It doesn’t matter how experienced you are - if you forget to undertake a few key tasks before successfully launching a new website, the new site… well, it won’t be very successful at all. Sorry.
Bespoke website design isn’t a trivial thing. It remains the best way to put your brand in the spotlight online, but it also requires a signifiant time investment and huge number of boxes to be ticked.
We think there are five key things every business needs to do before pushing the big green ‘launch website’ button (they do exist - we promise):
1. Check everything
Here’s what your website needs in terms of base level functionality before it goes out into the big, wide world:
- clear navigation;
- great copy;
- great imagery;
- working links;
- clear calls-to-action; and
- a concise, intuitive user journey.
Even if it feels like you’ve tested the above to the ninth degree, work on the assumption that you’ve still got something wrong and check everything again with a fine tooth comb.
This needs to be done by more than one person, so rope in colleagues, friends, family members and some loyal customers. You’ll soon know whether or not it’s ready to go live.
2. Invest in proven SEO techniques
Just like great web design, search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t something you should attempt in-house, but it’s vital to the success of your website.
Without it, you simply won’t be found. Simple.
Great SEO needs implementing from the off, so if you’re yet to pull the trigger on this particular digital marketing investment, now is the time to do so.
3. Ensure it works perfectly on mobile
Google now operates on a mobile-first index. That means it prefers websites which operate perfectly on smartphones, and is likely to push them up the listings as a result.
Before your new business website goes live, you’ll need to check it over thoroughly on a device with a small screen. Make sure it can be used without having to ‘pinch and zoom’, and check every link and navigational element to ensure they operate flawlessly.
If there’s any rough spots or areas you simply can’t operate on your smartphone, you need to go back to the drawing board.
4. Check sales leads end up where they should
The most beautiful, functional and highly engaging website in the world is absolutely useless if completed contact forms disappear into the ether.
This is a more common occurrence than you might think, so before launching, make sure any contact forms you have on the site result in an email or notification that can be seen by the appropriate person or team.
5. Put together a three month content plan
How far you plan ahead is entirely down to the amount of time you have to hand and whether or not you’ve enlisted the services of a digital marketing consultant, but before launching your new site, it’s vital you have the beginnings of a content plan.
Websites should never stand still; they need regular content to be added and done so in a way that attracts a relevant audience to its pages.
Start with three months and plan in a blog post every one to two weeks. Think about the topics your audience will enjoy reading and ensure you schedule in the time to write and publish each piece (or enlist the services of someone else to do it for you!).
In truth, the above list is certainly non-exhaustive, but you’ll be glad to hear we’ve removed all of the techy stuff that needs to be triple checked before going live with your new website.
If you need help planning, building or launching a new website, the friendly New Edge team has all the experience you need. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements!