Launching a website is one of the most exciting yet potentially overwhelming aspects of running your business. No matter the size or scale of your website, it’s crucial that you create something that attracts potential clients, informs them about your brand, and ultimately makes a sale. So, how do you create a website launch that works? How do you utilize this new space to your advantage?
Undoubtedly, having a website for your brand is a vital aspect for many businesses. In fact, 71% of small businesses have a website, and with over 4.4 million businesses opening in 2020 alone, many digital-first companies are creating their own space online. But, one in four small businesses still doesn’t yet occupy that digital space. Without a website, these businesses could be missing out on potential growth.
In this post, we’ll briefly look at why a business should create its own website, before examining just how to create that all-important launch for your new online site.
Why should small businesses create a website?
There are many reasons why a small business should create a website. The main reasons are as follows:
- A website will help your business look professional
- A website will increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking
- A website will enable you to gather analytics
- A website will make you look more credible as a company
- A website will help your brand presence and connect you with your ideal client.
This is merely an overview of an essential subject for small businesses. I’ve written a post that delves deeper into the benefits of having a website for small businesses right here. Feel free to go have a read so that you can learn more about the benefits!
How to launch a website in 6 steps
1. Create a launch strategy
A launch strategy is an insightful way to determine what needs to be done, and when it needs to happen. Interestingly, only 55% of all launches take place on schedule, so allow room for flexibility in case of delays creating the site, pushing out marketing for the site, or any other type of delay that could occur. About 20% of launches are delayed due to failing to meet internal targets, so be realistic when setting your timeline about how much can be achieved in a set amount of time. I find it best when creating a launch strategy and timeline to work backward – set an achievable date that you want the website to be launched by, and go from there.
2. Create a pre-launch site
Creating a pre-launch site, or coming soon page, is a fantastic way to create excitement and intrigue for your business and alert your audience that your online presence is coming. Perhaps your page has a pre-launch countdown to create a general buzz for your launch! This will not only create excitement and curiosity but also provide information about when you will go live. Another great thing to include is a sign-up box for visitors to be notified about your launch as soon as it happens. Plus, you can add new leads to your mailing list – a vital aspect of obtaining new potential clients and sales.
3. Make sure your website is ready for launch
There are certain pages that every service-based website should have ready before its launch. They include:
- About page
- Services page
- Portfolio page
- Contact page
- Blog page
These are the foundational elements that you need to try and get right before you launch your website. However, once these are all concluded, there are other elements that you should try and have sorted before you launch.
Broken links are commonplace amongst many types of websites of all sizes – both large and small businesses fall victim to them by simply not maintaining the overall wellbeing of the website. However, these broken links can have an overall detrimental effect on your brand and business in various ways, like user experience, SEO rankings (which I’ll explain more about later in this blog), authority, and even revenue too. Fortunately, broken links are an easy fix thanks to free tools like brokenlinkcheck.com.
Another element that’s essential to have sorted prior to your website launch is the mobile version of your website. These days, everything is online – but more importantly, a lot of this online usage is mobile. In a world that is constantly on the go, you’d like to be able to check websites easily from your mobile while you enjoy your day. In 2020, a huge 68.1% of website visits came from mobile users – a clear majority. Making sure that your website fits both desktop and mobile versions will really aid your user experience, which in turn will help your overall brand and business outlook.
If you’d like to learn what to include in your website launch, head to my blog post “5 pages every service-based business website needs” here.
4. Have a blog filled with insightful content
This ties in with the next section I’ll write about SEO. Having a blog on your website prior to launch will be highly beneficial for your business. Having as many blog posts as possible for your website launch means that it can immediately answer many different questions relating to your industry or niche. That way, when people are searching on Google, your site is more likely to come up on the search engine.
So, how many blogs should you have before launch? According to Hubspot, ‘Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.’ And Hubspot also states that businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than those that don’t. Before you launch your website, try to have a handful of blogs already written on your website.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of blogging for your business, read my post here.
5. Try to tackle the SEO
This might sound complicated but it doesn’t have to be. With plugins like Yoast SEO and Moz, implementing and maintaining SEO for your website has never been easier. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it essentially helps your business rank on Google. Ever searched something on Google and clicked on one of the top links? That site got there through an SEO strategy, so if you can get it right, it’ll be incredible for your business.
SEO is a key part of many businesses’ marketing strategies. For example, I put a big focus of my SEO marketing strategy into my blog by researching and implementing keywords that my ideal audience is searching for on Google.
SEO is a fantastic element to get right before you launch your website. If you don’t feel like tackling this yourself, you can hire an expert to create your website for you – they’ll make sure everything is optimized so your site works as it should before visitors come to your site.
6. Market your launch
Creating a buzz for your website is vital before your launch happens. There are so many ways to do this, but a few common ones are through social media marketing, emails, and influencer marketing.
Perhaps tease the launch on your socials and continually update your followers throughout the process of the website building itself. Maybe reach out to a few business friends in the weeks leading up to the launch so they can cross-promote it on their socials too! Email marketing to your community will be a great way to generate a buzz amongst your already-created warm leads and is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your first days will have a lot of website traffic.
Summary: How to launch your website
Creating a viable website is definitely achievable for every service-based business. You’ll have an area to show off your expertise and knowledge and create clear evidence of what work you have done for prior clients. It’ll create an easy pathway for potential clients to learn more about who you are and what it is that you do, as well as be an easy place for them to purchase products or services from your business.
Creating a website launch that has a clear strategy and markets your website to the best of its ability will be key in generating that all-important buzz for existing and new clients. Plus, if you launch your website with a clear and easy structure, an already-existing blog complete with insightful and knowledgable posts, and an SEO-friendly layout throughout, you’ll be well on your way to attracting leads online.
If you’re looking to create your next website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to see how we could work together!