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7 To-Dos Before Launching a Business Website

ByJared Atchison,
business.com writer
|
Oct 27, 2019
Craft24 / Getty Images
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These seven steps will increase your ranking on search engines and boost conversions.

Launching your new website can be very exciting. You're about to unveil a new look for your brand. It's important, therefore, to have everything in place to ensure a successful launch. 

There are several common mistakes that developers and business owners make when launching a site. You can avoid them by planning your launch carefully and well in advance. These seven tips will give your business a great new start as you launch your website.

1. Use calls to action.

A well-designed website with compelling content is ineffective without calls to action. CTAs give users something to do with the information they've received from your site. It makes their interaction on your website feel complete. It can also direct the user further along your sales funnel. 

It's important to place CTAs on nearly every page. You can use them to influence user behavior. It's very common to ask visitors to read more content and stay on your site longer. You can also ask them to share a post or sign up on your site. Membership sites often use CTAs to convince people to sign up to access gated information. 

You can use CTAs strategically to increase conversions. Launching your website without them leads to missed opportunities.

 

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2. Add analytics.

When you're creating a website, you may put off adding analytics until later. Very often, the front end of the website is a priority, which leads to back-end features being neglected. If you don't add analytics before your website launches, you won't have the ability to measure web traffic and glean other insights from day one.

Tools like Google Analytics let you know if your marketing strategies are working. It also tells you more about your site visitors so you can figure out what's not working. If you have an online store, you need Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports to understand what products are making the most conversions. You can track your lead conversion rate or the changes and your website revenue in Google Analytics.

3. Create a Coming Soon page.

Build anticipation and create user engagement before your website launches. You can create an attractive Coming Soon page to give users information about your business in advance.

You can also use it to create an email list while your site is still under development. If you don't have a Coming Soon page, you miss a lot of opportunities to make your brand memorable. Use a tool like SeedProd to create a Coming Soon page and to get analytics before your website launches.

4. Apply SEO before the website launch.

Incorporating search engine optimization before you launch your site saves time and resources later. Ranking on search engines matters, because 95% of people don't search beyond the first page. You avoid having to redesign your website when you make SEO part of the design process. 

Search engines rank websites that are well structured and offer good user experience features. By applying SEO guidelines, you get a faster-loading site and good navigation. SEO best practices also ensure that you use keywords appropriately in page titles, URLs and metadata.

It's an enormous challenge to add SEO to your site once it's done. Apply SEO strategies before your website launch, or you may find yourself redesigning your website. 

5. Use HTTPS protocol.

The HTTPS protocol encrypts data between a server and a client, creating a secure connection and protecting your users' data. Set up an HTTPS protocol as part of your website development from the start. 

Google also uses HTTPS as a ranking factor for websites. Sites with HTTPS show increased traffic and reduced bounce rates. HTTPS for your site is helpful in the following ways:

  • It encrypts information so that eavesdroppers can't steal information and track user activities.
  • It protects data integrity during data transfers and prevents data from being corrupted.
  • It authenticates that your users communicate with the real website.

6. Pick your launch date wisely.

It may seem like a good idea to launch your website on a Friday or the day before a major holiday. However, this can lead to problems that are difficult to quickly resolve.

Your live site, for example, might be different from your staging site. People also interact with websites in unexpected ways. It's common for bugs to turn up once you have a stream of site visitors. It's not possible to anticipate every single complication that arises as people use your site. 

Launching over the weekend or the day before a holiday is a bad idea because you might not be able to resolve technical issues that arise. Your development team may not be available, and you'll miss the opportunity that the weekend or holiday presents. It's better to make your launch a gradual process so you can monitor issues as they occur. 

7. Create redirects.

Managing website redirects when you're creating a brand-new website can seriously affect your site ranking and traffic. If you're replacing your current website with a new one, it's important that search engines understand the changes you're making. 

You may have several pages that attract a lot of visitors and rank well on search engines. It's possible to lose traffic and your ranking if you don't use redirects. Redirects do just what their name indicates: They redirect search engines and your users from the old location of your content to the new one. 

If you've made any URL changes at all, you need to use 301 redirects to point users to the right location on your new site. A 301 redirect ensures that your popular pages retain their high rankings. It tells search engines where the page has been moved so that it still ranks highly for relevant keywords and phrases. This prevents user frustration when they look for your old pages.

Launch your website without serious oversights.

Creating a new website is labor-intensive and time-consuming. It is also a labor of love, and you want all of your hard work to be rewarded with success. You need to make sure everything goes well on your website launch date so that the most important features are up and running when your visitors arrive.

The design and appearance of your website are extremely important, but they are only one portion. Several back-end functions are essential for a website to run well. By avoiding the common mistakes above, you can rest easy that you have the most important tools in place. This allows you to focus on the important things, like fulfilling user expectations and growing your business right from the day of the launch.

Jared Atchison
Jared Atchison
See Jared Atchison's Profile
Co-Founder of WPForms, one of the largest WordPress contact form plugins in the market. I have been programming for over a decade and enjoy creating plugins that help people create powerful web designs without touching code.
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