Your new website is ready for launch.
You’ve probably worked with an agency—like us—to devise a new digital home for your business. You’ve collaborated with designers and content experts to build a killer homepage and designed an intuitive site structure. Your web copy is laser-focused to answer your customers’ questions, and your visual and written branding is toned to reflect your company and products.
Months of work have culminated in your new site’s rollout, and launching your site can make or break the hard work you’ve dedicated to this essential asset.
Announcing a new website can be intimidating for any company, whether your new site is launching with your business or your established brand has hired an agency for a facelift. Rest assured: There are a ton of items we double and triple check before setting our clients’ sites live.
Just the same, there are concrete things you can do to build momentum, introduce your new site to existing and prospective customers, and use your new digital assets to proscribe value to your company and brand.
So, we’re taking a detailed look at the processes behind preparing, announcing and promoting a newly designed website. We’ll lay out how you should approach the launch process, what questions you should ask, and how agencies like Trajectory prepare a site to go live. More, we’ll look at marketing, lead generation, and content strategies to leverage your new site for audience growth and customer acquisition.
Here’s where to start:
You’ve probably investigated this question throughout the web design process, and if you’re strategizing how to announce your site, you’ve likely thought deeply about what objectives and goals drive your digital assets.
We’re starting here for a key reason.
Returning to your site’s goals will inform the techniques and strategies you should use to announce and promote your website
You should revisit questions like:
As you work with your web design agency to launch your site, these questions will guide your approach. What aspects of your new website will you choose to highlight? And how will you leverage the launch process to reach new customers and increase your brand awareness?
This is another question you’ve likely addressed and investigated thoroughly. Who is your audience? Who do you want your audience to be? And to whom is your website speaking? As you begin to announce and promote your new site to existing customers and new audiences, returning to these essential questions is equally as important.
Applying your desired audience to your site’s objectives will help you decide which customers you intend to reach with promotional materials or how you’ll announce your website to differing audience segments.
As you begin to launch, you should ask questions like:
A lot can go awry when launching a new site, and a full-systems check is necessary when preparing to set a site live. When working with clients, we test, double check, and triple check key features of your website’s functionality, like:
If any web copy on your website features links—like links to supporting materials in blog posts —it’s important to check that all links are working and live.
This is important because faulty or inactive links can hurt your website’s SEO and damage a search engine’s ability to crawl your website. When checking links, we also ensure that small details—like setting external links to open in a new tab to prevent users from leaving your page—are also corrected.
Loading speeds are a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithms, and research has shown that consumers are far less likely to purchase a product if a page loads slowly. Loading speed can be impacted by a number of variables, including the use of plugins or large images, and we take care to correct any issues that might be contributing to slow load times.
Many agencies use Google’s Core Web Vitals as a metric to test a website’s overall healthiness and preparedness for optimal user experience. Based on real world data, the Core Web Vitals report shows how your pages are performing based on factors like loading times, interactivity, visual stability, and mobile responsiveness.
Google’s research has found page speed to be so essential to user experience that, if load time on a website were to increase from 1 to 3 seconds, the bounce rate of an average user would increase by 32%. If loading time increased to 6 seconds, the bounce rate—or rate at which users leave a site after initially visiting—would increase by 106%.
Proofreading is a simple, but essential step to launch. Proofreading all of your content and web copy is necessary for establishing credibility with your audience and building trust. At Trajectory, our content team reviews all our clients’ web copy meticulously, ensuring that users can seamlessly read and understand the information presented on a website.
This is no small matter.
Studies have shown that a business can lose up to 90% more visitors if spelling and grammar mistakes are found on its website by a reader.
Your website should render perfectly on desktop, mobile and tablet, and pages should be responsive for each screen resolution and browser type. Ensuring that these features render correctly is an important part of preparing your website for launch.
Guaranteeing that your website is completely responsive on mobile devices is particularly essential. Mobile usage makes up two thirds of all web activity today, and nearly 8 in 10 consumers say they would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.
It’s also important to check that conversion features, like forms and contact pages, are working well before a new site is launched. If your website features an email signup form, for example, we perform tests to ensure that automated messages arrive properly and that form submissions are correctly received.
Perfecting a client’s SEO is a process we work to achieve over a long period of time, comprising a constantly evolving set of techniques that enables users to adequately find a company’s website or content when using a search engine. Guaranteeing that your site is well optimized ahead of launch is particularly important as Google indexes and ranks your new webpages.
