Steps to take before launching a website
Launching a new website is quite a tedious task to cope with. It’s a crucial process which will identify the web page’s success and how quickly it will start bringing you profit. To avoid making fateful mistakes, we recommend to take into consideration these guidelines.
1. User interface and experience
A key to great user experience lies in UI design elements consistency. Thus, when you’re launching a new website, become familiar with UI patterns and their components. Knowing how all those buttons, forms, lists, panels etc. behave within the pattern and outside it, you can prioritize all elements on the screen efficiently from UX point of view and without any collapse for the website.
Your call-to-action buttons are a highly important feature within your product too. It’s crucial that the correct context is added to its action so it can perform effectively to its dedicated purpose.
If your site is oriented on the eCommerce sphere, ensure that all the stages of the sales cycle are easy and can be carried out in one click.
2. Website design
Well-designed website is something you should plan and work on before the exact launch date. Initially, it should give a great and memorable first impression. However, don’t stuff future web page with all design tricks and technological trends. It should remain simple in usage and visually minimalistic, so people could grasp easily your brand’s idea and purpose. Furthermore, your newly built website has to gain trust of your future clients with the help of simple yet pleasing and understandable visual content. Remember, that based on your site’s appearance, visitors will make their very first judgements about your whole brand. And it’s only in your interests to make those judgements favourable.
3. Page speed
It’s obvious that your website speed must be fast enough. Otherwise people will leave it even before the full web page has loaded and you’ll lose your potential clients respectively. In order not to be at a loss, we recommend you to use a beneficial tool called Google PageSpeed Insights. It focuses not only on loading time itself, but also analyses visual stability which helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout shifts and marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded. Summarizing all these components, you can exhale with relief and be confident about the site high-speed performance.
4. Well-organised content plan
It’s obvious that the very first website posts must be flawless and outstanding. They are a meaningful tool which determines whether you attract new customers and make them stay with you or you unconditionally lose the potential clients. Some good engaging content ideas include:
- Cases & “How to…” posts. Such posts help to draw new customers’ attention, increase and cement human’s trust.
- Expert roundup. It’s a type of blog post which looks like a compilation of smart insights from various experts. And because of this feature it engages people the most. In addition, if you are lucky to identify and answer the users’ question of the highest demand, you’ll definitely hit the bull’s eye.
- Tutorials & guides.
- Tips and recommendations for combating common struggles in your niche.
- FAQs related to your professional field.
In a constantly changing digital world it is not a surprise that the majority of eCommerce sales operations are accomplished via smartphones. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that chances of visitors’ return double if your site is optimized for mobile. So here are some key aspects you should pay attention to:
- Make your webpage content easily readable and accessible. Avoid distracting visual elements and information overload on your website.
- Navigation on a mobile device is more challenging than in a desktop version. Consequently, such issues as a homepage return or managing website widgets should be understandable and easy.
- It’s a common occasion that smaller web page size equals faster loading time. The main factor of it is “heavy” visual content. What can you do to lessen the website size? Try to use image compression tools and explore alternative file formats.
6. Ensure website security
Secure data of your customers is the utmost priority of every website owner. Taking into account constantly evolving cyberattacks on sites, you ought to work on possible solutions to save your clients’ data at all costs.
The important option is availability of an SSL certificate. It authenticates the identity of the website and encrypts the data that’s being transmitted. In such a way you can protect your customers’ details during transactions, logins, and also when browsing your social media sites. Further security measures include installing SPAM filters, putting a limit on the number of attempted logins, and using a CAPTCHA to protect your forms from any fake sign up attempts.
7. Install website analytics
Analytics platforms measure the behavior of your website visitors. They capture metrics such as the number of potential clients you get, how long they stay, which pages they go to, and whether they follow any links. By observing such data, you can identify the best spots of customers’ interest on your web platform and the route through which visitors find it. Besides, web analytics shows you how well particular sections of your site are functioning. You can improve web page engagement by planning to feature your key service in the section with most visitors clicks. Finally, web analytics is a useful tool to maximize design efficiency of your website as well as to evaluate performance and increase website traffic.
8. SEO optimization
Search engine optimization is a vital component of your website’s recognition. Thus, knowing the fundamentals of it would be a helpful bonus. Firstly, choose an authoritative domain of the top level as it helps to distinguish, organize, track, and monitor IP addresses more efficiently. Also make sure you use keyword structures in the website text parts, which boost the rating of your platform among other sites in Google. Keep adding an original content, which will regularly capture your target audience attention.
Don’t forget about meta descriptions which appear beneath the title tag on the search results page and help you convince potential visitors to click. Keep in mind that brief and clear description can attract or scare off your visitors in a matter of seconds. Besides, there are also internal links which help search engines make website navigation easier by showing users more content relevant to their search. And because of this it’s critical to check their ability to work before launching your website. Finally, ensure your website high speed and accurate performance without bugs and errors.
9. Overall testing
The final stage of launch preparation means thorough testing of every aspect of your site’s performance. It includes:
- Website usability;
- Navigation both on desktop and mobile platform versions;
- Website appearance through the scope of different browsers;
- Compatibility (meaning a type of testing to check whether your software is capable of running on different hardware, operating systems, applications, network environments or mobile devices) and integration testing (kind of testing to verify whether individual components work fine when integrated);
- Links on your SNS platforms (whether they work correctly);
- SSL Certificate;
- Content proofreading.
Newly-minted website promotion
Once you’ve done with the launch guidelines discussed above, it’s a high time to consider the effective methods of a new website promotion. Here you can find the most common practices:
10. Social media engagement
SNS isn’t only about entertaining and fun. You can use it for your benefits too. For instance, you can literally drag the audience from your social media pages to the newly launched site. And if such social networks have a huge followers base, it brings you closer to the powerful flow of traffic. As a result you can reach more people, who are likely to attend your launch event and become future clients.
11. The power of team sharing
No matter how intimidating it might be to launch a new website, you are not alone in this battle. You have a powerful team of devs on board, who can support you and give a helping hand. This also comes in terms of the website promotion. It’s obvious that your project colleagues won’t turn their back on you if you ask them to share the news about a website launch on their social media profiles. An extra benefit you get from this activity is a little SEO boost from Google.
12. Guest posting
In simple words it is publishing a post on someone else’s blog. In such a way the host and the guest blogger exchange their audiences and content. The advantage of guest blogging lies in broadening relations with other influencers. And it, in turn, ultimately leads to an advantageous position in the social media world and more blog/website subscribers.
Apart from having an opportunity to share your message through connection with new people, guest posting is also great for search engines. How? Because of backlinks received when posting something on a host blog. And they are a leading ranking factor in Google.
All in all, these recommendations are only drops in the bucket compared to the intense working process which awaits you soon. Nevertheless, the first step is the hardest and we’ve provided you with support on initial stages of website launching. If you feel intimidated by the mass of workload to deal with and seek for professional guidance, don’t hesitate to come to us! Our SapientPro devs with impressive experience and numerous qualitative cases will bring to life your ideas and fulfill the final goal.