10 steps to a successful new website launch

Developing a new website isn’t a small task by any means. Whether you’re working on it in-house or outsourcing the project to an agency – there are plenty of decisions to make, meetings to attend, and content to create.

Once you’ve finalised the overall design of the website, there’s also the launch campaign to consider. After all that time, money and energy you put into your new site, you’re going to want as many people to visit it as possible.

With your shiny new website ready and raring to go, and a solid online and offline campaign in place to promote it, you’re almost there. Just follow these final ten steps to make sure your new website launch goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Pick a launch date (and choose wisely)

The first step is to work out exactly when you’re going to launch your website. Once you’ve chosen the date, make sure it’s in everyone’s diaries, so your team are ready to pick up any issues on the day.

When choosing the date, try to make it one where people are likely to be spending time online. If it ties in with a promotion or seasonal holiday then make sure it’s relevant, and try to stay away from public holidays and weekends if you want to make a bigger impact.

  1. Make a “coming soon” page

Pre-launch pages can be great for helping to build anticipation from your audience. Make sure visitors to your URL know when the new website is launching, and for bonus points give them a good reason to come back when it has.

  1. Install analytics tools

Your web developer should have already set your website up with Google Analytics, but it’s a good idea to check and make sure it’s good to go before the launch.

You’ll definitely want to be monitoring the analytics on launch day and beyond, so making sure everything is installed and set up beforehand gives you one less thing to worry about on the day.

  1. Create several pieces of high quality content

Once your visitors have landed on your new site, you’ll want them to stick around for a while. Make sure there’s plenty of high quality content readily available before launch day for your audience to peruse.

Of course, you’ll need to have a plan for updating and posting new content regularly after the website launch, but it’s important to have a backlog of content already published so your site doesn’t look half-finished or incomplete.

  1. Get visitors signed up to your email list

Your mailing list or newsletter is a great place to announce the launch of your new website, but it needs some subscribers first. Your pre-launch page is a great place to add an email sign-up form, so visitors can be the first to hear of your exciting new website.

People can be reluctant to give away their data and precious inbox space these days, so it’s always a good idea to offer an incentive for new sign-ups.

  1. Incorporate SEO into your content

Every page on your new website should have SEO incorporated into the content. From meta tags, descriptions, and keyword research. You want your website to be easily found by potential visitors, so making sure it’s set up with the backbones of SEO from the start is a fundamental step.

If you’re rebuilding or rebranding your current website, you should also make sure all the links are set up and working properly, and that you’ve changed all the meta descriptions to reflect the new branding.

  1. Set up website redirects

You don’t want anyone going to the wrong place on launch day. Make sure your old domains and similar domains (if possible) all lead to your shiny new website, so there’s no chance that any visitors will get lost.

  1. Test everything (again… and again)

With the launch date looming, it’s time to make sure everything (and we mean everything) is working perfectly. Hire a professional to proofread the site, ensuring every word is perfectly chosen (and spelled correctly). You should also test all the forms and links to make sure there are no hiccups along the way.

It’s a good idea to get someone else to test the website for you, as you might have become “blind” to any errors after looking over it so many times. You might even want to plan a soft launch to help tackle any niggling mistakes before the big day.

  1. Promote. Promote.

Your promotional campaign will be imperative to making your website launch a success. Make sure you’ve considered social media, email marketing, blog content, influencers, press releases, and any other promotional assets for your campaign.

Keeping all your teams in the loop regarding your launch will help to ensure the campaign runs smoothly and successfully in the lead up, on the day, and beyond. You should also make sure any printed marketing materials are all up to date with the new URL if it’s changed, as you don’t want to look sloppy promoting your old website at events.

  1. Set up a strategy for the future

The launch of your new website is just the beginning. Even by following all nine of the above steps, you won’t guarantee a successful website in the long run if you don’t consider your strategy for the future.

The best performing websites are all updated regularly with fresh content, keep their designs relevant to their audiences by refreshing the look and feel every so often, and, importantly, are managed properly with all the appropriate updates and software changes.

 

By keeping all the above steps in mind during the lead up to your new website launch, you should be able to provide a seamless transition for both your employees and customers.

If you need a hand with your new website’s launch campaign, and we sound like your kind of people, we’d love to hear from you.

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