After months of planning, design, and development, you’re finally ready to launch your website. Congratulations! Reaching this milestone took months of diligent work and is an achievement worth sharing. But you shouldn’t just go live and hope people stumble across your new site.
You should spend some time strategizing the best way to prep your site for launch, then methods to announce your website. Fortunately, we have some tips on both. Here are some steps to take before launching:
Don’t Skimp on Testing
Testing, or Quality Assurance, is the process during your website project where you put your new site under a series of tests and user scenarios to uncover any bugs or issues and rectify them before going live to the public. You wouldn’t want your visitors to spot a typo or a broken link when they’re enjoying your new site, would you?
To make sure you cover all your bases, have your development team, as well as other people in your company who weren’t directly involved with the project, test all your pages, links, and other functionality.
Update Materials to Avoid 404s
Even after you’ve ensured you’ve redirected everything or updated all your links appropriately, some items may go overlooked and cause 404 errors. Typically, these items include sales and marketing materials that link to content anywhere on your site. Link up with your departments to audit all the content in your CRM/marketing automation platform that’s live on your current website and could cause an issue if not updated.
Choose a Day
Once you’re satisfied that your new site is ready, pick a launch date and get your team prepared for the big day. If you like, you can even narrow down the exact time your site goes live. No matter what, alert your entire company when the change is happening, so they aren’t sidelined with something unexpected. It also helps to have your development team or agency you worked with available should any bugs arise that need fixing.
Another essential component of your website launch strategy is announcing the update to your prospects and customers. Here are some ways you can spread the word about your new website:
An online press release is a surefire way to announce a new and improved website. You’ll receive legitimate backlinks from a variety of news organizations and help drive traffic to your new site. You’ll have to pay for the press release, but it’s an effective way to make major company announcements.
Emailing your existing database of contacts or customers informing them of your updated website is recommended. These are people familiar with your brand and interested in your product or service. Why not let them know you are improving all aspects of your company, including your website?
Email is also an excellent way to segment your database and highlight different aspects of your new website to different groups of contacts. Has your client login button moved? Better tell your regular customers about that. New look for your blog? Be sure to let your blog subscribers know.
A detailed blog post highlighting all the new functionality of your website not only provides fresh content for your blog but also serves as a built-in press release for your website. Detail the reason for your new website, what’s better from the previous version, and what’s to come if you’re releasing your website in phases.
A video, whether it’s an instructional walkthrough of all the new changes on your site or an interview with your CEO or Director of Marketing about the website, will help highlight your new website for visitors. Video interviews add a personal touch and give a behind the scenes view of what it takes to revamp a site completely.
Don’t forget the power of traditional media in spreading the word about your new website. Whether it’s a radio or TV ad, don’t be shy about asking listeners or viewers to visit your new website. You can even encourage them to redeem a special discount or offer by visiting a particular section of your website. Many people use the second screen on their mobile device to browse websites or research companies while watching TV or listening to the radio - use these browsing habits to your advantage!
Pro Tip: Invite Feedback
No matter how you announce your website to your prospects and customers, ask them for their feedback and opinions on your new site. Some of the functionality may make sense to you but not to them - which would constitute the need to take another look at it!
Need Help With Your Launch Strategy?
After all the hard work that goes into a new website, make sure you have a strategy in place to ensure your launch goes smoothly and that everyone knows about it. For any assistance with creating a website launch strategy, or an inbound marketing strategy to go along with your new site, reach out today!