14 Jul The Early Days Of A Website – The Things You Need To Be Doing
The launch of a new website is always a day to be remembered, whether that is your first ever website, or the 5th relaunch since your business began, the dawn of a new era and potentially new audience is always something to look forward to.
But, head online and do some research and you will be presented with endless horror stories, grumbles and complaints regarding things that didn’t quite go to plan and when the launch of the new website was more of a headache than a headliner. In the rush to get the new site live, the basics are often forgotten and whilst you have a beautiful masterpiece online, no one is using it and business is far from where you expected it to be.
So, here are the key things you need to do in the early days of launching a new website.
Title tags are one of the most important onsite ranking factors, and whilst you can read our full guide to title tags here, you must make sure every page has a unique, SEO orientated title tag that tells the search engines what the page is about, and of course, contains the keywords you want to rank for, as long as they are relevant of course. Try to make sure this is in place before you go fully live, but if not, make sure it is done before the spiders come crawling, as indexing is far quicker now that it ever used to be before.
Whilst having no direct impact on SEO any more, they do have an indirect impact, so make sure you spend time writing quality descriptions and ones that are engaging, catchy and make people want to click on them, and avoid using duplicate ones, as these are no good for your SEO. Don’t just assume that because they don’t impact your rankings directly they are not important, as they are, as it can make the difference between a user clicking onto your site or the ones above or below you in the search engine results.
Sitemaps are basically a hierarchal list of pages and URLs on your website, which the search engine spider bots can use to come along and follow your website and then bring the pages into the index to allow people to find you when searching. So, you need to make sure you have a sitemap in place, and also add this into your Google Webmaster Tools Account, which is just another must do thing to try and help those bots to find, crawl and index your new site.
This is only something to worry about if you are migrating to a new site from an old one, so if this is the case, you need to make sure you use 301 redirects to redirect any pages that have been moved or deleted to their new location. Failing to do this if you have changed things like menu structure or the URLs could see a wealth of crawl errors and more importantly, a loss in rankings, as your established pages can fall out of the index. A 301 redirect will pass most of the link juice to the new page, so therefore it is so important to get these in place.
Test Contact Forms
Having seen this a few times now, the first thing you should do when the site goes live is to test the contact forms, as there is nothing worse than realising a few weeks down the line that your forms were not working or the emails were not going through to you, especially if you have really spent some money on advertising and pushing your new site out to potential customers.
Analytics, Goals And Conversion Tracking
So important, but so often missed, you simply must install Google Analytics onto your site as a basic and also add some goals and conversion tracking for the paid advertising you will be doing. Google Analytics offers you the information you need to know concerning how well your site is performing, and Goals and conversion tracking can show you where the enquiries are coming from, all of which are crucial aspects for your business now and many, many years into the future.
Make sure your key social channels are up and running and connected to the site, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Social can be a great way to get the message about your new site out there, and at the same time, active social channels show your company is proactive and still moving along, helping to instil consumer confidence and also encourage engagement and interaction with your brand and company.
And so, the new site is online, the feedback is great and people are starting to use it, which means it is time to plan your content and start blogging, and whilst you might not be able to write tons every week, it is important to make sure you have fresh blogs, articles and content being added consistently and frequently, as not only do the search engines love fresh content, but so do your users and it also gives you something to use across your social channels as well.