How to maximise the potential of your new website
We all love the feeling of having something new, don’t we? I love it when I get brand new shoes, especially heels! Taking them out of the box for the first time and opening the paper to reveal my purchase is one of the simple (ok, so we all have a different definition of simple!) pleasures in life! But, sometimes the first wear hurts just a little and it takes some time to get your new shoes feeling as comfortable as your old ones! Believe it or not, your new small business website is a little like getting a new pair of shoes. Sometimes the euphoria of the purchase might make you rush into wearing them for a marathon shopping event when really you need to wear them around the house for a few days first. Sorry, enough about shoes, lets get back to websites!
When I am not out purchasing new Jimmy Choo’s, I build websites. And I love it, but I have seen a few pitfalls that new site owners have made when they are launching their site, so here is my top 3 tips to maximise the potential of your new website at launch.
#1 Make sure the website works the way you wanted it to.
As a website designer I am pretty good at getting the brief right, but sometimes, for so many different reasons, there can be a crossing of wires when it comes to certain things on a website.
One example of this is when a client of mine wanted to have documents to download from her website and she sent me the dropbox links. I dutifully added the links to her site. After a few months she called and told me that no one is able to download the resources because the website is broken. I was aghast! No! I had only updated her plugins last week, everything looked fine. Eventually we worked out that she had moved her files around in her Dropbox and the links we were using were no longer valid. She had wanted the files to be downloaded directly from the website, but I had attached them via the links she had given me as the files were particularly large (and I must say I was super impressed that she realised the file size was so large it would be tricky to accommodate on her site). A perfect example of the site just not working the way that she had expected - if she had checked the site over thoroughly to make sure that it was working the way she expected then we could have prevented it becoming an issue.
This sort of thing happens over and over! Whether it is call to actions that direct traffic a little differently, prices being inclusive or exclusive of GST, the list is endless. When you get your shiny new website make sure you go through every box, every button and every product to make sure it works exactly the way you hoped.
#2 Prepare a soft launch to get all the technical bits sorted
Now is the time to announce the existence of your site to your people! Do a soft launch of the site to your existing audience before you spend any marketing dollars on driving new traffic to your website. This is a great chance to check the extra things you may need to consider around your site and make sure that your website design team has arranged everything for you. Some good questions to ask yourself (or your website designer) are:
- Is your SEO configured?
- Is your Google Analytics setup?
- Do you need retargeting pixels in place?
- Have you linked up your social media?
- Do you have a Facebook pixel attached?
- Have you setup a lead magnet and is it working properly?
- Do you need to add a pop up lightbox?
- Do you need a chat box?
Make sure that all these things are working and test that they are with your soft launch audience.
#3 Hard Launch with confidence (and a content strategy to keep people coming back)
Now is your moment! It’s time to tell the whole world about your new site - hooray! You have checked it back to front and you are confident your website is humming like a Porsche! You have made sure all the technical parts are in place so that you can measure, retain and communicate to any site visitors. But now you need to make sure that you have a plan to drive them back to your website and the best way to do that is with content. Whether you do a blog, monthly specials, lead magnets, discounts - whatever you do, make sure you have a plan to get them back and get them to spend time on your site and ultimately buy your product!
So in essence, check your site, get all the details worked out and then make sure you have a plan to bring the visitors back! That way you can be sure that your new website is like your favourite shoes - something that is comfortable, stylish and can take you wherever you want to go!
If the whole website thing is spinning your mind right now or if you need just a little help then I’d love to chat! Head on over to the Small Sites Blog as we are constantly updating our content and creating new articles for business owners just like you to engage with to help you grow your business online!
Felicity Dougherty is a digital design professional with a passion for making small businesses stand out against their big business competitors. Felicity helps small to medium businesses navigate the digital space to make an impact by getting their small business online and visible. With a background in brand management, PR, education and marketing for a leading pharmaceutical and consumer products company, and qualifications in Science, Economics and Graphic Design, Felicity loves pulling it all together and creating websites that look fabulous, work seamlessly and create business!