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Preparing for Launch: 7 Steps to Success

Posted by Bethany in Digital Marketing | April 2017

As a business owner, it’s likely your marketing team may have been involved in just a few major website launches between them during their careers - if any at all. And because new websites are usually spaced far enough apart to for most people to forget everything from one launch to the next, an impending website launch can often be a daunting task.

In our latest blog, we look at some of the big questions you should be asking internally, whilst being guided through your journey with your digital agency.

Domain Name

If you haven’t already got an established site, it is important that you start to think about the domain name for your site straight away. Here are some top tips when it comes to choosing a domain name…

  • Make it easy to type (Avoid slang and words with multiple spellings)
  • Keep it short (Short and simple is the way to go)
  • Use keywords (It’s always valuable to use words that detail the service you offer)
  • Target your area (Localise your domain name if you’re a local business)
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens (Will your customers type what they hear?)
  • Be memorable (Moonpig.com, anyone?)
  • Research it (Ensure it’s not trademarked, copyrighted or being used elsewhere)
  • Use an appropriate extension (like .com or .agency)
  • Protect your brand (it’s well worth purchasing other extensions too!)
  • Act fast! (The very best domain names sell quickly, so stay ahead of the curve)

Plan Ahead

Set the Go Live date at the very beginning of the project, so that everyone involved with the project is working towards the same goal.

With a fixed Go Live date, you’ll have much less chance of the project slipping behind schedule, as every additional day will result in additional project costs, and could become a risk to sales.

Content

Planning a new website can be really exciting, particularly during the design phase when your concepts and ideas come alive. However, in this process, the quality of written content is often not given enough thought. Having relevant SEO optimised content is a golden key to a successful website, so the earlier you start to plan this, the better.

301 Redirects

To ensure that you don’t lose that essential link juice that you’ve worked hard to build up over recent years, you’ll need to make sure that you have all your 301 redirects in place for any URLs that have changed. To ensure the best results from search engines, make sure that all your page titles and its metadata are strong.

Analytics

So that you can monitor and track the successes and identify areas that need improving, you must ensure that you have Google Analytics and Conversion Tracking in place. These services provide statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing purposes.

Test, test, test

When you’re launching a new site for the first time, you really can’t test it enough. During the process, it’s vitally important that you test every single user journey, so you can be absolutely certain that it’s as easy as possible for your customers to find out information, and carry out transactions.

Using online user testing sites, such as Testing Time or UserZoom,  can be useful to see real life users using your site. This can be a really eye opening exercise, as ‘real humans’ can often navigate your site in a completely different way to how you were expecting.

Your digital agency should also be able to complete some extremely valuable A/B Testing - a method of comparing two different versions of a webpage against each other to determine which one performs the best. 

Continuous Improvement

Once the site is live, set aside time and budget to make improvements based on your analytics, user testing, and results of your A/B experiments.

As in business, the only constant is change, so you should be continually evaluating, refining and retesting your site to make sure that it is working hard for you. You’ll find that even the smallest changes can make a huge difference to conversion rates.

We do hope this article has provided you with the foundations to build your new site strategy on, and that we’ve given you a good idea of the questions you should be asking your colleagues before embarking on your new site build.

For further advice, why not head on over to Mel's recent article, 5 Steps Your Digital Agency Must Take For A Successful Website Launch, Bespoke’s experienced team of digital specialists can help plan, launch and optimise your new website to excel your company’s growth plans. To start your project, get in touch with us today.  

Bethany
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Bethany
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