The 21 Point Checklist for Launching and Marketing your Website in 2018
This 21-point checklist for launching and marketing your website will guide you through the information you need during, in-between and after the creation and launch of your website to ensure optimal visibility
Step 1: Make a plan
You don’t need a website launch plan to build a successful website but without one, you will miss numerous opportunities to promote your products or services to many potential consumers.
When you first start publishing your first written pieces of content you want as many people to be informed about those posts as possible.
Refurbishing old pieces of content can be done at a later time but what’s important is that you get the word out.
The more people you have reading your written work equals more people sharing, and more authority to your webpage.
Step 2: Identify your audience
What is your buyer persona? The imaginary person who will purchase your goods or services.
A great exercise to start things off is to identify who your buyer is. Give them a name, age, and background to help you focus in on what your customers’ wants and needs are.
Focus is key, the goal is to identify who your customers are.
What are the problems they face? What solutions do you provide?
Step 3: Fine tune your brand
Choose your brand image knowing that this is how people will recognize and identify your product or service.
Be sure to keep your brand easy to recognize and memorable.
Create a signature for your brand that you would use to sign off on your emails, text messages, and forums. This adds a personal touch that most people overlook.
Don’t forget to include your website URL with your signature, it allows your customers access to your information quickly and effortlessly.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, too often people pay no attention to the fact that everyone has a smartphone nowadays, optimize your website for the millennials, and make sure to keep the like and share buttons nearby.
Check out Forbes Branding trends in 2018 for better insight.
Step 4: Understand your competition
Knowing the other players in your industry is just the beginning of the game.
Who are my top competitors in my vertical, direct, looking and goliaths alike?
Identify the trends in your industry, who’s playing against you, and exemplify what makes you unique in the industry.
Research and identify what your users are looking at, what are they browsing in google and what are they buying.
Learn to walk in your customers shoes. Communicate and reach out to the community in your industry.
All this helps identify who your customers are, what they want, and what problems they face in your industry.
Understand the atmosphere in your industry to make better decisions before you launch your website.
Are you in the e-commerce game? Are your competitors utilizing social media? Is there a digital forum or site for customers in your industry to voice their opinions and concerns?
Answering these questions will help you fine tune your website before launch to ensure maximum visibility.
Know what your competition is doing, from design layouts to written content. Determine areas you would consider weaknesses and use these examples to strengthen your website.
Any shortcomings in your website, graphics just ok? Offer something unique or incredibly invaluable.
Having a unique proposition that your audience cannot find anywhere else gives you value, taking the focus off minor flaws.
Step 5: Develop your Content
Identify what your website is, what it does, and why anyone should care.
Figure out the right way to express your message to the world.
Develop a tagline you can use on your website, business card and other promotional material. Create a tagline that creates curiosity or establishes a unique value proposition.
If you can’t figure out a way to send your message in a quick coherent manner, work on you delivery.
Practice by delivering your message in 7 seconds or less you can find the bottlenecks and adjust.
Your time to create a first impression is short. When potential customers view your website give them your message, clearly and concisely.
3-5 pieces of high-quality written content filled with equally high-quality media including graphics and videos are the minimum when it comes to high ranking digital content.
If you plan on having any type of promotional strategy for your website must have content. The people viewing your website are going to expect great content within your unique niche that they can use. Otherwise, they won’t return again
Writing several pieces of stunning content at launch with at least 2000+ words per piece of content will give you the best chance of ranking in popular search engines.
Don’t forget to create links to other reputable websites within your industry.
Content needs to be available on day one and needs to live long after. Relying on just one single piece of content at launch is a bad idea.
You need to plan the content you publish. Blogs, Vlogs, Podcast, Videos and original graphics are all good pieces of content you can create to keep your audience engaged.
It goes without saying social media buttons with share options is a necessity on your website. Your audience should be able to like share and subscribe to all your social media channels with ease.
Viral content is by far the most valuable content you can create for website visibility.
All the content on your website, in the beginning, is important. That said, create at least one great quality content piece that really stands out.
A significant piece that is as close to perfect as humanly possible and packed with actionable and informative content.
Make sure to focus on quality content in the beginning, something other people want to read and promote on their own blogs/websites and social media outlets, this will play a factor to your overall ranking.
When writing a blog be sure to keep your readers in mind.
Why you write for them is key to keeping them engaged and spreading the word of the solution your website provides.
Are you providing information, a DIY guide, or maybe creating something fresh for your audience? whatever it may be publish posts with an intention.
Don’t forget to keep everyone in your social media community involved by sending messages anytime a new blog post has been published.
Monitoring your blog is a key aspect in knowing which of your content needs some adjustments and those that just need to be plain old scrapped.
If you haven’t already check out these 6 tips for a successful 2018 content strategy.
Step 6: Links and Resources
Resources that you use for the content of your website must be more substantial than an ordinary blog post.
Generous resources with quality information that has a useful impact are the types of content you want to include in your published content.
The goal is to be number one in search engine results. Make sure to use quality keywords in your website.
Having other websites link to your site let’s search engines like google know you have quality relevant information for their users.
Increase your website ranking through high-quality links.
Search engines reward you with higher website ranking when your website is linked to websites with higher Domain Authority.
Link exchanging, guest blogging, and forum posting are great ways of exchanging links and increasing your ranking with search engines.
Search engines want to provide the best possible results to their users and reward websites that provide the best user experience.
Get familiar with SEO Search Engine Optimization and how it applies to your niche, the techniques, the tools, and the practices commonly available on the web.
