Launching a new website is a process which I can assure you I have been through many times and can go really well and also really badly.
Here are my top 3 things to watch out for:
1. No errors – When you launch your new website ensure that there arent any errors. I know you have been looking at this site for 3 months now, and you hate it. You loved it when you saw the first designs. You showed other people and they loved it. But you began to grow apart from each other and now it has descended into a relationship of hate. But you have to be the bigger person in this relationship with your website.
- Check that EVERY SINGLE link works.
- No Spelling mistakes
- Every image comes up
- All pages load correctly in internet explorer
- No pages are missing.
The worst thing I have found to happen here is that you have put all this work in and now someone points out that the company name is mispelled on the homepage and all hell breaks loose. There is no need for the corporate alarm bells to sound. Just take it easy and fix it before it happens. I cringe at the emails where a big client of a company tells the CEO that something is wrong with their website. The marketing people cop more grief than is due. Having said that, its our job to get it right.
2. Tell people about the website – email your best customers and tell them. “We have created new website to better service you and help you . I like it when companies redo their websites. I find the new ones are better. I like seeing how the company has thought about their business and their clients and what is important to them and how they have solved this problem. I am an online marketer so I might see it a bit differently to most people. A normal customer will go, “WOW, its new its new! What do you have for me? What are you going to give me? I want more and I want it because its NEW!” Free download, Free voucher .. whatever. Give them something. Rehash an old offer and jam in on the homepage. It will seem brand new to them!
3. Commence promoting the website and tracking – Immediately after you have launched your new website commence the process of promoting it. You need to start “Returning” your investment. You need traffic, hits, people. You need sales, leads or bookings. My suggestion and pardon my flagrant self promotion is to pick up the telephone and call 02 9818 7300 and speak to Fred Schebesta or just email me to get some professional advice. Corporate companies need to be professional in their websites and also in their online marketing. I would write a brief and go to an agency and say “Hey, we just dropped $100,000 with you to build this site. How are we going to get some traffic.” They should come back to you with some ideas. My advice is to ensure that any promotion is focused around search engine marketing, email marketing and other online media. I suggest you start with the cheapest online media and move your way up.
Tracking is all about hits, clicks and camefroms. Your level of analytics depends on budget. Most of the corporate clients will use some form of tracking system over the top of the website statistics program. I suggest this:
- Use your website statistics program for basic stats. Unique visits (The number of unique people who come to your website.), referrals (Where did the users come from before they went to your website. I like this one because you get some good info about which search engines are working well for you. Also which other websites links are working well.), page impressions (The number of pages that were displayed. This is very important if you are looking to sell advertising space. Since you will sell these impressions individually.)
- Use a specialised analytics tool for campaign tracking like SEM or SEO. If you are a big ecommerce company then you will need to use an analytics tool for everything you do.
Here is a website we recently launched:
Its always a big thing when we launch a new website and I think this one is a pearler.