So, you’ve launched your new website. Congratulations! Time to sit back and watch your traffic and sales skyrocket, right? Not so fast! Make sure you’ve completed this website launch checklist so that your painstaking work doesn’t go to waste.
With any website, you’re never done. For your site to be successful, you need to constantly make updates based on analytics, metrics, and user experience. But let’s start with the bare minimum. What do you need to do immediately after your site has launched? Here’s your website launch checklist:
Content Management System (CMS) Updates and Plugins
If you’re running on WordPress, you’ll want to make sure you have the latest version of WordPress installed, and that all of your plugins are up to date.
Outdated WordPress installs and plugins are the most common issues that will leave your site vulnerable to hackers.
Ideally, it’s best to have a development environment set up so you can make sure nothing breaks due to the updates.
Once you’ve tested the updates, make them on the live site so your site is secure. And if you think keeping your plugins up to date might be a chore, check out our lead developer’s Vulnerable Plugin Checker.
Make Sure Your Site is Indexed
Your new site won’t be reached by anyone if search engines don’t know it exists. Confirming that your site is indexed is probably the most important step of your website launch checklist. If it’s not on Google, how will anyone find it? Connect with the Google Search Console (Webmaster) Tools to submit your site for indexing with Google Search.
A simple way to check if your site is indexed is to type “site:yourdomainname.com” into Google search. It should look something like this:
Congrats! Your site is indexed. But keep on building links so that Google will re-index your site and better understand your content.
Connect with Google Analytics
User data is huge for understanding your website’s performance, and setting up your site with Google Analytics is really simple. Google Analytics is a complex and detailed tool, so it will take some time to learn all of its ins and outs if you’re not familiar with it. It provides critical data like page views, sessions, bounce rates, and more. If you’re serious about digital marketing, analytics is an absolute must-have.
Start working on SEO
Search engine optimization is huge. Even if your site is indexed, you won’t be getting clicks if your site is buried in the search results. There’s a lot that goes into SEO: keyword research, metadata, readability, and much more. Yoast SEO is a great WordPress plugin to get you started with the basics. Beyond that, there are tons of free and premium tools out there like Moz that dive deep into the SEO world. Here’s a quick breakdown of why you can’t ignore SEO:
Search Engine Marketing
While SEO mainly defines unpaid search marketing, SEM focuses more on paid search efforts.
So what’s the benefit of paying for search marketing?
Paid search ads are the easiest way to land on the first page of Google’s search results. And as shown above, you need to be on the front page. With Google AdWords, you pay per click, and those clicks turn into leads. By utilizing SEO and SEM practices, you increase traffic to your site, which, in turn, increases sales.
Social Media Marketing
Everyone these days has a Facebook. There are roughly 1.94 billion active Facebook users as of March 2017. That’s 26% of the entire world!
Needless to say, Facebook posts reach a lot of people.
You’re missing out on tons of marketing potential if you ignore social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They’re free platforms to expose your business and interact with your customers. Posts can be as simple as pictures of a company cookout to a Merry Christmas post. The bottom line is, social media is an easy way to reach a lot of people and grow brand awareness.
Videos and Product Promos
While a beautiful website is great by itself, it can be even better with video. If your business offers a product or service, promotional videos are a sure way to capture your customer’s attention.
According to Animoto, 4 out of 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful. Captivating copy and visuals get the job done, but videos show your product or service in action, and that’s what consumers want to see.
Good business owners realize that a top-notch website is integral to success. It’s not just having a clean design and interface – it’s capturing your consumers.
Make sure you’re on the map, and then it’s all about increasing brand awareness and converting clicks into leads. By following our website launch checklist, your business can reach new heights.