Every business wants to launch a website that is going to set them apart from the rest of the people in their industry. But hey, everyday 822,240 websites get connected to the internet adding to the list of 644 million websites that are currently online. All are fiercely fighting for the attention of visitors, but how many of them are really achieving that?
It is a scary fact, if you are thinking of launching your website. It would be even worse if some of them managed to land on your site, only to find out your website is riddled with mistakes.
Now the Good News: To get you ahead in this hyper-competitive battle, we have put together a list of 21 best practices. These tips may seem basic at times, but if used correctly, they can work wonders.
It is not an exhaustive website launch checklist by any means, but contains many useful favourites.
Typos are embarrassing. Imagine a visitor landed on your web page, only to find out that you spelled the industry name wrong. Now you have made the process harder for this visitor to believe in your product or service, since you cannot spell it right.
2. Landing Page review
Clarity is the key to conversion. A human being has an attention span of only 8.25 seconds. When a visitor reaches your page, within this short amount of time you have to make him understand the purpose of your website. Nobody will go through your help guide to find out what your product does.
3. Test Usability
Your website looks stunning; it can rival any Renaissance-era painting. Your friends cannot stop talking about how elegant your website looks. However, did it ever occur to you that you may have put too much importance on the design, and not enough on usability?
It is always a good practice to test the steps a visitor has to go through to complete any task. Find out where they get stuck and try to simplify the process.
4. Choose Simple & Responsive Design
What do Google, Facebook, Twitter, & all the major websites have in common? They do not go overboard with the design. It only takes a visitor only 50 milliseconds to judge (based on the look) of your website. So stop thinking about all the complex website designing ideas you have in your mind.
Just pick a theme or template that’s responsive and can serve any device. These days wherever you step foot, you will see people staring at their mobile phone. According to Flurry Insights, viewers spend over 3 hours a day looking at our mobile devices.
5. Test & Fix The Bugs
Browser compatibility testing should be one of your key focuses while launching a website. Your key features and styles should function across multiple browsers. Keep track of the releases of major browsers that might affect your website, since browsers are constantly developing and releasing new versions.
6. Set Up Analytics To Know More About Your Visitors
Installing web analytics should be higher on your to-do list. Without having any web analytics installed, you will fail to understand your audience.
By using analytics, you will be able to understand what’s working and what’s not. Based on the analysis, you can refine your advertising, spending, and content. You will be armed with gigantic amounts of data. It is up to you now to decide how you can analyse the data and turn it into usable insights.
7. Setup Webmaster Tools
If you are not still using any webmaster tool, start using one. It is a good habit to check the webmaster once a week. It lets you see how search engines see your website. And, with lots of critical information such as, which keyword brought traffic, submit sitemap, backlink profile, crawl rate, crawl error, mobile usability, security issues, and many other measurement factors.
8. Submit Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of your page URLs that helps search engine crawlers to discover & get a detailed understanding of your website. If your website is new and not lot of people linking to it, submitting sitemap to search engines through webmaster tools is one of the best ways to get your site indexed by the search engines.
9. Monitor Website Uptime
Your precious website is up and running, all the hard work paid off. You went to bed hoping that when you check the site in the morning you will see the awesomeness. You got up in the morning, rushed to your computer, only to find out that your website was down. To save you from those moments, there are many tools out there.
10. Backup Your Website
Backups are extremely important. According to the survey done by CodeGuard, 24% of the respondents said, “This site is my livelihood, I’d pay almost anything for a complete restore.” Prepare for the worst, you do not know when your website will be wiped out by a malicious application. You may have stored a copy of your original website, but you will lose all the historical data of your website..
11. Prevent Spam
Some marketers use not so creative way to market their product or services on the internet. Every time you login to your email or look at your website’s comments section, you see them flooded with get rich quick comments.
The Internet is still pretty wild, although it is getting better. Nonetheless, it is safe to have a system set up to prevent hackers so that they cannot vandalise your business. Use professional tools to constantly monitor security. And, it would be really awesome, if you have someone who really know their way around website security.
13. Focus on Website Performance
A slow website only frustrates a user and you should not forget the previously mentioned short human attention span. Microsoft studies show, you will lose visitors, if you are only 250 milliseconds slower, than your competition’s website.
Plus, after Google has placed emphasis on site speed as one of the ranking factors, it has become even more important.
14. Run your website Through a Grader
Modern technology is progressing at a lightning pace. It is easy to fall behind. And if you don’t have a technical team, it’s even harder to identify where did you fall behind. Like United States Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld once said “But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
15. Setup a Permalink
URL plays a crucial role in on site search engine optimisation. Setup permalink for your URLs to set unique, short & keyword focused URL for your post or pages. Plus, making your URLs human readable is great for user experience.”
16. Monitor Your Brand Mention
Only one bad testimonial is enough to destroy your online reputation. You should have brand mention monitoring set up to rectify those testimonials and lead to a more positive outcome.
17. Target Keywords & Create Valuable Content
The Hopi native American proverb says, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.” Setting aside all the philosophy, content marketing can be a great source for unlocking steady organic traffic. A study published by Conductor shows, 64% of all website visitors come from organic search.
So, you know what you have to do, target a keyword that relates to your product or service and write valuable content on that subject. While creating content, keep in mind that people do not search for your solution, they search for their problem. Find out what your potential customers are asking online, try to identify their pain point. Then, create content that helps them to solve their problems. Another reason is that generally people will not buy from you, if they do not know what you can do for them.
18. Setup Newsletter and Build An Email List
You have done all the hard work; People came to your website, they liked your awesome product or content, but wouldn’t it be silly if you have to rely on search engines to get them back to your website again. They may forget or maybe it is hard to remember your product name after a long period. But, it would be helpful for both you and your visitors, if you set up a newsletter sign-up form and collect their email addresses. So, whenever you have some cool information that you want to share with them, they are just one email away.
19. Utilise Social Media
People mistakenly identify social media as a selling tool, but this is how you should not use social media. Formulate a social media strategy and use it as an engagement tool. A tool for listening to customers, gather some awesome testimonials. Use social media as a tool to connect to potential customers. Think of all the cool Facebook pages you have liked, you liked them because they are either funny, helpful, or kept you updated about a certain industry. No one wants to like a page who shares sales pitches, like an auto responder.
20. Create an Awesome Logo
Throughout history, logos have played a key role in representing exclusivity. All the iconic brands that you can think of, have a simple, yet memorable logo. The power of a good logo is often underrated. It creates an identity, makes you look unique and separates you from the crowd.
21. Create a Call To Action & Test It Often
So now, you have so many visitors to your website that you can fill a stadium with it. The average time on the website is quite high, so that means that they are enjoying the content, but none of them are taking the next step (buying your product /service or whatever objective you have)..
Take a look at your website again. Did you tell your visitors what to do next? It can be possible that visitors are interested, but they are confused about what the next step is. To remove this confusion and guide them towards your desired action, place a button stating what people should do next.
In this article, we talked about some powerful techniques and how to make your website distinguishable. Although it’s not like you have to follow all of them, requirements may vary according to the size of your business and how much time you are willing to spend on it.
Lastly – Of course we are always here to assist if you need us so lodge a support request here if we can help in any way.