Steps to Take Before & After Launching Your New Website
Launching a new website for your business and brand is an exciting stage.
It’s inspiring, motivating and can have your whole team amped up to really grow business. In many cases however, some business owners may launch a new website and expect to gain website traffic naturally, with no effort other than having your website “live” on the internet.
If you are reading this article, then you most likely know that no one is going to simply “find your website” with no promotion, content creation or strategy on you or your team’s part.
Here are a few steps to take before and after launching your new website.
Search Engine Optimization - The Foundation
In my opinion, I do not believe that any website should be launched without your basic SEO (search engine optimization) bases covered. At your initial launch, your website should already be optimized to be able to accurately tell search engines what your website and pages are about once they are indexed.
Even though many search engines will most likely find your website without submitting your sitemap to them, I believe it is still a good idea to submit your sitemaps in both Google Search Counsel (Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools. In many cases, your website will have 1 - 5 sitemaps on average if you have a blog, images, etc.
Some tasks included in a basic optimization will be:
- Title tags and meta descriptions added to each page of your website
- Social media meta tags added to each page
- Images have alt attributes
- Optimized page urls
- Correct H1, H2, H3 tag placement and use in pages
For a complete on-site optimization, there are several other tasks that can be completed and before any optimization, conducting a good amount of market and keyword research is a must. Launching your website with the right, and legit SEO practices in place will allow your website to start off on the right foot.
Keep Your Website Secure & Up-to-date
Once you launch your website, it is important that you are aware of the important tasks you should have completed regularly on your website, whether your website runs on a content management system such as WordPress, or is built strictly off static html5 and css3 code.
This will reduce the chances of a hacked website or a function not working properly - as a website that will most likely play a large role in your business and in producing leads and revenue, this is extremely important.
Some tasks to complete are:
- Keep your CMS (content management system) updated
- Keep your plugins (if any installed on your CMS) updated
- Use strong passwords for everything - CMS passwords, FTP passwords, etc.
- Run regular backups of your website
- Scan your website for Malware
Kickoff Your Content Marketing Strategy
Before launching your website, you need to initially have content that can begin to provide value to your target audience right off the bat. Many of times in the form of educating them or delivering insight to a common problem.
Otherwise, your website really isn’t providing anything to your target audience - they need a purpose to visit your website. Content marketing plays a role in several channels of marketing, including search engine optimization, social media marketing and paid campaigns, so it is not something to dismiss or put off.
Prior to launching your website, create a plan on how you will go about creating and executing your content marketing strategy, before and after your website has launched.
Update Your Existing Blog Post’s Content
If you have already launched your website, keep your current website’s page content and articles up to date. Things may change in your market and industry, which means you should make sure your content reflects those changes.
Keeping your content up-to-date assists with not only gaining trust and becoming an authority in your niche, but also signaling to the search engines that your website is active.
Enhancing Your Website’s User Interface Design
After launching your website, analyze your users behavior in Google Analytics and other tracking tools to understand how your users are navigating around your website.
In some cases, there may be a desired action that you are looking for your users to complete, but may not be seeing the action completed as frequent as you would’ve hoped for. This can be a form submission, a click into a desired article or part of your website, etc.
To start optimizing (enhancing) your website’s user interface and user experience, begin analyzing the data in these areas of your website and begin running tests with some of these steps:
- Start A and B testing ( you can use a service such as Optimizely)
- Test element (text, buttons) positioning, colors, etc.
- Test variations of specific content
- Test different Call to Actions (CTA’s)
These are just some of the many tasks you can complete to begin enhancing your website. A and B testing can get pretty intense and requires a decent amount of web traffic to really make decisions on what changes are working best.
Drive Relevant Web Traffic Through Paid Ads
The marketing efforts on both organic and paid are becoming increasingly important to be merged together.
At some point in your marketing, you will most likely invest into targeted paid placements - some of your heavy hitters will be Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing and YouTube.
Each channel has their purpose and it all comes down to your business's specific goals. In addition, each has it’s own targeting capabilities, in which you can narrow down your campaign settings to target your exact audience.
Some channels may work better than others initially, but what really matters is creating a strategy for each in a manner that they work together to maximize your results.
Some initial paid ad campaigns you may consider running are:
- Facebook Video Ads
- Facebook Boosting Posts
- Facebook Offers
- Instagram Ads
- YouTube Video Ads
- SEM - Google AdWords / Bing Ads
Thats a Wrap
For the most part, many of us decide to launch a website for business reasons, whether it be for a product, service or both. If you begin with these steps, and given that your product or service and content are amazing, you will be on the right track to building momentum, gaining web traffic and most importantly, growing your business.