Ultimate Website Launch Checklist For 2018

Ultimate Website Launch Checklist

Do you know that sinking feeling you get after realizing you’ve forgotten something important at home? This same feeling is amplified when you’ve launched a new website only to notice key features have been overlooked. Initial launch is the best time to show off your hard work, the last thing you want is mistakes.

There’s only one way to avoid this unfortunate situation: a well thought out checklist. Get all your ducks in a row by reviewing our website launch checklist for 2018.

CONTENT

Content: your business’s best salesperson. Great content works for you 24/7, converting users at whatever time of day they decide to visit your website.

◻  Define your target audience. To create content that resonates with your audience, you have to understand both their goals and concerns. They’re not visiting your website to benefit you, they want to know what’s in it for them. Use content to establish a strong connection between their goals and how you can help them get there.

Dot the I’s and cross the T’s. In the whirlwind that often takes place throughout a website design, it’s easy to miss minor grammatical errors and “lorem ipsum”. These may seem inconsequential in comparison with all those big design and functionality issues you’ve resolved, but they can be glaring to visitors and make your business appear unprofessional.

Think like a consumer. Sure, you’ve been submerged in your niche for years, but your potential customers haven’t. Things that are obvious to you may not be so obvious to them. Ask a friend to go through your website and compile a list of questions about your business or services. Depending on how long the list is, you may want to consider creating a FAQ page.

Make sure each page has content. Yes, it’s a no-brainer, but we have it listed here for a reason. Pages like your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy probably aren’t your top priority and are easily overlooked.

Get legalities straightened out. Speaking of the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy pages, these actually should be a priority. Without them, your business is left vulnerable and even risks legal repercussions. Low cost online “generators” are a popular choice for many small businesses, but if you want to be safe you should speak with an attorney.

WEBSITE ANALYTICS

No website is complete without a way to collect analytics and data. If you’d like to know how many users are on your website, which pages are visited most, and a plethora of additional insights, Google Analytics is an effective, free solution.

Install Google Analytics. Create or sign in to your Google Analytics account and you will be walked through the process. If you run into any issues, you’re only a quick Google Search away from the answer. There are many articles and videos online to assist with this popular analytics platform.

Create filters to omit data from you and your team. Unless you do this, your Google Analytics account will pick up on internal visits. To separate your team from external visitors, you can easily set up filters using IP addresses. Check out Google Support’s easy instructions.

Set up goals to track conversions. Both micro conversions (a user downloads a PDF) and macro conversions (a user completes a purchase or submits a contact form) can be tracked by setting up Google Analytics goals.

While you can always return later to set up or add things to your Google Analytics account, it’s far better to get everything lined up initially. This allows you to collect a large pool of data and detect important changes.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

You want people to actually see your website, right? If so, search engine optimization is a must. Setting your website to be SEO-friendly from the get-go will give you a leg up on competitors and ultimately, more traffic to your website.

Conduct keyword research. Keywords are huge for SEO, but only if you choose the right ones. Use tools like Moz Keyword Explorer (20 free queries/month) to identify keywords with low competition and high search volume. Oh, and don’t forget to consider the intent behind user’s queries. You wouldn’t want to waste your time targeting keywords with little chance of conversion.

Ensure keywords are in the right places. Each page on your website should target at least one keyword. Whenever possible, keywords should be present in the URL, page title, meta description, image alts, and throughout content.

Check if your website pages are crawlable. Everyone with a website should check Google Search Console. This free resource provided by Google will tell you if their search engine “spiders” are able to crawl your pages, what your indexing status is, if you have duplicate content and if your website has been given a penalty (ouch!).

Look for any banned tactics. To avoid dreadful search engine penalties, be sure you are not participating in any banned SEO tactics. Chances are that you’d be well aware if you were, but mistakes do happen. Steer clear of these no-no’s outlined by Google Support.

Use proper redirects. Relaunching a redesign for an existing website? If you’ve decided to shuffle pages around, using the right redirect ensures you preserve precious link juice and great user experience. When creating a permanent redirect, it is recommended to use a 301 redirect which will pass 90-99% of ranking power.

DESIGN & FUNCTIONALITY

Last, but certainly not least in our website launch checklist for 2018; your website’s design and functionality. It’s a crime to launch a new website with poor formatting or design.

Having a hard time with your website’s design? Take a look at our stunning website templates and themes. They take the guess work out of web design and help prevent any hiccups in user experience.

See how your website displays across different browsers. Your web design may render beautifully on one browser and wonky on another. It’s important to test your website on various browsers, paying close attention to images, logos, fonts, and colors.

View your website on different devices. Like with browsers, you should take a look at your website on mobile, desktop, and tablet. Truly responsive websites should pass this test with flying colors.

Test form submissions. Double check (and have a friend do so if possible) all form submissions on your website. This is to confirm that fields make sense, the “thank you” page appears properly, and any automatic emails you have set up actually send.

Add a favicon. If you don’t yet have one, adding a favicon will make your website appear more credible and easier to find when bookmarked. Doing this is actually quite easy, just search for a tutorial on how to add one with whatever website platform you use.


Now that you’ve reviewed our website launch checklist for 2018, you can avoid that horrid, sinking feeling… when it comes to your website, at least. Sorry – we can’t help with your lost keys and wallet!

ANALYTICS1 WEB DEVELOPMENT2 WEBSITE PROMOTION6

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