After all of the work you’ve put in so far to create your new website, it’s now time to launch! But wait just a minute – there are 6 very important aspects of your website you should check and double check before hitting the live button! Be sure to complete this list of tests and review before sending your website live out to the public.
Launching Your New Website Design
1. Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Urls
All your website pages should have optimized page title, meta description, url and content. When reviewing your pages look out for the following criteria:
Title tag: Begin the page title with the target keyword then your company name. For example “Small Business Marketing Solutions | ABC Agency”. Each page title should be unique to that specific page. Be sure that the title is not too long (it’s recommended to keep it under 55 characters, including spaces).
Meta Description: Your meta description should also include your target keyword towards the start of the description. Then go ahead and explain what the page’s purpose is, but keep it short and simple.
Url: Your page url should include your target keyword and be specific to that page. Each url should be unique. Note: *Your url redirects are a VERY important factor to review before launch. Make sure that if you have an old website, the urls are being redirected to your new pages and you have this mapped out on a spreadsheet to put into place as soon as the site is launched.
Page Content: Within your page content, make sure you are using the same target keywords that you have in your title tag, meta description and url.
2. Page Formatting, Grammar & Spelling
Your page content should be “readable”. This means simplifying long paragraphs of text with bullet points or lists. Also, be sure to include images that visually represent your content and that are optimized for search with an alt text. The formatting for each page should include keywords within your body content and a page header (H1) and a subheader (H2) for search engines to crawl.
Be sure to double check and read through each page for spelling and grammatical errors. You don’t want the first eyes on your new website to notice a misspelled word or a missing punctuation!
3. Links & Calls to Actions
A task that you will want to put on top of your list before launch is link and call to action checking. Go through your website and click on every link throughout the pages, as well as all the call to action buttons. Make sure that they are leading you to the correct page and all is working properly. This is the best time to ensure that your website “flow” is mapped out and documented for future reference and to ensure accuracy. It’s a good idea to have multiple people involved with link checking, so that nothing is missed.
Similar to link checking, making sure forms are working correctly is another critical task before website launch. Go through your website and fill out each form, make sure that you are sent to a thank you page (that is not indexed by search) and that you receive a follow up email shortly after submission. Also, check that the notifications for the submissions are being sent out to the right people within your organization and that they are aware of how to check them and what the process is once receiving it. This is a good time to familiarize the team with the new website workflow and walk through how a visitor will become a lead.
If you haven’t already set up Google Analytics for your website, move forward with the set up at this point before launch. Take some time to set goals and make sure all the tags will be pulling correctly into the GA. You will want to filter out your team’s IP addresses (office and any remote employees) so that your data is accurate and not skewed. Having analytics on the website for launch is very important so you can begin collecting insights and make improvements immediately post-launch.
6. Browsers and Devices
Once all your links, forms and buttons are working and your formatting is 100% on your primary device – go ahead and start looking at your website on all other devices and browsers. You may find some errors with formatting that needs to be addressed right away. Many visitors will be coming to your website on mobile, be sure to go through all website pages on mobile devices (both Android and iPhone), clicking links and submitting forms. Be sure to check the site on top browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Different screen sizes is another area where you will want to preview the site. Most website platforms will have preview options when building your site that allow you to double check responsiveness. If not, there are tools that you can utilize in order to do this.
After going through this checklist, you should be ready to launch your website! Be sure to make note of all issues so that you can double check post-launch and be sure that everything is still working properly. Your website is not a “set it and forget it” project. Consistent improvement and upkeep is definitely necessary in order to get the most ROI out of your website. Once your site is launched, that is only the beginning of your online marketing journey to business growth!