Understanding Inbound links and Outbound links are an important part of SEO.
Need a simple explanation of what inbound and outbound links are? Check out this quick 30 sec video
Step 7: Choose your domain name
Your domain can reflect your industry, brand or product. You can use acronyms or abbreviations but try to keep it short and to the point.
Step 8: Select a web hosting service
Make sure that you have done your research before choosing a hosting provider. Not all host are created equal!
Step 9: Periodically backup your website
Use a variety of backups to ensure continuity in case of a variety of threats. These include Malware, Hackers, Viruses, and host of other threats.
Step 10: Validating the code
Validating the code to ensure that your website functions and operates as intended.
Step 11: Submit Sitemaps/the roadmaps
Submit Sitemaps/the roadmaps for search engines to navigate through your site intelligently.
When you create your sitemap you allow the search engines to find and display the relevant information from your website to your visitors.
Step 12: Prepare analytics
Prepare analytics to ensure that your website is performing well.
Analyzing your data is something you routinely do after launch. You should also prepare different types of website analytic software to test various aspects of your web performance before your launch.
Evaluating your site and continually improving it over time is a routine task.
Your website analytic tools can keep track of your website’s success and status while you make adjustments to the website to increase its effectiveness.
Monitoring the number of visits your website receives, the duration of time visitors stay, and the content they gravitate to are vital insights on the effectiveness of your strategies.
Google Analytics has become an industry standard when it comes to tracking and reporting website traffic, this short video will give you a beginners guide of how google analytics works and how you can use it to make decisions on your advertising strategies.
Step 13: Pre Launch Page and Lead Magnets
Your site doesn’t need to be ready for you to promote your product or service to the world.
Promote your site through a pre-launch page where your audience can get a preview of what you have to offer. This will build interest and curiosity for your website before your launch.
Include a form of lead management to handle the collection of emails as well as access to your social media channels to like, share, and subscribe.
Here’s some templates for simple free landing pages from LeadPages to get the creative juices flowing.
What do you need to market your website?
Step 14: Make your website easy to navigate
If a person cannot find what they are looking for on your website within 30 seconds, there is a good chance they will leave and never return.
Organizing your website into specific sections and then providing links to those sections at the top of each page is an effective and simple way to make your website easy to navigate.
Step 15: Enable responsive design
Hammer out any design issues to make sure that the site draws the viewer in.
Now more than ever, it is important to make sure your website is completely responsive and looks great on all web browsers and across all devices.
Test out the site on a laptop, desktop, tablet, and mobile device to make sure it looks how you want it to look.
Step 16: Review everything
Take time to review all the content on your site to make sure everything sounds right and is working correctly.
This means everything from proofreading all your page content and premium content (and then proofreading again) to making sure your videos and images are loading correctly.
This is also a good time to review your content strategy to ensure you are targeting your keywords effectively throughout your site.
Step 17: Ensure that you're using SEO-friendly code
Utilize both Meta and ALT tags to ensure that your website not only appears in user searches but that pertinent keywords from the content of your website are displayed.
Doing so will more likely pique searchers’ interests and will facilitate more visits to your website. ALT tags are merely a written description to go along with the pictures on your website, and so they are necessary to tell search engines and searchers what kind of pictures you have on your website.
Focus on Website SEO
Before you begin working on your website content, you need to know the SEO tools that will go into it. Use the Google keyword tool planner to help you find the best keywords for your niche market.
Remember to focus on long-tailed keywords versus short keywords. Focus on the keywords that have low competition and high search frequency to help you create blog posts that are compelling and will get noticed.
Using the right SEO strategy will help you as you focus on promoting your site. The keywords you select must be added to the title, headings, content, and Meta description. If you add images, remember to include the keyword in the picture title tag and the alt tag.
Promoting your website by using traditional SEO is one of the best ways to gain natural traffic and a higher ranking.
If you don’t know Neil Patel, he has crazy simple tips that can bring your website to the top of google’s ranking. This video has some great SEO tips that can get you on google’s radar.
Step 18: Transfer your website's files to your web host
The copy of your website on your computer is called the local version, and the copy on the web host is called the production version. Now your website’s launch will be complete.
Step 19: Check functionality
Make sure all details and features are functioning correctly across your site. This may include elements such as lead generation forms, email list signups, comments, and social sharing.
Having a function that does not properly work is a great way to turn the user off in a hurry. This can also include internal and external links, as well as optimizing the site speed to make sure it loads as quickly as possible.
Step 20: Test your website in a variety of web browsers
You should thoroughly test your website to confirm that your design and page structure are displayed as intended.
Specifically, view your website with the most popular browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari, as those browsers are used by most people browsing the Internet.
Search Engine Listing
A simple way to start getting traffic to your website is by using the search engines. Submit new content to the search engine directories like Google, Yahoo!, Bing etc, so it can be indexed. The major search engines offer this free service, and you can acquire it with smaller search engine directories as well. This is one of the first things you need to do to promote a website if you are adding fresh content weekly.
Step 21: Social Media Marketing
The world of social media has completely changed online marketing. Creating a social media account and interacting with the customers often is the best way to promote a website.
You will be able to create connections with the customers, and you can gain instant results as a result of your communication with them.
Different social media accounts provide businesses with an excellent platform to advertise their business to the right audience.
The promotion of websites on social media accounts can have branded imagery. Consider running contests and giveaways with unique landing pages to gain new “likes” and customer contact information.
Facebook and Twitter remain the dominant forces of social media, but Pinterest and Instagram are starting to catch on with businesses as other ways to promote a website.