Even though there are a plethora of website building tools readily available, launching a website requires a healthy foundation free of any technical issues that could ruin the experience of your readers and potential customers.
There’s so much more to website development than just posting blogs and adding to your product list; you’re putting together a fully functional and easy-to-follow website. To do that, you must follow all of the adequate steps to ensure your website, once launched, is running smoothly and successfully.
8 things to do after launching your website
Once your website has been successfully launched, your job isn't quite over yet. The post-launch phase of your website launch is very important. The below steps will ensure your site is successful and will even help you grow your audience.
Step 1: Test your site UX
Your goal is to make sure guests find your website and see it as engaging enough to stay on and continue to browse or make a purchase if you run an ecommerce website. To prevent website bouncing, make sure you test your website for User Experience (UX). You can do this by double-checking all of your internal and external links as well as your site structure.
Next, check all of the buttons on your website to ensure they redirect your guests to the proper pages. On top of that, check your navigation to make sure it’s easy enough to browse. Lastly, make sure each page directs your guests to where they expect to go and where you want them to go. Ensure your content has relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout that direct users to the correct pages.
You should see your website through the eyes of your guests — especially new guests. Make sure your photos load properly and your copy is easy to understand and digest. Each design should be rendered like you expect them to be.
Step 2: Check your site security
Ask any website developer and they’ll tell you that security is arguably the most critical post-launch step you should take. After you launch your website, check for any holes in your security and protection. If you’re an online store and accepting payments from customers and storing their information, be sure to seek advice from a legal counsel or a professional to ensure you comply with all website laws.
Step 3: Backup plan
A backup solution is recommended to reduce the risk of losing important data and hard work. At this point, you should be implementing a backup strategy. To avoid losing data, you should make sure a copy of your website is saved in a safe place. Copies of your website should be made regularly, so all changes are saved at that moment.
Step 4: Ensure analytics are functioning appropriately
Your next step is to make sure your analytics are set up correctly and operating smoothly. The first few months of data acquired from your website's launch will be invaluable. That data will deliver you essential customer understandings that will help you build a foundation for a successful brand or blog.
The list below provides you with a few points you should double-check upon post-launch:
- Default URL is set up correctly
- Google Search Counsel is linked
- Funnels and goals are set up properly
- eCommerce tracking and site search tracking are turned on
- IP addresses of your home, office, employees, and affiliates are filtered out
- Views are set up correctly
- Tracking scripts and analytics codes are inserted correctly
It should be noted that new websites often receive a limited number of guests. Because of this, your analytics tools won't collect much valuable information at first. Regardless of the delay, you should still make sure your website is fully operational with no problems to ensure long-term success.
Step 5: Submit your site map and request indexing
Launching a website requires you to make it known to the public, meaning it must appear in the search results. To ensure your website appears in the search results of the largest search engine available, login to Google Search Console and submit a new sitemap.xml.
- Log in, and go to the dashboard of your new website
- On the left-hand side, click on "Sitemaps."
- Enter the URL of your sitemap ("example.com/sitemap.xml.")
After following the few steps above, you’ll see at the bottom of the page, under status, "pending." As soon as Google has indexed your site, the "pending" will change to "success." It will also have the date it was indexed too.
Step 6: Check for technical SEO errors
Go through your website again to make sure there aren't any errors or issues that may have occurred during post-launch. You should see this as a replication of the previous check. You'll be searching for discrepancies, and if you do spot any, fix them immediately.
At this point, you’ll also check for technical SEO components. Below are a few things to check:
- Go over all page titles, meta descriptions and URLs and make sure they’re in place and accurate
- Utilize PageSpeed Insights to understand whether your load time meets industry standards and is fully optimized
- Check for possible indexation issues. Make sure your site pages aren’t set to no index, no follow
- Ensure 301 redirects are in place for any old URLs
Step 7: Ensure your conversion path is working properly
This is specifically important for ecommerce websites. Double-check your conversion paths and make sure they’re working correctly. All contact forms, payment processes, thank you messages and reply emails should be fully operational upon your new website's launch.
Step 8: Promote your website
From personal experience, marketing and promoting is by far the most exciting portion of your post-launch journey. The thought of competing against millions of websites on the web is compelling enough. Still, you need to know how to get your brand out there and attract traffic to your website.
Below are a few tips to promote your website:
- SEO: Search engine optimization is a significant source of organic traffic and potential business. Page one should be your main priority when seeking more traffic. If your on-page SEO is of high quality and you have content that ties to relevant keywords, your website should increase in rank, thus bringing an increase in traffic.
- Paid advertising: Paid advertising is a great way to acquire more traffic. Once you have set up an SEO strategy, you should begin to consider investing in paid ads before you start to see organic results for your content and website alone. If you’re looking for places to start, Google Adwords is a popular choice for paid advertising.
- Email campaigns: This is a simple, yet effective way to gain more organic traffic and nurture your leads. Use your existing database to send out emails informing affiliates or your network that you’ve launched a new website. You should carefully explain what's new and highlight features you believe will catch the eyes of potential customers or readers. Another step you can take is considering the investment of an email marketing campaign. There are countless email marketing tools readily available to the public to get you started.
- Social media: Creating a social media strategy is a fun way to attract attention and push people to your new website. You can even go the extra mile and create a Facebook page solely for your website or business. From there, you can build a community. You could also use Instagram live as a way to notify potential guests and views of what's new or upcoming. The possibilities are endless!
The goal of this post-launch checklist is to bring light to your newly launched website and attract the minds and eyes of potential customers and readers. You want them to have a positive experience when browsing your website, free of any errors or hiccups.
For those who have launched a website in the past or are doing so at the moment, we all know how difficult this venture can be, but it’s well worth the journey and the success to follow.