Learning how to launch a website can be one of the most exciting challenges for a business owner. Of course, in order for it to have the right impact, there are several factors that need to be accounted for in advance. Having a website checklist during the launch phase of your project will help set you up for success from the start.
At Horde Marketing, we are a digital marketing agency that has helped numerous businesses monitor, create and track the progress of everything related to their website. If you want to learn more about how we can help your online exposure increase, follow this link.
In the meantime, check out the website launch checklist we’ve created to help new businesses navigate the murky waters of the internet.
Choose a Platform
Whether you’re creating or rebuilding a website, the platform you use to build it on has a big impact on how successful it will be. Overall, there is no shortage of platforms to choose from. Websites like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly spend a lot of money trying to draw businesses to their platform, making it hard to figure out which one is best. However, if you look at all the available options out there, you’ll notice that one sticks out more than the rest.
WordPress.org (often mixed up with WordPress.com) is the most reliable platform available, accounting for over 60 percent of the entire content management market. It has a high learning curve compared to other platforms but it’s well worth learning.
Of course, the other websites do offer their own perks to set them apart from WordPress.org. For example, Wix is one of the easiest content management websites to navigate and Squarespace has excellent pre-made themes to choose from that really simplify the whole process.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and budget. At Horde Marketing, we build most of our sites using custom WordPress themes that are built for the specific needs and desires of our clients. A custom built website is always the best way to go if speed, features and user experience are your top priorities. A custom built website helps provide the best experience for your customers and your business goals.
Focus on search engine optimization (SEO)
No website launch checklist is complete without talking about SEO. SEO is when you increase the visibility of your website through search engines, prompting more traffic. Feel free to read about SEO and why it matters if you are unfamiliar with it, but make sure you follow these three key elements to make it work in your favor.
- Meta descriptions are brief summaries (usually less than 160 characters) of your website that appear below the title tag on search engine result pages (SERPs). Think of it as the synopsis of what you offer in order to attract potential visitors to click on your page. Meta descriptions should be natural, plain-spoken and easy for online users to understand.
- Keywords are the next key element to SEO. When people use SERPs, they often type specific and descriptive words to search for what they want. Including common words and phrases associated with your business and implementing them into your site allow search engines to find your content and recommend it to people.
- Internal links direct users to other parts of your website and help SERPs determine the structure of your website. If you want a more in-depth analysis of how you can increase your website traffic with link building, feel free to check out our blog once you’ve finished here.
Activate Global Styles
You want to make sure every page on your website has a similar layout to promote continuity. To accomplish this, make the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) the same on all of your pages. Think of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) as the coding that makes the foundation of a website and CSS as the aesthetics (colors, fonts and page layout)for the website. A consistent style for each of your website pages not only provides a nice design, but it also plays into your business’ branding to help users recognize your brand.
Sign Up for Google Analytics
In order for digital marketing to work, you need to monitor website analytics, how visitors engage with your content, and how well your page is performing overall. We recommend Google Analytics as a great tool for helping you do all those things.
Google Analytics allows you to learn more about the demographics that visit your site, how much time they spend on it, and which pages are visited most often. This information allows you to see what works, what doesn’t work, and what changes need to be made to the site. There is no shortage of valuable information that Google Analytics can provide to your business goals.
Create a Site Map
Site maps assist search engines in indexing your website. If you don’t already know, a site map is a hierarchical listing of all the various URLs that create your website. Having a site map allows search bots to find the most essential pages of your website in an endless sea of data. A site map will also assist the search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) on changes that have been made to the website so they can more easily update their directories.
If all these acronyms and terms are confusing to keep up with, be sure you get to know the lingo before you go ahead with your website launch.
Make it Mobile Friendly
Mobile traffic accounts for a massive amount of web traffic, meaning your website should cater to mobile users as well as desktop users. This means making sure mobile users can access your site as fluidly and easily as people on desktop and laptop computers. Many refer to this as responsive design or having a mobile version of your website. Responsive website design is when the elements of the website (the HTML, PHP, CSS, or other coding languages) conform or move to fit the screens of mobile devices. Not only should the elements conform or move, but they should also render (load) fast and with as little data transfer as possible.
Having a mobile friendly website ensures that you don’t lose the users that come to the website via mobile devices (cell phones and tablets), in turn, increasing website traffic and ROI (Return on Investment).
Email Signup Form
Creating an awesome website with flashy designs and smooth links will mean nothing if customers can’t get a hold of you. That’s why you need to create a signup form to gather email addresses from visitors who click on your website. Establishing regular email communications with customers or clients helps you share out relevant news and showcases your company’s expertise.
Let Horde Marketing Guide You on Your Digital Marketing Journey
Learning how to launch a website can be an exhausting experience, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our experienced team at Horde Marketing is well-versed in all the different digital marketing strategies required to be successful. Once we get to know your vision and business goals, we can make recommendations on which strategies will provide the most optimal results. Our services include web design, social media, email marketing, computer repair, computer network solutions and more!
If you are ready to take the journey into digital marketing, contact our team to learn how Horde Marketing can help. Together, we can ensure your website launch is a smooth success.