It doesn’t matter what business you are into; launching a website becomes a necessity. It is all usually a ho-hum process. Nevertheless, no matter how experienced you are, there is always something that you are bound to forget when it comes to launching a new website.
You may have used the wrong footer for your pages…
You may have forgotten to map your 301 redirects…
You may not have imported the analytics tracking codes…
… and so on.
Silly mistakes they could be; but they can ruin your SEO.
Website launching can be quite a stressful procedure. There are many things involved and you can expect more than a couple of hiccups along your way. No one is perfect here, no matter how professional he or she is.
If you do not want to face any disastrous consequences, while launching your website, here is a checklist you can follow religiously:
|Checklist for Website Launching|
|Layout||Logo on home page
Products and services of your business
Images compatible for mobile viewing
|Functionality||No Broken Links
Relevant External Links
Resources that add value
No annoying ads or Popups
|Site Speed||Speed Check
Browser Caching enabled
No unwanted videos, images or media
No unwanted Plugins
Above the Fold Content loads quickly
No copyright infringement
Viewable on all devices
Calls to Action
Social Share Buttons
Conversion Goals Set
Google Analytics Linked
Business Continuity Plan
Secure login systems
Passwords stored safely
Encrypted login pages
Protection against DoS attacks
Secure payment processing systems
Website Security Continually Tested
Once you read the content below, you will be in a better position to tick off the things mentioned in the above checklist.
Yes, this is the basics of web designing; but it does require your utmost attention. Unless you provide a seamless experience to your visitors, you cannot expect conversions to happen. So, your site needs to be easily navigable, while looking great to your visitors.
Here are a few things you need to check for, when it comes to layout of your website:
- Make sure the logo of your business has been put up on your homepage, in a place where it can be seen. This logo needs to be professional and appealing enough for your visitors
- The products or services you offer should be quite evident to the visitors once they land up on your site.
- Make sure you have positioned all your images optimally
- Make sure the images that you have used can be viewed well on all devices
Did you know that 80% of internet users use smartphones to browse?
47% of these use tablets
Therefore, if you want your website to be accessed by everyone, you will have to make sure it is compatible for various devices and browsers.
If you wish to avoid those fundamental glitches, which can lead to issues with compatibility, here is what you need to check for:
- Your site has to be compatible with various browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Bing, Opera, etc.
- Your site needs to be optimized for mobile devices. Although you have the option for going for mobile-friendly websites, RWD or responsive web design is the way to go.
- You will have to optimize CSSs or cascading style sheets across your website
- Your coding has to be correct without any glitches
It is a fluid experience that users expect when they land on your website. Malfunctions or glitches can only lead to increased bounce rates, which can make it very difficult for you to nurture your leads.
15 seconds is what about 55% of visitors spend on a website
If your website is not 100% functional, you can’t be surprised if your visitors abandon you for your competitors. In case you want to avoid such problems, you have to make sure…
- you have corrected any issues that can slow down the loading time of your site
- there are absolutely no broken links or 404 redirects
- The internal links that you have used point to the appropriate pages
- All the external links that you have used point to relevant sites and are working well
- The resources that you have linked to, offer some value to your visitors
- All your links open up in new tabs
- There is a favicon icon that helps users to identify your website whenever they add a bookmark
- Your navigation is optimized and there is a search bar that helps visitors find what they are looking for
- There are not too many popups or annoying ads
- your visitors will be able to close the Popups easily
You lose more than 40% of your visitors if your site doesn’t load within 3 seconds of clicking on the link
Even a delay of one second could lead to…
11% decrease in page views
7% loss in conversions
16% reduction in customer satisfaction
Yes, time is definitely of essence here and if you don’t want to increase the abandonment rate of your website, do look into the following:
- Check out the speed of your website by using the Pingdom Website Speed Test. Apart from calculating the precise speed, this tool also gives you some insights into how your website is performing and what are your problem areas
- Make sure the servers you are using are of high-quality and can handle heavy website traffic easily
- Enable Browser Caching
- Remove unwanted videos, images and other types of media from your website. These could slow down the speed of your site potentially.
