You’ve been working hard on your website, getting it just right. It’s finally ready and you’re super excited that it’s now live… So now what?
You’d love to sit back with a hard-earned glass of Champagne while your site and business becomes an instant success (sounds good to me!). But don’t pop that cork just yet.
Launching a website isn’t as simple as just pressing a big red button to make it live. You’ve worked so hard to make an awesome website, and to make the most of that the work doesn’t just stop there.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do after your website has launched to make it a success:
The technical stuff
Your launch strategy needs a mix of technical tasks and promotional ones. Let’s get the techy stuff out of the way first so you can get on to the fun stuff – promoting the heck out of your new site.
Is your site visible to search engines?
WordPress has a handy feature that lets you ask search engines not to index your website (you’ll find it at Settings > Reading). You don’t want Google including your site in search results while it’s still being built since you’re not ready for visitors. You only need it to be indexed once it’s ready to be seen.
So if you turned off the Search Engine Visibility option, now is the time to uncheck the box so the search engines know you want to be included in search results.
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Set up Google Search Console and submit your sitemap
Now that you’re ready to be included in search results, make it easy for the search engines to do that. Google Search Console is a tool that lets you monitor how your site appears in search results, so you can tell if you need to fix any errors or work on your optimisation.
It’s really simple to create a free account and integrate it with your website. And once you’ve done that, submit your sitemap to ask Google to start including your site in search results. Need some help with that? This guide will take you through it.
Bing has a similar tool, so you get bonus points if you also submit your sitemap there.
Add Analytics to your site
You should also add Google Analytics, or another tracking tool, to your site. Analytics tracks how people are using your site, including things like which pages or posts get the most views, how long people are spending on your site, and where they’re coming from.
The data can be super helpful in figuring out how well your site is performing, if you need to make changes, and where to make them.
Google Analytics is also free and only takes a few minutes to set up. Remember to link it to your Search Console account to make the most of using the two tools together.
Back your site up
Backing up your site is super important. Sometimes things go wrong; like technical glitches, hackers, or even plain old user error. But if you have your site backed up, you don’t need to worry about that stuff because you can fix it using your backup files. It’s like insuring your car or your home – you hope you never need to use it, but it’s reassuring to know it’s there.
So run a backup right now and again, you get bonus points by setting up scheduled backups. Scheduled backups run automatically at set intervals, to save you time and give you added peace of mind.
It’s important to give people a great experience when they visit your site, and part of that is how quickly it loads. People have extremely short attention spans online, so if your site is slow to load, they’ll get bored and go elsewhere.
There are a bunch of things you can do to speed up your website and one of the easiest is to set up a cache plugin, like W3 Total Cache or WP Fastest Cache.
The promotional stuff
The techy bits of this help you make sure people have a great experience on your site, now let’s get those people to come over. It’s time to start promoting to drive traffic to your site.
Create new content
Nearly everyone is doing some form of content marketing these days, whether that’s a blog, podcast or video channel. And that’s great.
With content marketing you’re regularly creating new content to help your audience and keep your site fresh. Google loves that, as will your site visitors. Plus when you have plenty of content, that gives you plenty of options when it comes to promoting your site, and means you’re not just sending out ‘buy my cool thing’ sales pitches all the time.
Make sure you create some new content around your site launch. You could be creating content in the run up to the launch, like snippets of useful advice so people know what to expect from your new site. Or how about sharing some behind the scenes stuff to build excitement about your progress and get people excited about launch day. Have some content ready to release on the actual launch day too, to help you make an event of it.
And don’t stop there – get yourself an editorial calendar to help you plan out more, ongoing content to keep that momentum going and keep driving people to your site. I use Asana for my editorial calendar, but you could use anything you like, from a simple spreadsheet, to a WordPress plugin.
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Email your people
You’ve got an email list, right?
Your email list is an extremely valuable tool in building loyal fans and customers (one-off customers are lovely, but long term, loyal customers are even lovelier!). And it’s easier to generate sales from people who already know, like and trust you.
If you started building your list already, you’re ahead of the game. You can email people in the run up to the launch of your new site to get them excited, and on launch day be sure to email them and invite them over to your lovely new site.
If you haven’t got an email list yet, start building one asap. Add some signup forms to your site now so all the traffic you’re generating with the launch isn’t wasted. Ask your visitors to join your list and you can keep in touch with them.
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Offer a lead magnet
A lead magnet, in simplest terms, is a bribe to get people to join your email list. Only, ‘bribe’ sounds so salesy and skeevy doesn’t it?
Think of it more as a reward. People are kind enough to let you into their inbox, so it’s a gift to say thank you.
It’s easier to get email subscribers with a lead magnet, than with just offering an email newsletter. What sounds more appealing to you?
Option 1: Get your site seen! Download a free checklist with over 30 traffic-generating ideas
Option 2: Join my newsletter for weekly emails with design and WordPress tips
I’m sure you’re not surprised that more people sign up for option 1. Things like email courses get a really good subscribe rate, but you don’t need to create something as complex as that. It could be simpler, like a checklist, cheat sheet, or workbook.
The most important thing is that it provides value. Create something that will help your visitors solve a common problem. Give them a quick win and they’ll have a great opinion of you and your business.
Don’t forget about social media when it comes to promoting your new site. In 2019 there will be an estimated 2.77 billion people using social media, and that number is expected to keep growing. So it’s highly likely that your customers are using at least one social media site.
Which site/s you choose will depend on the type of business you have and where your audience hangs out, but the general principles are the same for each. Be useful, and be social. Build connections with people rather than just blasting out nothing but sales pitches.
Start posting before your site launches to start building an audience and give you time to build up a bit of hype around launch day. Then be sure to post on launch day to invite people over to your shiny new site. Don’t only post once, either. Each post will be seen by just part of your audience, so with multiple posts, at different times and on different days you can reach more people.
Launching a website is a busy time with lots to do, and it doesn’t stop once your site is live. Keep on promoting your site to keep the traffic coming and make the most of all your hard work. But for now, you’ve earned a break: go pour yourself that glass of bubbly and start celebrating!
Would you like even more ideas to help you promote your new website? Download my free checklist with over 30 ideas you can use to help you drive traffic and keep it coming: