12 Months
Without goals and targets, there’s no way to know whether you’re meeting, beating or failing against expectations. If you’re just starting out, set goals for weekly visits, average page views, social media metrics, etc. Each of these should have 3, 6 and 12 month targets. Don’t be too aggressive as you’ll find yourself discouraged or, worse, not taking your own targets seriously. Every 3-6 months, you should re-evaluate these and create new goals, possibly adding new metrics if you’ve taken new paths (RSS subscribers, views of your videos, emails collected, etc.).

“There’s no better time to get the momentum rolling that during your website launch (or even re-launch). You don’t need a launch plan in order to have a successful website, but without one, you’ll miss the opportunity to make some noise on day one.”

These website launch tips are just what you need to make sure that the first impression your new website makes is the right one. They’ll help you feel confident that your marketing and metrics priorities are in place. Please feel free to share other website launch tips to help get a new site on its feet. Or email me if you need help with yours.

 

Alethea Robinson

Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, See Girl Work

Alethea Robinson is the founder of See Girl Work. With over 10 years of marketing experience, she specializes in campaign execution, project management, team management and trade show planning and events. Alethea is also skilled at developing digital marketing content including blog posts, interviews, editorials and social media.

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