How to prepare for the launch of your new website

So you've found a brilliant web design agency to design and build your fantastic new website. Now what? All too often, businesses can't answer that question, and are left scratching their heads as to why no one is visiting their brilliant new website.

Building a digital presence doesn't end with building a website. In fact, the website is only the beginning. We look at how you can prepare for the launch of your website and how you can make the most of it once it's live.

Before launch

Develop a content strategy

A website isn't a static thing, and if you don't continue to update is post-launch with new an interesting information, visitors will soon lose interest. For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purposes, for marketing and for your customers' benefit, it is always beneficial to have fresh content available to your customers, be it through email marketing campaigns, social media, blogs or a newsfeed.

A content strategy will ensure your website content is as effective as it can be. Having that strategy in place prior to launch saves time later on and means you will never have to play catch up or struggle to think of your next blog post.

Develop a content schedule and ensure someone has been assigned to implement it. Get a few blog updates written a head of time. Develop a content schedule that includes any key events such as marketing initiatives. Ensure your content is in line with your SEO aims, containing relevant keywords and links.

You should also consider how you are going to promote your content. An effective way of doing this is via social media, which brings us to our next point…

Familiarise yourself with social media

New businesses tend to get involved with social media after the development of their site, missing out on a vital opportunity to get to know their target audience and build buzz about their brand. Equally, if you're an established business who has yet to make the most of social media a new website is the perfect time to review your strategy. Research the different social channels, how your target market uses them and how your competitors use them. Review your business model and consider which areas would benefit from social media and develop an on-going social media strategy.

Develop a mailing list and craft an email campaign

You may already have a mailing list you want to alert when your website goes live. If not, now is the time to create one. If you have a real world presence, start collecting email addresses in store. Ask your web developers to add an email newsletter sign-up function to your website's holding and use social media to ask people to sign-up to receive your mail-outs.

The campaign itself needs to be to the point and encourage website visits from the off.  Consider an introductory offer form email subscribers.

During launch

Set up online monitoring and analytics

Google analytics will allow you to keep track of the visits to your website, which will allow you to see the effectiveness of your content strategy and marketing campaigns, allowing you to refine them accordingly.

Investing in SEO will allow to monitor your search engine rankings and help you identify ways to improve your site to gain visibility in search engines

Explore digital advertising options

This year eMarketer released a report predicting that 2012 would be the year that online advertising spending would surpass that of print advertising. Your new website is the perfect opportunity to reassess your marketing and advertising strategy so you can target your audience more effectively online. A good web design agency will be able to talk you through your options and provide some insight.

Post launch

Implement, assess and improve

Once the site is live and you have prepared relevant content, social media and marketing plans, the task now is implementing them and assessing their success. Is your social media presence generating web traffic and conversions? Are your email marketing campaigns proving successful?

The launch of a new website isn't the time to get complacent. It's the time to start doing all you can do generate visitors and conversions.

At any stage of your digital journey - from the design to the promotion of your website, we can help. Contact Design Agency to discuss how to make the most of your online presence.