The best website launches are carefully planned and properly executed. Far too often, existing companies and newly hyped start-ups spend so much time on their brick and mortar locations, that they forget about their online presence. In a growing and digitally driven economy, website owners cannot afford to have a website that is not user friendly, does not convert, and is filled with errors. After you choose a domain name, you need to follow these website launch best practices.
- Security (HTTP vs HTTPS)
Website visitors are concerned about their security. Protect you and your visitors by purchasing an SSL certificate and launching a website via HTTPS. This safety encryption will increase the trust of a new website, and Google recently confirmed a slight organic SEO ranking boost to HTTPS.
- Sitemaps and Indexation
Create a sitemap for a new website launch which will help search engines better understand and crawl the site. This will help with organic traffic from search queries. Also, a website cannot be crawled if it is being blocked. Create a robots.txt file and allow search engines to index and crawl the website.
Some website content management systems (CMS) like WordPress will automatically use shortened permalinks. An example is “http://www.examplesite.com/?P=123.” If you change them later, you will lose all authority to that page unless you create a 301 redirect to the new page. Save the headache by creating user friendly permalinks to begin with.
- Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, and Structure
Proofreading every page on a website before launch is tedious but crucial. Get someone to complete the task who hasn’t written the content. Check for grammar errors, spelling, punctuation, and problems with structure and presentation. Don’t hurt your reputation over a typo or poorly structured page.
- Call to Actions (CTA)
Ask the question, “Why are visitors coming to my website?” If the goal is newsletter subscription, a contact form, or purchasing a product, there should be call to actions to satisfy that intent. Use bright orange for arrows and CTA text, and direct the visitor on the page.
- Website Analytics
One crucial part of owning a website is understanding the traffic and which pages are the most popular. Install an analytics tracking software like Google Analytics to monitor your website’s traffic once it goes live.
- Social Media Accounts
Create social accounts on popular social media channels. This includes but is not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Depending on your niche, there may be others of importance too. They can provide targeted traffic, sharing, and community building.
- Usability and Speed
A website has to be user friendly in all browsers if it’s going to keep traffic on the page. Make sure all pages load quickly and provide exactly what the visitor is looking for. Utilize a crowd source website testing service if necessary. Usability and speed are also ranking signals to Google.
- Mobile Friendly
Any new website that is being launched should be developed and optimized for mobile devices. A responsive website is one that ‘responds’ to different sized displays and renders a website visible and user friendly on all devices. Don’t lose traffic from smartphones and tablets.
10. Title Tags and Meta Data
Title tags are still one of the primary signals to search engines for what a page is about. Employ unique H1 title tags on every page and incorporate key search terms. Even though meta descriptions have lost their ranking signal, they can improve click-through-rates. Write unique and engaging meta descriptions.
It’s important to continue optimizing a website after it’s live. Stores need the lawn mowed, repairs, and other upkeep, and a website is no different. Generate hype and follow the website launch tips above if you want to have a successful website launch.
Have anything else to add? Leave your tips in the comments below!