It can be overwhelmingly stressful to launch a website, no matter if it is a company website or a personal blog. Getting actual human visitors to see your content is the issue. You have to promote your new website; there is just no way around it. Designing and building a website is but the first step, but how you launch it will decide whether it takes off and starts working quickly for you.
What factors can make this easier before you even launch?
Have a Page Pre-Launch
You can start promoting your website before it goes live. In fact, visitors appreciate the effort. Having a pre-launch page, such as a countdown, for example, can create anticipation, generating even more enthusiasm and interest than promoting it only after launch.
Use it to encourage folks to sign up for notifications when you launch. Hundreds of launch page templates exist, some extremely professional for very little cost. WordPress websites have plugins that you can download and install, such as a page that says “Coming Soon,” or any of the many available.
Upload Some Quality Content
Content is the basis of your entire online strategy, including any marketing plans you devise. Visitors want and expect quality content applicable to your niche and valuable to them. If they do not find what they need, or just find bad content, they are unlikely ever to come a-visiting again.
Write a few pieces of exceptional content before you launch, preferably around 10 pieces, but at the very least three. Aim for around 1,200-word pieces, even longer, for the highest possibility of ranking well in search engines and attracting links to your website.
Offer an Email Signup
An email list is a great way of communicating with visitors, even if they never visit again, and it is personal, direct to their inbox. It offers a way to connect with folks and promote your business. Email signup boxes are available aplenty. Use any of these templates to put an opt-in box on your website.
According to the United States Government, email campaigns offer a horde of benefits, including detailed analytics, visitor insight, performance targets, and direct connection. However, folks need an incentive to sign up. Pre-launch, that could be “first to receive launch offers,” or similar delights.
Network with Related Influencers
Influencers have huge influence and can really promote your website. Before you launch, reach out to the important influencers in your field and network with them. This is best for non-commercial sites, but if you do it right, it can work great for business sites with loads of outstanding and valuable content.
Let influencers know about your website. Popular bloggers, journalists, businesses, and social media influencers might want to share your content, if it is good enough. Do not bombard them, however. Start slow. Follow them, share their content, and leave great comments, thereby introducing yourself.
Set Online Alerts Up for Your Website
To know how your new website performs, sign up for online alerts. These will tell you where and when anybody mentions your website online. In turn, this can help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and focus your time on those that work best.
You can gain valuable insight by knowing what folks say about you. Signing up for Google Alerts for blog or media mentions is essential, but you should consider signing up for others too. Some can track what anyone says about you on social media, as well.
Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, is incredibly helpful for new websites. It offers a chance to get some free publicity, which can otherwise prove an almighty challenge. HARO allows you to connect with influential folks who can promote your website, without any costs whatsoever.
HARO sends media queries to your inbox thrice daily. These are reporters looking for experts to help verify their stories. When you see a question, you can email that journalist and answer his or her query, with links to related content on your website. Write a blog on the subject if you do not yet have one.
Have an XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps provide search engines with a list of all the posts and pages on your website. They make crawling your site much easier and more efficiently for them to index your site quickly. Upload one to your website, as having one will improve the accuracy of search results, as well as your rankings.
Plugins for XML sitemaps are widely available in WordPress. They are easier to download and install. However, if you use any other platform, then you should use an XML sitemaps generator to create a sitemap, and then simply upload it your website’s root directory.
Learn SEO Basics
Although you can rank in search engine results without being an SEO expert, you will need to know something about optimizing your website for search engines. It is crucial that you at least learn the basics of SEO, both for pre-launch optimization and for the entirety of your website’s future.
It is imperative that you understand how you use keywords correctly. You must upload original content, and you need do this consistently. Build links to your website, and use words in your URLs, instead of symbols or numbers. Your website must also be mobile-friendly, and friendly to search engines too.
Use Google Analytics
Because you will put much time and effort into marketing your website, it is vital that you analyze its success. Google Analytics will tell you exactly how much traffic you get, as well as where your visitors come from. This information can help you focus your marketing efforts more effectively.
Google Analytics is incredibly easy to set up. It is also free, requiring not a dime from you. Without doubt, it offers the highest Return on Investment, or ROI. You will know which strategies work well, and which do not work at all.
Put Your Website on Google Search Console
Formerly Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console provides some essential tools for you to use. Tools that will help you manage the performance of your website in search engines, and not only in Google, but in other search engines, as well. Adding your site to it is necessary. Very necessary.
Once verified, Google Search Console provides crucial information about your website, including all links to it, any penalties or manual actions it may have against it, whether search engines have difficulty accessing areas of your website or not, and even if your site is mobile-friendly, or still need work.
Launching a website does not have to be as stressful and overwhelming as it is for most. If you consider these factors prior to launch, the whole launch process will be much easier, much friendlier and incentivizing to visitors, and much more insightful analytically than if you just go ahead and launch without it. Putting the effort into optimizing your website pre-launch can maximize benefits long-term.