Tweaking your site’s SEO is a mixture of on-site (or on-page) optimization and off-site (or off-page) SEO. On-site SEO refers to things like linking, social media buttons, keywords, image sizing, title tags and meta descriptions—all important features of optimization that are baked into our web design process. Off-site SEO can refer to actions you or others take to improve search engine results, like building backlink portfolios and brand citations.
While both are key, there are a few on-site SEO matters that are often most important when preparing a site for launch.
Many company websites include blogs, and your new site likely employs some variety of content marketing or publishing. While you should develop a content calendar to publish new content during and after your announcement (more on that later), your blog should have existing content to accompany your site’s launch.
Write and prepare this content ahead of launch—or have your agency’s content marketing team, like our team of experts, write informative and useful articles to populate your site. Focus—but not too much, of course—on incorporating researched keywords to boost ranking for these early posts.
Ensuring that your site’s navigation structure is flat—meaning that users can access all pages on your website in 2-3 clicks, ideally—and double-checking internal links is key for launching your site on a firm SEO foundation.
A well-structured and easy-to-navigate website will allow Google to crawl and index your new pages.
What does it mean for Google to crawl your site? When users perform a search, web crawlers gather information from hundreds of billions of webpages and rank them in the search index. As crawlers visit websites, they use links on those sites to discover other pages and content. Google pays special attention to new sites or changes to existing sites in this process, determining which sites to crawl, how often to crawl them, and how many pages the search engine should fetch from each site.
Over-complicated navigation structure or faulty links will hinder Google’s ability to crawl your site, rank your website among relevant search results, and present useful site information to users.
A bit of technical jargon, refining title tags and meta descriptions is an essential procedure we complete when launching a client’s new site.
In short, title tags spell out the purpose of each page on your site and are used to determine the headline that appears in search results, on social networks, and in the browser tab when someone visits your site. Title tags should be written to clearly explain your page, and they should encourage people to click.
Meta descriptions are brief summaries of your site or webpage that appear beneath the title tag on the search results page. Meta descriptions help to convince potential visitors to click and should include keywords in a natural way that describes what the user will see on the page.
Google Analytics is among the most important tools for understanding how your site is working, how users are behaving on your site, who your site is reaching, and how your conversion and lead generation techniques are performing.
For this reason, we fully arm Google Analytics on all of our clients’ websites, and we work with our clients to customize their Analytics settings for their marketing and lead generation goals.
In short, Google Analytics provides a comprehensive dashboard of user data, engagement, and analysis that allows millions of businesses and site owners to understand consumer preferences and behavior. Using Google’s advanced machine learning, Analytics can alert companies to significant trends in their user data, anticipate future actions that customers may take, and provide customer-centric measurements across the entire buyer lifecycle.
When preparing a client’s site for launch, we work to integrate Analytics with marketing campaigns, set up conversion tracking, and enable measurements of behavioral flow.
If you’re employing content marketing on your new website or publishing on a company blog, you should launch your website with an editorial plan to publish new media on a regular basis.
Publishing consistent and regularly updated content—at whatever frequency makes sense for your goals—is essential to aid organic traffic and increase brand awareness.
When devising a sensible content strategy—or working with an agency like Trajectory to plan a meaningful editorial calendar—you should decide what kind of content will be useful for your audience. Are you publishing articles, developing videos, or creating interactive media on your site? Whatever the format, your content should always be useful to your audience and should answer key questions for new and existing customers alike.
You should also decide what goals you’d like your content to achieve. Are you publishing content to increase your brand awareness and grow your brand’s authority? Or are you publishing to draw organic traffic to your site?
The answer to those questions will likely determine the frequency, format, and marketing of your published content.
If your primary goal is to maximize traffic, publishing as much optimized content as possible can be an effective strategy, whereas frequency, unlike usefulness and diversity, becomes less important when publishing to increase brand authority.
As a general rule, we recommend one comprehensive blog post a month to our clients.
Paid search is a common marketing strategy for businesses of all kinds. If your market is crowded or your new site needs time to make it to the top of the first page, paid search is an inexpensive way to get your new website ranking high for certain keywords.
