What you need for a successful new website launch
Launching a brand new website is an exciting time. You’ve worked for months to make sure every image looks great, the wording is just right, the contact info and every other detail is accurate.
The last thing you want is for the website to go unnoticed.
A lot of business owners are surprised that people can’t find or navigate their site because they are used to the old site. This is a common problem that can be easily solved.
On the backend of any new website, there are a lot of moving parts. The more attention you can pay to all the little details, the better. This is why with each client website we launch, we go through the following process.
If the search engines are going to find your new site, you must have accurate keywords on the page. To do this, you must create a keyword map for your most important pages, (homepage, category pages, product pages, etc). In layman terms, a keyword map (also known as keyword mapping) assigns keywords to specific pages on your website. You usually choose the keywords based on research. You are then able to then make the page more relevant to the keywords for SEO.
On Page SEO
It used to be ok to simply set your keywords, and the search engines would find you. But today, there is a great deal more that needs to be done. One important step is to make sure to check indexing crawlers can easily access your pages and content. This is done by checking all the Header Tags (H1), Descriptions, Keywords and Meta Data are correct on every key page of the site.
Site Map Redirect Planning
Your old website contained a sitemap which listed every single on the page. When launching the new site there has to be a review of the new sitemap to which links need to be redirected. In SEO terms, this is called a 301 redirect. It is a permanent redirect from one web address (URL) to another. 301 redirects will send your site visitors and search engines to a new URL. This is important as sometimes search results may still contain old web addresses, or your customers may type your older addresses into the address (URL) bar.
There are many different activities that a website is used for today. And to better understand and optimize your behavior on the website, Google Tag Manager is a great tool to have in place to assist with:
Event tracking: this allows you to track specific events that you define. Events such as when a visitor clicks an outbound link, whether they play the videos in your content, how far down they visitors scroll down, and if they are filling out your forms.
Pixel Tracking: Pixels are snippets of code that allow you to gather valuable information about website visitors and their actions. They are vital for measuring campaign performance and tracking conversions.
Facebook, Amazon Conversion Pixels: these are codes added to your website so you can remarket to visitors to sites such as Amazon and Facebook.
Schema Mark Up
A Schema markup tells the search engines what your data means. This helps them deliver the information in a more user-friendly way to people searching. Using the unique microdata language, you can tell search engines much more about your content. This is because Microdata uses a specific vocabulary to describe an item and assign values to its properties. This might sound quite technical because it is. But getting the schema markup right makes a big difference to how easily visitors can find your site.
The modern Google search engine cares a lot about user satisfaction, and it will collect some user experience data and then use it to deliver search results. If you’re launching a new website, you won’t have any bounce rate or session time data to dwell on. As time passes, this will be easier to gather, but in the beginning, it’s important to consider the user experience (UX). Working with a professional designer of your website will ensure a more accessible user-friendly website.
On top of this, you have to be sure that the website loads fast and looks good on multiple devices: desktops, laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc. Speed is a currency in the world of online engagement, so you must ensure that your website is not loading slowly.
Ensure SSL Compliance
Having a secure site is crucial, not just for privacy, but also because search engines such as Google will rank your page higher as a result.
In 2018, having a site with HTTPS is now the standard to show you encrypt your data. If your website is not using HTTPS/SSL, then your website credibility and search engine rankings may be affected.
Full Review and Audit
If you enlist a web developer to do your website audit, they will review all these factors that can affect your website’s visibility in search engines. This will give you a complete overview and insights into any site, overall traffic results and individual pages that need tweaking. This can save headaches down the track, and also ensure that your new website launches to lots of new traffic.