A strong online presence makes your business appear credible and is no longer optional. While only 50% of small businesses had a website in 2018, now 71% do. Not having an up-to-date website can make you seem like you are no longer an operating business.
Your website serves as the foundation for your online presence and is critical for marketing endeavors.
But before you jump into launching your new or revamped website, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
Completing a thorough pre-launch checklist can streamline your website design and launch, as well as all of your future marketing efforts.
Let’s review the top website pre-launch tasks to tackle.
The Importance of Website Prelaunch Activities
Given the importance of having a website up, it’s tempting to rush to launch it. However, skipping out on the key prelaunch steps we outline below won’t help your business.
Without the proper pre-launch preparation, you won’t publish the most effective website possible. In the end, that means you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time and resources to improve the website.
Taking the time to implement these pre-launch strategies will set you on the right path to a strong website. You’ll enjoy a smoother launch and save yourself time and stress.
Set your website up for SEO success by preparing ahead of time. The design and structure of your website play a key role in its future SEO success, which is why you need to start with SEO Prep.
SEO and Keyword Audit
Begin with basic research of the relevant Google Trends and keywords. Using SEO tools, evaluate industry trends. Generate potential topics, keywords, and content ideas for your future website content (like blogs).
Write 3 Blogs
Content creation is an ongoing process, but you want to ensure Google has enough content to index from your website immediately. That’s why we recommend launching your website with three 2,000-word blogs. Later on, you’ll be able to use the blogs for social media content as well.
Use some of the keywords and topic ideas from your SEO research to create three blogs. Upon debuting your website, you’ll already have three blogs to publish. This will help your site look more authentic and credible to visitors, but it’s also important for SEO.
Regular content posting helps inform Google Search Console of your business offer, helping you to rank in organic search results. While blog content will be an ongoing process, having three quality blogs to start with will help you gain momentum.
But of course, quality still matters. You don’t only need three blogs, you need quality content that will truly help your website from an SEO standpoint. As you create your first three blogs, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Include the relevant keywords, but do not overstuff the content with keywords.
Include external links to credible sources (but not competitors).
Include internal links, or make a note of the internal links to add when publishing.
Make the content skimmable and easy to read with headers, bullets, and more.
Add high-quality images and/or video content throughout the blog.
Focus on the value you will deliver to the reader.
Preliminary Google AdWords Audit
Pay-per-click strategies can be part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan. However, successful PPC advertising on Google or any other platform starts with quality research.
Here you want to identify potential keywords and bid strategies. Keep in mind that PPC ads work like auctions, in that you bid on the terms you want for your ads. You should choose terms that your potential customers will enter into Google. The amount you will pay depends on the competitive landscape of the term.
Identify keywords to use in your Google Ads strategy. Start by creating your AdWords account and saving these keywords. Plan your PPC strategy ahead of time, and you’ll be ready to implement it quickly when your site goes live.
Clearly define your brand before launching your website. This holds true whether you are starting a brand new business or revamping your existing one in some way.
Proper branding is vital for your website and overall online presence. Spend time on brand development before the website launch to ensure you create a cohesive site that represents your brand. This will also help you with future content creation.
Start by gathering all of your existing brand materials. From there, you should determine design consistent elements. For example, plan out the colors and other branding elements of your website.
If you’re also updating your logo, then ensure your website design is consistent with the new logo.
Other elements of your brand development checklist include
Brand Guide – Create a complete brand guide to use for your website and any future marketing designs. The guide should define your brand’s principles, including logo dimensions, colors, and on-brand stock images/iconography. When creating social media designs, videos, or any other marketing material in the future, you’ll consult the brand guide to ensure it all stays consistent.
Logo Files – For your website and future marketing, you’ll need several variations of your logo. Prepare these files ahead of time. Create logos with different color variations, background styles, and a transparent background. Additionally, make files that are the optimal size for website use, social media, app stores, etc. Be sure to label them accordingly and organize them for easy access.
Canva Files – Canva is a free, drag-and-drop platform that allows anyone to participate in graphic design. When it comes to making custom graphics, social media content, and more, Canva is an excellent tool. Prepare your Canva files ahead of time. Add your logo, social media templates, and more. This will streamline your future content creation and save you a lot of time.
Turn to W.D. Strategies for Comprehensive Website Prelaunch Services
Successful website design and launch require plenty of pre-launch tasks. Performing these tasks set you up for a successful launch. They optimize your new website’s organic search performance and put you in the right direction for future marketing efforts.
While you certainly can do them on your own, turning to an experienced team is the best way to handle all of the pre-launch tasks without taking time away from your business.
W.D. Strategies is here to help with all of your digital marketing needs. Our goal is to help businesses of all sizes increase their online visibility through comprehensive digital marketing solutions.
We’ll help you establish your digital footprint with our website design, engineering, and optimization. Not only can we help you get a well-designed and SEO-friendly website, but we can also help with all of the pre-launch tasks above. Learn more about how we can help you design, develop, and launch our WordPress, Wix, Webflow, Shopify, Squarespace, or other websites today. Contact our team today or set up your consultation now!