Tips For Launching a New Website
[Updated January 23rd 2018]
You’re about to or have already launched a new website.
Is it a redesign or is this a new website for your new business? No matter the reason you need to market your fancy new website. After all the point of having a website is to drive traffic to it so you can generate more sales.
Follow the 10 steps I’m about to layout. These steps will help you track visitors, get noticed by the search engines and let you know if the search engines find anything wrong with your site.
1) Install Google Analytics
I’m amazed at how many people don’t have Analytics setup on their website. Do you? If not, the launch of your new website is a good time to start.
Even if you were tracking data on your old website, you’ll need to set up analytics on your new website.
Analytics can give you amazing insights about your website visitors. I’ve already blogged about how to install and analyze Google analytics data. Read that post so you can ensure you’re tracking your website visitors data.
2) Install Google & Bing Webmaster Tools
Google wants to help you succeed. They offer lots of free services. Webmaster tools is one of those.
Webmaster tools provides information about the health of your website. They do this while their crawlers are on your site. They’ll let you know of any issues that might be hindering your search engine rankings.
Once again I have blogged about how to verify your website and setup Google Webmaster tools.
You can read this post to set up Bing Webmaster tools. People do use Bing to search and you shouldn’t forget about them.
3) Add 301 redirects from old urls to new ones
Chances are good that the url structure of your website is going to change.
Let’s say your contact page has been at http://yoursite.com/contact-us/. That url has been indexed for years by the search engines. So if people search for your contact page a few months after your new website has launched, Google or Bing will display the above page as a result.
But let’s say your new website’s contact page is http://yoursite.com/contact/. Those people who searched for your contact page and click on the search result directing them to the http://yoursite.com/contact-us/url will land on a blank page.
Obviously, you don’t want to piss people off.
In this case, you want to use a 301 redirect. So people visiting the /contact-us/ url get redirected to the /contact/url.
This is very handy if you change your domain name and still own the old domain name.
4) Create new sitemap and Submit to search engines
A sitemap is a listing of all the webpages/urls on your website. Once your new website is live, you’ll want to create a new sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing using their respective webmaster tools.
5) Double check all links are working
This should happen before the website is live and being tested on an old server. But you want to make sure all your links to point to pages.
Use this tool to scan your website’s links to see if any are broken.
6) Test website speed
Your website’s new idol is Usain Bolt. Yep, your website needs to be fast like Mr. Bolt.
If your new website takes too long to load, Google will not want to promote your website to searches as they have to wait too long for your page to load. They want to provide searchers with the results they need fast. In saying so, having a fast loading website helps big time.
Here’s a post on how to test your website speed.
7) Test your website on mobile
Everyone has a smartphone. And a good data plan to boot.
The chances are good 35%+ of people visiting your website are doing so on a smartphone. The question remains, is your website frustrating mobile visitors?
You will also want to test the website load speed on your mobile website.
8) Test any contact forms
If your website is not a sieve and focused on capturing leads, you’ll have contact forms listed all over.
Make sure you test every webform and make sure the proper person is getting the email requests. For this website, I create a new form for each page I post a form on. That way I can track what url someone contacted me from to see what pages convert better.
9) Update website in business directories and Social Networks
This applies only if you have a new domain for your website. Make sure your website is listed properly in business directories and social profiles.
Simply search your business name to find all the business directories you are listed in. Then contact them to have the link changed to your new domain. This is important for backlinking and search rankings.
10) Claim new business listings
As I just mentioned backlinking is huge for your search rankings. You can get backlinks from business directories like Manta, Yellowpages and Yelp.
11) Optimize website for search
Whether you believe it or not, local SEO is not dead.
The chances are good that your web designer hasn’t properly optimized your website for search. From the content to the page titles, your website needs to be properly optimized so search engines can better understand what your website is about and what search terms you’re are trying to target.
So make sure your website is properly optimized for search terms people use to search your product or service. Read this post on how to properly optimize a website for the search engines.
12) Reach out
Now it’s time to reach out. Contact friends via email and social media. Ask them to share your website.
You can also contact other businesses involved in your industry. Or even those businesses that deal with your target market as well.