Are you just about to launch a new website or blog? Well, if you are, the most important thing you can do in your favor is not to rush things. Even if you think you are already done and good to go, take a step back, take a deep breath and reanalyze everything you have done up to this point.
There are two types of services that are important here. On the one hand, you need a checklist of all services required for your website to run and perform, as well as the marketing tools you will use to grow it. On the other hand, you should also make sure that all the services you are providing are easy to access and 24/7 available to your audience.
With this article, we are going to analyze together the most critical steps on your checklist and make sure everything is ready before actually launching a new website.
1. The Website
First, let’s talk about all the things you need to check out the things that are important for the website itself and your overall marketing strategy:
The first thing you should do is, of course, choosing a domain name. The better choice you make, the more likely is for your website to grow. What a good choice means in this context?
Well, you have two options: to either choose a domain name that stands for your brand or business name or, to choose something that relates directly to your industry or your services. At this point, your choice depends on the nature of your business. For instance, if you own a medical cabinet, you can search for a domain name that contains the keywords “physician” or “doctor” and the name of your city.
However, if you already have a brand on your name or your business and you want to market that specific brand name, you should choose a domain name that is identical or very similar to that brand.
Where to buy domain names?
Choose what’s best for you based on price, features and extended services. Most of the domain name sellers are also offering hosting services, and this is why you might want to take a look at their offers before acquiring your domain name.
Here, you need to focus on four things: resources, compatibility, uptime, and speed.
1. Resources: Check with the webmaster or with the company that built your website. Ask them about the resources the website needs to run smoothly. Depending on your targeted traffic, audience and the content management system, it could be anything from shared hosting to a dedicated server.
2. Compatibility: Choose a hosting service that is compatible with your CMS and/or your custom scripts. For instance, due to the growing popularity of WordPress, most of the hosting companies provide dedicated services for blog and websites based on this CMS.
3. Uptime: Most of the web hosting services available today ensure a minimum uptime of 99%. However, you should search for some honest reviews on your shortlist of companies that deliver these kinds of services. It’s better to stay safe and make sure that what they market as real, is true indeed.
4. Speed: It’s common knowledge now that Google favors websites that load fast. It prefers them to the point that the pages that load faster get to rank better in search results and as a consequence, they get to be more popular. Regardless of whether you optimize your page for text search, voice search or both, speed is essential, and it should be treated as such. Here, you can perform a quick test and analyze your website speed in just a few seconds.
Finally, here’s a piece of advice: Make sure you review at least half a dozen of hosting services before choosing your provider. There are many resources available online at this point. If you need more information, here’s a complete list of the top hosting providers based on reviews, prices and overall score.
2. Focused marketing strategy
A good domain name and a reliable hosting service are your best first steps if you want to market your website efficiently. However, there are other types of strategies that are more focused on the content and of course, on your industry and targeted audience. At this point, there are a few things to check out and a few services to be aware of before launching your website and your first marketing campaign.
Let’s focus on the essentials:
Keywords & Content research
Whether you are invested in conducting content marketing or not, you still need valuable and relevant content for your new website before launching it. To be able to provide the best possible pieces of content to your audience, you might want to conduct thorough research on the most popular keywords for your industry.
Here, I have two suggestions: Ubersuggest and LSI Graph. They are both reliable services and probably, two of the best in this area of marketing research.
Ubersuggest is a free tool provided by one of the most influential voices in today’s online environment: Neil Patel.
To access the tool you just have to follow the above link and type in your desired keywords. You will be provided with a full list of similar and related keywords and phrases. You will also get the search volume numbers, the CPCs, and the competition. The less competitive a keyword is, the more likely is that you will be able to rank high on that specific keyword, on search engines.
LSI Graph is also a free tool. It’s great for LSI keyword research, as the name suggests. These are all “keywords that we generally find related to the main keyword.” As a consequence, they help us rank better for a specific topic and not only for the intended main keywords.
Obviously, Social Media is essential in today’s online context. You cannot hope of marketing a website without linking it to at least one social media account, and this is why you should also consider your SM presence before launching it.
Before launching a website, therefore, create social media accounts and create and schedule a content plan for them. Stick to that plan. Also, it would help to use some external services for your research. One of the best tools I would recommend in this case is Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo is a premium app that allows you to find the right social media influencers and thus, know who to follow, contact or engage with to grow your website. You can also study the latest social media trends on a specific topic or a particular key phrase or group of keywords. You can find out what your competitors are posting, what they are sharing, who shares their posts and so on.
As I have already said, unlike the previous keyword research tools, this is a premium app. Therefore, in order to benefit entirely from Buzzsumo’s services, you have to select the plan that best suits your needs. However, there’s a free 7 days trial that allows you to test the app and evaluate its effectiveness.
3. The audience
So far, you’re almost done. Most certainly, you have everything in place for your website to be launched. Before doing it, however, there’s just one more thing you need to check your list: The Content.
Think about your readers and try to look at the website from their perspective. Analyze it with the objective third-party reader’s eye and not as a business owner, a marketer or a webmaster.
The primary focus, when you think about readability, should be your website theme and the fonts selected for the paragraphs and the titles. Inspect a published article visually and adjust your font sizes and the white spaces to make them more readable and to give them a professional look. However, I suggest using a premium theme. They are more reliable and better optimized for a professional look. You can start by checking our template database.
Readability, on the other hand, does not refer only to how the text looks. The way you write your pieces and the tone of voice is also important. Here are a couple of services that will help you adjust your texts and make them easier to read and understand:
Hemingway App enables you to make your writing more readable and at the same time reader-friendly. It gives you a bunch of useful pieces of advice such as where to shorten the sentences or when to use a passive voice. The AI highlights phrases or paragraphs in different colors, each color representing advice/recommendation.
Grammarly is yet another service that may be quite useful when you proofread your texts. There is a free version available and a commercial, more professional one as well. However, the free option should suffice if you already master the English language. What’s great about this service is that there are dedicated apps for Microsoft Word, for the browser and for the desktop.
Get a CRM
I am going to conclude this article with one final piece of advice. If you are going to launch an eCommerce website, then you will probably need a CRM service. Well, maybe not right from the start but nevertheless, it’s better to be prepared and when the time comes, to know what you’re doing.
What is CRM? According to Salesforce, which gives us one of the best definitions and a great tutorial on this type of service as well, “a CRM system helps you keep your customer’s contact details up to date, track every interaction they have with your business, and manage their accounts.
It’s designed to help you, improve your customer relationships, and in turn, customer lifetime value”. If you want to just test the waters at first and get used to this type of app, you can check out Hubspot’s free CRM services and start working on your customers’ lists.
Launching a website seems easy and quite effortless nowadays when CMS’ are easy to install and the popular web hosting providers give you access to all the tools needed to set up a website. However, there’s more to a website than what we can see on the surface. It takes a lot of preparation, tests and additional tools in order to make sure you can start on the right foot.
This article pinpointed some of the most important things you should check your list before launching your website. However, these are only the essentials. If you want to be thorough in your work, you should adapt the list to your own website needs, the audience targeted and the industry you are engaged in.