Launching a new website is a piece of cake.
All you have to do is buy a domain, find reliable hosting, hire a designer, learn SEO, develop a content strategy….
Ok, maybe it’s not as easy as it seems.
Starting and maintaining a website takes a lot of work—but you shouldn’t have to lose sleep over it if you plan correctly. The tips below will help you launch a website quickly while avoiding common pitfalls.
1. Define your Goals
Step 1: Launch a website.
Step 2: Get rich.
If this is what your goals look like, then you’re in the same boat as 95% of everyone who’s starting a website. And that boat is not a yacht, by the way.
If you’re launching a site, you need to plan your goals for the next year at least, and each goal should be a baby step from the last. For example:
- 11/15 Complete content strategy for 1st three months
- 11/18 Find a content writer
- 11/20 Create first piece of content
- 11/25 Upload 5 pieces of content
- 11/30 Create social media profiles
- 12/1 Launch website
Notice those dates next to each goal? Adding deadlines will keep you motivated. If you can’t keep up with your goals, don’t give up on your deadlines. Make a new schedule and try again.
2. Plan your Content Strategy
Content is the most important part of your website. In reality, the only purpose of your website is to host your content. So, you’re going to need to create good content consistently if you want to be successful.
But content doesn’t just grow from solid web design. It takes a lot of work to find good writers, and you’ll need to invest up front in order to publish content regularly that’s better than the competition. For that, you need a content strategy.
A content strategy is content publishing schedule and a marketing plan rolled into one. Your strategy should consist of a clear outline of what and when you’re going to publish. It should also consider how you’re going to attract the right audience, motivate them to take action (subscribe, make a purchase, etc.), and get them to visit again.
3. To Design or not to Design
A landing page is the first page where your customers “land” on your website. A homepage is an example of a landing page. If your site consists of only a landing page, you’ll be able to reduce your workload and expenses considerably. You won’t have all the bells and whistles of a real website, such as an About Us page, a blog, or product pages. Instead, you’ll be able to feature your product or service and convert customers on the spot.
If you’re selling a basic service, a simple product, or advertising yourself, a single landing page may be all you need. No need to hire a web designer and spend cash!
If you want to build a reputation with content via your blog or list many different products under one brand, you’ll probably need to hire a designer and create a site.
Or, you know, use Shopify.
4. SEO is a Must
No matter what type of site you build and who’s hosting it, you’ll need to know search engine optimization (SEO) basics to be competitive. SEO tactics help to place your website above others on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher your content ranks, the more clicks you get. The more clicks you get, the more money you rake in. It’s that simple.
Luckily, there are lots of helpful SEO tools built into common site-building apps like WordPress and Shopify. But it’s worth doing some research on your own (or hiring an SEO expert) to ensure you’re doing more than the bare minimum.
5. Create a Pre-launch Page
It’s really important to start generating traffic as soon as you launch. And you need to do more than just tell your mom to visit your site. A pre-launch page will build hype for your brand and give early traffic (from your social media pages, etc.) something to bookmark.
You might also want to use the page to promise something special for your first visitors/customers in order to get an influx of traffic from day one.
Build buyer confidence by updating your pre-launch page or including a countdown video. This will let them know that yes, the site is actually going to launch and that good things are coming!
Launching a website takes a lot of work, but if you plan correctly, your site should snowball into a successful venture before long. Once you’ve got the basics above in place, all it takes is time and consistency to grow your site into a powerhouse.