Here at Artiff Design & Print Ltd, we launched our new website last month after pushing it back down the to-do list many times.
It was such an exciting time for us and one we had been looking forward to for ages. After all, a website is one of the most important marketing tools a business can have. It is the beacon to guide the rest of your marketing material, both digital and print. It’s where you give more information about your business, a shop front, especially in today’s pandemic and post-pandemic worlds. You need your target audience to be able to see what you can do in one place, and feel connected to you before they even pick up the phone. So it’s vital you get it right, and more importantly that it’s launched properly, or all your hard work on your wonderful new website will be for nothing. All this got me thinking, so why don’t I give you some ideas to help you make the best of your new website launch.
REVIEW YOUR WEBSITE
- Firstly, it may seem a silly thing to point out, but review every single page.
- Make sure it has been thoroughly proofread by someone other than you, because you have been so close to the creation of it that you won’t pick things up, whereas someone else will see any errors. Fresh eyes will make a big difference.
- Check that every button and link works as it should, and that the link goes where it is supposed to.
- Check to make sure the styling is the same on every page, and the elements on each page are correct and fit in to the right colour themes, fonts, layout, etc that you have across the rest of your website pages.
- Make sure every image and graphic you have in place is legal to use, and that there are no watermarks or that they are not blurred or fuzzy. Most importantly make sure they load up and don’t take too long to do so.
- Set up your search SEO and keywords for every page to make sure you maximise every opportunity for your new clients to find you.
- Test your website on different browsers and on mobile devices to ensure it is consistent across all platforms and nothing is out of place or pushed out of line.
- Check every form goes where you want it to when it has been filled in and sent by your customers.
- Have clear calls to action across the whole of your site to ensure your potential new clients know how to contact you.
MARKETING YOUR LAUNCH.
Whilst the reviews, checks and last minute adjustments are made, consider what you need to do on, and before launch day to make it a success. Here’s a few suggestions:
- HAVE A LAUNCH PLAN
It’s best to start with a plan for anything, but for a website launch it’s really important because as the day arrives it gets busier and busier, and more and more manic – without a plan, it could all go pear shaped. Make clear decisions about what you want, and where you want to launch, and give yourself plenty of time to get everything done and ready before the launch actually happens. Think of this like an actual event and plan accordingly.
- BUILD ANTICIPATION
Use your social media platforms and networks to build anticipation and curiosity about what is going to happen on a set date. For example “watch this space for some exciting news”, or “What have we been working hard on for the last few months? All will be revealed soon”, and similar. Use graphics that are engaging, exciting and that give little clues to what the reveal will be. Keep it on brand and don’t start it too early or your readers will get bored. About a week before is long enough.
- LAUNCH OFFER
Maybe have an offer on your services or products for the launch. Something that is in keeping with your business and the launch. Now I am not saying reduce your prices but more add value to an existing service or product like, “a free box of chocolates with every massage”; or “free 15-minute consultation about your skin type” etc. The offers should be on a time-limited basis, this gives you something to keep pushing on the new website for the rest of the month.
Email lists are really important and you all should be working to create one. They are a valuable marketing tool, for instance, in the case of your website launch you can inform your email list directly of the new site, as well as let them know about your offer(s) and then lead them directly to your offer page. Make sure it is clear how people can sign up to your email list from your new website as this can be something you use to promote the site on your marketing, social media, and printed literature. Also, ensure you set up an automated email response for when people sign up for your email list!
- BLOGS/LATEST NEWS
It’s a really good idea to have a blog or latest news page on your website. This is because it serves two purposes. One, it helps tell Google your website is active as you keep updating it with new content, and two, you have somewhere to keep directing traffic from your social media pages. For the launch of your website, have at least two blogs on there to get you started, and use them in the first month to keep drawing attention to your new website while you write the next ones!
- GALLERY/TESTIMONIALS/NEW PRODUCT/SERVICES PAGE
One, or a few of these, serve in much the same way as a Blog page. If you have one of these pages you can help to keep your website refreshed in Googles eyes and use as a driver to get people to pop along to your website to see more.
Anyone who knows me well, says how I am a stickler for brand consistency. Never more so when you launch a big thing like a website for your business. You need to make sure your brand identity is visually consistent, so there can be no doubt in a prospective customer’s mind whose website they have landed on from your various marketing platforms. It builds trust and confidence in the company they are engaging with, shows they have full control of what they are doing, and know what they are saying. The same goes for consistent language across everything you write. Spend time to make sure this is spot on for launch day and beyond.
These are just a few of my own tips and ideas to help you make your launch day a success. I have no doubt there are many more that can be added, this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Whatever you choose to do for your own launch, planning is definitely key, we all know that even with the best planning, things can go wrong, and curve balls can be thrown at you. All will be Ok though if you stay true to your business brand and remain consistent in all you do.
There is no right or wrong way, the most important thing is that you have a great new website to reach your audience, and you just need to bask in this achievement and make the most that you can of it at every opportunity.
If you need help to build or launch a new website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more!