- Don’t go overboard on the plugins
- Make sure the Above-the-fold content loads up quickly. It is okay if below-the-fold content takes up a few seconds extra
Undoubtedly content is the king when it comes to your website. Saving up a few dollars by deciding to write your own content could be a mistake that could affect you badly in the long run. The content needs to be of top-quality and absolutely professional. Not only does this increase the duration of your average session, it also improves your overall conversion rate.
It is fine if you get a little obsessive about crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s when it comes to uploading content on your website. A few things to note here include:
- To use dark fonts on a light background which makes it easy for your visitors to read
- To proofread every blog post and landing page thoroughly
- To correct spelling or grammatical mistakes if any
- To create captivating and engaging titles
- To break down the content into digestible chunks (You can use bullet points and sub-headings)
- To use visuals in order to make your content appeal to the eyes of your visitors
- To make sure the content is free from plagiarism
- To make sure you are not infringing upon copyrights by uploading images
- To ensure the images and videos you have used are of high-quality and can be viewed on all devices
- To make sure the downloadable content that you have put up are working well
- To include FAQs that answer all questions of the visitors
- To put up your contact details in a visible area
- To make sure Calls to Action are visible and prominent
- To add social share buttons
- To give proper attribution to the external sources that you may have cited
- To ensure your visitors find pricing information easily
Search Engine Optimization
No matter how impressive your website is, if it is not optimized for search engines, it may not get any visitors. Therefore it is very important to understand and implement the basics of on-site SEO. This will ensure your website is found by the search engines and a steady stream of organic traffic gets driven to your website.
In this context, you need to cover up the following elements:
- Create an XML sitemap
- Perform keyword research to determine which keywords you have to use in your content. Using longtail keywords can increase your chances of gaining a competitive edge in the market. Also, make sure you don’t stuff those keywords in your content
- Include targeted keywords in your URL, Titles, Headers and Meta Description
- Add relevant tags to the content (Alt tags to images, tags to videos)
- URLs need to be short and easy to remember
- Set up internal as well as external links
Optimize your hyperlinks
Driving traffic to your website is of no use unless you analyze the same. You have to see where the traffic is coming from, what behavior your visitors adopt once on your site, how long they stay on your site, what is your bounce rate and so on. This will help you spot trends and patterns and then make proper adjustments so as to optimize conversions.
Although Google Analytics should be good enough for startups, you can try various other platforms such as Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. Here are a few steps you need to follow in this context:
- Insert analytics code properly into your website
- Make sure there are no coding or formatting issues
- Set up your conversion goals
- Set up e-commerce tracking and event tracking
- Link up Google Analytics and maybe even AdWords if need be
Whatever be the size of your business, Website security is of utmost importance. This will tell your visitors that there is no need for them to worry about the security of their personal or financial details when they visit your business or buy your products or services.
Although you can never be completely secure and exempt from all kinds of attacks, here are a few things that can help you in this regard:
- Make sure the host on which you are running your site is a secure one
- Make sure you have a business continuity plan in place, in case the system is down
- Back up your website properly and regularly
- Make sure your login system is secure
- Store all your passwords in a secure place
- Use a Login LockDown that denies entry to users after a specified number of login trials
- Never share login information with any third parties
- Stop your team members from sharing sensitive information through unencrypted emails or other unprotected channels
- Encrypt your login pages completely
- Protect your site against DoS or Denial of Service attacks. You can use a Cloud mitigation provider for this.
- Implement a Secure Payment processing system
- Test your website security on a continual basis
Keep this checklist handy to ensure your website gets launched in an error-free manner. This will reduce a lot of stress and enhance the experience of your visitors in the best possible manner. While this makes it easier to drive traffic to your website, it can also help in maximizing your conversion rate.