In short, paid search works to drive traffic to your website by providing relevant ads to users for given keywords. When users type something into Google, they’re presented with a list of results that comprise organic results and paid results. Paid search allows companies to pay for their website to show up at the top of the search index for a specific query.
When investing in paid search to accompany your website’s launch, you or your web design agency should do keyword research to pick the right terms or search queries to market your site. Google Keyword Planner, for example, allows companies to determine what sort of words or phrases people are already searching for around your product or service.
This is a critical point and a key takeaway for aligning your expectations and strategy for launch. While you and your web design agency may devise an official “launch day” for setting your site live, announcing, launching and promoting your website will more closely resemble a soft opening.
Like a restaurant might pursue a soft opening to test out its menu, grow excitement, and prolong opening business, you should introduce your new website over a period of time.
Showcase your website to various consumer segments across your social media and marketing channels, using that time to test your new site, its performance and reception.
Accompanying your website will likely be a cache of new digital assets and materials, like blog posts, tools, and digital media. Use these materials to create extended content and promotions, and draw new lead generation techniques from these resources.
Taking time to roll out your new website will allow you to test varied ways of introducing your digital brand to different segments of customers and target audiences. Most of all, pushing out new content, videos, and digital assets over a protracted period will prolong the celebration and traffic boost that accompanies a new website launch.
If technical problems arise after launching a site—almost a guarantee—a soft opening approach will also allow corrections and adjustments to be made with little consequence.
For nearly every business, social media will be a key tool for introducing your new site, celebrating its assets, and incorporating your website’s launch into a serviceable marketing initiative.
If you have an existing social media audience, your new website provides a great opportunity to draw prior customers back to your company, brand or products.
If your social media is launching alongside a burgeoning brand, your site announcement will provide great assets to jumpstart your accounts, and your new website will serve as an efficient vehicle to introduce yourself to a new audience.
Whatever the size of your audience when promoting your site, you should develop assets to share on social alongside your website launch.
Create teaser images of the website to share on social media ahead of the launch date. If using customer testimonials, share them on social media to lend credibility and authority to your new digital look. Just the same, develop video or multimedia content to color your website’s launch and lend energy to your marketing initiatives.
While there are tons of strategies you should employ to best leverage your posts during your site promotion—a topic big enough for its own article—make sure you understand the best times and frequencies to post on varied social media platforms. For example, schedule posts on LinkedIn during business hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and avoid posting more than 5 times per week.
Even under construction, a new website can be a powerful marketing tool.
Whether or not you have an existing email marketing list, a new website can be a great asset to add potential customers to your database. In turn, that marketing list will serve as a tool to announce, promote, and launch your site.
In short, email marketing can help to:
Many websites, for example, use a landing page to collect email addresses before a site is live. According to data released by the company, Robinhood, the stock trading app, was able to accumulate over a million user emails before its launch with this strategy.
When it is time to set your site live, use that marketing list to showcase the new site, announce your launch, and promote new assets. But don’t make the mistake of assuming your new website is an attractive asset for your audience on its own.
While your new website is a critical part of your business, you must tie your new site to something actionable and valuable when announcing your launch in a marketing campaign.
What value can your new website offer your audience? When promoting the site over email, use content or blog posts to drive views and add substance to marketing materials. You can also highlight important lessons or business development milestones made through the web design process.
Many of our clients also use email marketing as a way to test a new website with trusted community members first. There’s a good chance that loyal customers or followers of your brand can offer insights about the effectiveness of your new site. Use them as an essential resource in testing the functionality and messaging on your site.
Last but certainly not least, attribute value to your new site, and use your website launch as a way to deliver attractive promotions or material to your audience. A new website can be an engaging and exciting event for a company and its community—but only if you use your launch strategically.
While your new website may seem like an integral achievement to you and your team (and, for sure, it is), why should any existing customer or target audience care? What does it offer them?
Can you attach promotions or promotional material to the launch of your new site? Maybe your website launch comes with a mobile app that can be presented and offered to your customers. However you attribute additional value to your company using the vehicle of a new website will make or break the success of your launch.
We can’t stress this enough.
Understanding how to operate the logistical launch of your new site, as well as how to attract customers to your brand through the medium of a new digital asset, will define the success of your website's announcement.
Ready for a slick new website, increased traffic and more converting customers? Tell us a little about your business and we’ll reach out to get your project underway.