- Website Planning
Website Launch Strategy 101: Launch Day
Getting ready for a website launch is an exciting time but not for the faint hearted.
There’s a lot to remember and it can be a challenge for even a seasoned Marketing Manager to make sure all the moving parts to a website launch are considered and ready for the big day.
Our blog on the key things to think about pre-launch is a good starting point if you haven’t seen it already.
If you have read this and you’re preparing for your website launch day, this article aims to take you through what to consider and what to do in each area to ensure your launch is as successful as it can be.
1. Implement Any Redirects Before Your Website Launch
One of the most important areas to ensure you’re on top off is implementing redirects from any webpages on your old website to your new website. These are usually called 301 redirects.
As one of the key steps in a website launch, this is crucial to ensure visitors are still able to find your content when you move to your new site and to make sure your content is still SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly.
This means that when Google ranks your site in the future, the old content is still found. This is essential to making sure that your website doesn’t lose any rankings it’s built up and retains its search position.
The website agency you work with should, for the most part, be responsible for these. They should ensure that all the necessary redirects are set up.
But as with many of these steps, it will improve your confidence in your website launch if you have a good understanding of some of the key areas that need to be ready for the big day.
2. Start From Day One of Your Website Launch with Best Practice SEO for Images
It’s not everyone’s favourite digital task. But ensuring you start from day one with best practice SEO conventions will be something you’ll thank yourself for later.
In 2020 Google Images announced a new interface which included new filters and metadata. What is key for Marketing Managers to know about this is that Google now increasingly knows what an image contains and how the image fits into its context.
What this means, is that if a best practice approach is adopted, this can be an easy way to improve your search rankings and optimise your content.
So what needs to be done to achieve these improvements? There’s a few small steps which can make a significant impact on the optimisation of your images:
- Making sure each image has been resized correctly
- Optimising the meta description and images titles with the relevant keywords
- Including alt tags
These steps make up some of the essential SEO housekeeping which is best to complete on an ongoing basis.
3. Test Forms and Features
A lot of the necessary testing can be completed within the website staging environment.
However, you may be launching an eCommerce website which needs to interact with a number of different systems. In this case you’ll need to do some testing in the live environment to ensure that the workflows interact successfully.
Any forms or features you have set up which interact with 3rd parties need to be tested, tested and tested again. And again!
4. CMS Embargo
It’s likely you’ll have a fair few colleagues working around the clock to ensure the website is delivered on time and to the highest quality possible.
For example, on the content side, you may have copywriters or members of the marketing team working to transfer, update or create content for the new website.
While this work is crucial, it’s also important that a hard deadline is given for any changes or uploading to the CMS (Content Management System) to ensure there is no wasted work on this side of the project.
Help yourself and your project by making sure that your colleagues working on content are aware of the different deadlines as far in advance as possible and can raise any potential issues well before the cut off day.
5. Write a Press Release for Your Website Launch
Launching a new website is a great content creation opportunity and a chance to make a splash about your business.
It opens the way to speak about where the business is headed and what you’re excited about both now and in the future.
Working with a PR specialist in your business or a freelancer, you can craft a release which will hopefully be picked up by some of the relevant media in your sector.
But even if there is minimal pick up, you can publish the release across your own channels. These could include social, any newsletters and through any partners, to ensure you capitalise on this rare opportunity.
6. Archive the Old Website
It’s likely that you’ll have a lot of valuable content on your old website. So it’s important to make sure that everything is saved down and archived for potential future use.
Many businesses struggle with content production and spend significant parts of their budget on this area. But where many organisations miss a trick is in revisiting old content to see how it can be repurposed.
For example, if you have an old on-demand webinar saved, this could be edited into smaller sections to use on social.
There’s plenty of ways to be smart with old content so make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities. Download your old website for some easy content wins which you’ll likely need in the near future.
7. Ensure You Have a Backup Plug-In
Backup plugins are crucial to ensure your website is fully backed up, safe and secure. It’s one of the most important steps to increasing your website security. And can help to give you some much needed peace of mind during stressful periods of a website project.
There are several paid and free options to look at for your backup needs. Some of the best options include Updraft plus, Jetpack Backup and BackupBuddy. Why not have a look around at what’s available and assess what solution will suit your needs most.
There’s a lot to take into consideration for a website launch. But addressing the areas in this blog should ensure you make significant strides in being prepared.
This list isn’t exhaustive. And what you’ll need to do will vary depending on your organisation and new website requirements. Get your web project heads together and get a clear idea of timings. This should ensure that your website launch day is smooth and successful.
Do You Need Support With your Website Project?
If so, we have just the resource for you. The B2B Website Planning Series gives you step-by-step guidance for your project, ensuring you feel confident and equipped at every stage.