In a world where everything is one search away, having an online business presence is a must. Simply put, any business that has its sights set on growth and profitability has to have a website.
So, if you don’t have an online presence and want to take your business to the next level, you have to get a website up and running as soon as possible.
Whether you’re launching it on your own using a website builder like WordPress or Shopify, or you’re partnering with a web design agency, we’ve set you up with a comprehensive checklist of everything you need in order to properly launch your website.
1. Make sure your website’s code is neat and aligned with the best practices.
This ensures that your webpage will run at an optimal level, as unnecessary or redundant code can hinder website performance. Also, neat code allows for faster debugging and problem solving, should the need arise.
2. Make sure your website is mobile optimize (responsive).
You want your customers to be able to open and easily navigate your website, be it from a laptop, desktop, or mobile phone. By ensuring a well-functioning responsive design, you can make sure that every customer will be able to experience your website at its optimal level.
3. Make sure your website functions correctly on all browsers.
Even though the Google Chrome browser dominates the market with around 64% of people choosing it as their web browser of choice, you need to make sure that your website is compatible with other browsers such as Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. This ensures that your website will function properly regardless of your customer’s web browser choice.
4. Make sure your website is secure.
Nowadays, browsers such as Chrome and Safari show a warning to users who are about to enter a website that is labeled as “not secure”. This can drive a lot of people away from the site for fear of damaging their computers. By adding an SSL certificate, your website is labeled as secure and browsers will not flag it.
5. Check your website’s performance.
Most CMS (content management systems) will have a plugin that measures the overall performance of your website. Keep an eye on how long your website takes to load and if it’s constantly crashing as most people will quickly leave your site if it’s slow or crashes while they are surfing it.
6. Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
Have a few random people who have never seen your website navigate it. If they are able to easily understand it and follow your sales funnel, then you’re good to go. If not, review your website’s usability and user experience.
7. Check all the links.
It’s very common for links to break, and there’s nothing more annoying for a customer than to click on something and have it take them nowhere. Make sure that all the links on your site are correct and functional.
8. Back up your website.
Before you launch, make sure you have a backup of your website in case anything goes haywire. By doing this, you can restore your site quickly and get back on your feet in no time.
9. Check all of your forms.
Imagine filling out a form on a website, clicking on send, and having nothing happen. Or even worse, having the content get erased and not knowing if you filled it out correctly. Make sure that all the forms are functioning correctly, and that the information is going to where it needs to go.
1. Triple-check for errors.
Have someone read through all the text on your website to make sure that it’s error-free. Websites with typos or grammatical mishaps come off very unprofessional.
2. Mind the tone of your text.
It’s strange and off-putting when you read a text that seems to have been written by two different people. Make sure that all the text on your website has the same tone (e.g. if it’s formal writing, informal writing, etc).
3. Check your text’s readability.
It’s one thing to read text on a CMS and another to read it on a live webpage. Make sure that the typography you chose and the layout of the website are congruent, and, most importantly, that customers will be able to read the content easily.
4. Make sure your website’s legal notices are visible.
Most websites have a link, usually in the footer of each page, where you can see the terms and conditions of the site, as well as any legal notice. Make sure that these are available, especially if you are selling products or services online.
5. Get an SEO plugin.
Adding an SEO plugin to your CMS will greatly improve your website. It can help by making sure that your content is readable, helps you configure the titles and meta descriptions for your pages, and help you with using keywords and optimizing their usage to rank higher in search engines. You can use SEOLium’s rank tracker to see how well you are raking.
6. Review your CTAs.
Make sure that all your call-to-actions are functioning and take the customer to the correct place. A wrong move here can greatly reduce your online sales, especially if you have a button that says “Buy now!” that doesn’t take you anywhere.
1. Add an analytics tool to your website.
Website analytics are fundamental in order to see if your site is working like it should, bringing in traffic, and converting visitors into customers. Tools like Google Analytics can record and present a boatload of information on who visits your website, and how they navigate it which can help you improve your conversion rate.
2. Make use of Google Webmaster.
By adding your webpage to Google webmaster, you not only allow Google to crawl through your site and improve its standing in search engines, but you can also view what keywords people search for when your site is shown on a search engine.
1. Make sure all your images are optimized.
When images take too long to load, customers tend to leave and never come back. Make sure that all of your images are optimized for web viewing, that they’re not too large and the resolution is optimal for different screen sizes.
2. Make sure you have a favicon.
Simply put, a favicon is an image that is displayed on the tab of your browser. Having a favicon makes your website seem more professional, and generates a lot of credibility and trust from your customers.
3. Use custom pictures and graphics instead of stock images
Stock images are nice to use as fillers throughout your website but everyone can use them and in many cases, you will see different websites using the same images. This can be a major turn-off for visitors arriving at your site so use custom pictures and graphics instead to stand out.
Not long ago the only thing you needed to grow a business was to provide great service and have competitive pricing.
Today, you could have the best-run business in the world and if you don’t have an online presence you will die a slow death.
Google processes over 3.5 billion searches a day, most of which are from people that have an intention to buy or are in the process of gathering information for a later purchase.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that your business has an online presence and that your website is user-friendly, responsive, unique, and SEO optimized.