On the verge of launching your new website? Just because you’ve completed your website design, added some great content, and tested its functionality doesn’t mean you should launch it. There are many other things that you should go over before finally launching your site. Here are seven must-do pre-launch steps that you want to run through before pressing the go button.
Step 1: Test for User Experience
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when launching their website is to neglect the user experience (UX). UX is important for many reasons. First, there is a connection between UX and conversion rates. People will often abandon websites if they have a bad experience. This leads to poor conversions which obviously hurts your advertising or marketing campaign.
Second, even if your content is great, people will not want to come back to your site. They remember the poor experience they had on your site and will look elsewhere for similar content. Finally, bad UX hurts your brand. Your website is like a digital business card for your company. A bad experience will reflect badly on your brand and create negative sentiment.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Content Is Top Notch
You’ve probably had content created for your website, but is your content top notch? Does it actually add value to the readers or does it confuse them? Is it relevant to your audience? Is it easy to consume your content in the first place? Here are some of the things you want to do to make sure your content will be valuable.
– Ensure that your content is easy to read. Make sure that the font has a high readability rating and is big enough.
– Double-check to see that your content is relevant to your target audience. If it is instructional, make sure that it’s broken down into parts, structured logically, and has a clear call to action button.
– Use images and videos to help add context to your content as well as additional value.
– Make sure your content is properly formatted with regular subheads, bullet points, and paragraph breaks.
– Check for spelling and grammatical mistakes that can leave the reader confused.
Step 3: Create a Good Site Structure
While this falls on the topic of UX design, it really needs to be stressed. You need to make sure that you have a good site structure set up. This means that your navigation menu needs to have a clean and intuitive design and structure. You also need to have clear categories for your content, a linking structure that helps users easily find what they’re looking for, a strong search functionality, and organize other menus that might be helpful to mobile users (like item category by price, size, color, etc.).
Step 4: Check for Browser Compatibility Issues
Compatibility issues can create problems for your visitors. The first thing you want to do is to test your website on all the modern browsers. You want to see that the browsers don’t cause any issues with the loading, formatting of your content, and scripts that are running on the website. There are many free tools that you can use to test your website.
Step 5: Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Mobile users can account for anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of your traffic. You have to make sure your website has a mobile-friendly design. This means that your website loads fast, your navigation is optimized for mobile users, and your layout is designed for smaller screens. Having a mobile-friendly website design is especially important if you plan on launching a digital marketing campaign. You can lose a ton of leads and sales if your website provides a poor mobile experience.
Step 6: Integrate Your Analytics
Google Analytics is the go-to analytics tool for websites. It’s a free tool by Google that gives you an overview of what’s happening on your site. You want to make sure that Google Analytics is properly set up on your site. How else are you going to figure out where your traffic is coming from and what you can do to improve your site? Making sure it’s set up properly is especially important if you plan on taking digital marketing seriously.
Step 7: Set Up Proper Security
Making sure you have the latest updates installed for your CMS is the first thing you want to do to secure your site. This should be followed by a strong login name/password, clear user permissions, and robot.txt file that limits what can be crawled by the search engines. You should finish up the security with some kind of backup tool.
These 7 steps are a starting point for launching your website as smoothly as possible. You can also check out this Toptal web developer checklist, too. Moreover, asking your friends or colleagues to look through your site can give you a fresh perspective and help find some things that you might have missed.