A new website is a lot like a shiny toy meant to be shared with the Internet. Before you unwrap the gift and reveal it to the world, be certain there are no sharp edges or broken parts.
This six-item, website launch checklist will help ensure you make a good first impression:
1. Is the branding and appearance consistent? – Your website should build and reinforce your brand. Your logo should appear on every page, and ideally in the same location and/or the same size. Similarly, the color scheme should remain consistent throughout. For instance, watch for sloppy design like a home page that uses bold red and yellow headers, but an FAQ section or blog awash in pastel blues. Also, check for consistency in font sizes and selections.
2. Is the web content free of errors? – Nothing puts a damper on a professional image like web copy littered with typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors. At We Do Web Content, we run all copy through a multi-level edit system to ensure it’s clean, concise, and easy-to-understand. Do you write the content yourself? Ask your favorite grammar nerd – or similarly detail-oriented third party – to give the site a thorough proofread before launch.
3. Do all of the forms work? – Do a few trial runs before the launch, filling out all forms to ensure proper functioning. For example, your contact form is key to capturing clients’ data, including phone numbers and email addresses. Think about a few things as you test the “Contact Us” form: Are the instructions clear? Are you requesting all the relevant information you’ll need? Is the captured sent to the proper person or database? Do you have follow-up systems in place (such as a “Thank You” email or a customer service call)?
4. Do all of the links work? – Broken internal links – as in, links that point at other pages on your site – are bad for user experience and SEO. Don’t lose potential customers and risk dropping in page rankings: Test all links prior to launch, or ask your SEO/web marketing team to conduct a thorough inspection of internal link flow.
5. Is it mobile-friendly? – According to Pew Internet, 55 percent of cell phone users access the Internet via a mobile device and 31 percent rely solely on mobile devices for web browsing. Preview your site on a variety of mobile devices to ensure you’re not missing out on potential readers and clients.
6. If this is a re-launch, how are you currently ranking? – If the new site is actually a re-launch/re-vamp of an existing site, it pays to assess current rankings before unveiling the new product. This allows you to establish a benchmark for performance and search rankings. For example, let’s say you currently rank well for search terms like “dog bite laws Houston” and “Texas property owner’s liability.” Having a record of that information gives you something to measure against when later assessing the new site’s performance. If you find that your rankings have dropped significantly – or disappeared altogether – for either term, you’ll know you have some investigation to do with your SEO team.
This is just a sampling of some of the things to consider when launching a new website. We Do Web Content can help you in the process, from start to finish. We can help you make decisions about design, optimizing content, and how to market your services to an Internet audience. Call us today at 888-521-3880. Or fill out this online contact form to learn more.