Let’s say you did it: determined your product design, selected the domain for the new website, created UI/UX design, and now you are ready to skyrocket by telling the world about launching your new website. But wait a bit before pushing that button.
The first thing to realize is that your company website is a bridge connecting your customers and your business. Therefore, the preliminary analysis and investing in the proper website with attractive UI, smooth UX, and great functionality is a must-do before launching your website. With that in mind, we have compiled a checklist of useful tips and hacks on how to avoid troublesome websites, flood your website with visitors, and ensure high performance.
Do you know that 75 percent of people assume business credibility depends on the website quality? Make it up to scratch if you do not want to overcome pitfalls that can happen after the launch and hinder your website’s performance and, eventually, your business success.
Still, hesitating if your website check is really obligatory? Just check out the following errors/issues that can significantly affect your traffic and low conversions, or even fade into obscurity.
You might know that this error demonstrated above can be caused by broken links, incorrect URLs, etc. Considering that a bad website launch is not only about errors and issues, there is also a risk of low traffic and a high bounce rate, for instance, due to long forms that overwhelm and scare your potential leads with too many questions, or maybe, your SEO works not properly, or your website is not mobile-friendly? Yeah, 50% of web traffic goes from mobile.
Typos and mistakes on the website are an essential determinant not only for your business reputation but also for your website traffic. Hence, outdated information affects search engine rankings.
Let’s move forward and shed the light on things worth considering before launching your website.
Once the content of your website is finalized, it’s time to move forward to the production stage, change and test your URLs. If you have a small number of pages on your website, the testing of URLs can be done manually, however, for the larger website it is recommended to use free or paid tools that will foster your testing process.
Broken links are a common issue on websites leading to a bad user experience. Hence, it is a good recommendation to check your website for broken links regularly. There are some tools available: Broken Link Checker, Screaming Frog, SEMrush.
In terms of changing the links for your old website, make sure your URLs are redirected correctly so that the user will not experience landing on a 404 error page. And if you want to be sure that website visitors and search engines are directed to the correct page, set up 301 redirect triggers which help to remove old pages and index only new pages. 301 redirect can make the transition of your website to the new domain consistent and smooth.
Also, taking into account that users tend to access websites through different URLs, it is recommended to use 301 redirect to send traffic from these URLs to the one that will be your preferred destination.
Creating a website that loads quickly and efficiently must be among your top priorities since load speed is an essential Google ranking factor. According to statistics, 47% of consumers expect a website page loading in two seconds or less. Indeed, pages that load within two seconds have a much less average bounce rate (9%) in comparison with the page load speed more than in 5 seconds – bounce rate increases up to 38%.
Before recommending tweaks to optimize your website speed let’s analyze what factors affect your website load time first:
One more important fact according to statistics is that a one-second page delay can extremely affect lost sales: an eCommerce website with $10K profit per day can lose up to $2,5 million. Considering this fact we can summarize that page speed is a determinant criterion for sales impacting customer loyalty and overall business performance.
If you target various locations, you can also check your website speed from different countries and regions.
Besides technical issues, auditing the website’s content is not less important for hooking the reader’s eye and attention. Do not underestimate the significance of proofreading your texts with a professional approach toward content management as well. This means you need to polish the content not only from typos and errors but to provide the logical output of information.
Before you spend a fortune on content promotion, check out the following tips on how content management needs to be organized and what exactly you need to do for its enhancement:
You need to check how your website renders on different browsers and even different operating systems since a site may display and function differently on each browser. By clicking through every page and every link may be overwhelming, so that there are a number of tools that you can employ such as Browserstack or Browsershots.
Testing the website’s mobile-friendliness and responsiveness has become important for Google focus thanks to its mobile-first index system which means it ranks mobile page before a desktop one. Therefore, mobile layouts should be of first consideration before website launch.
To ensure super-speed on mobile devices implement AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which helps to strip down your content to the bare minimum.
To determine the mobile-friendliness of your website use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
We outline the following recommendation for optimization of your mobile-version website:
There is a number of must-dos for proper indexing of your website and page ranking improvement. Let’s structure the core requirements for SEO before website launch:
To evaluate your website functionality and users’ satisfaction you need to analyze the website from the perspective of potential visitors. Moreover, the Google search engine may collect user’s experience to further deliver it to search results. In order to ensure consistent and seamless users flow test it on users with such tools as Usertesting.
Here are the following aspects you need to test:
Keep in mind that by understanding your users, their behaviors, preferences, and needs you will definitely improve the quality of their interactions with your product and establish loyalty to your business.
Before you hit the launch button it is of high importance to backup your website since in case of cyber-attacks or any unpredictable situation you will minimize risks of losing the website and restore it. UpdraftPlus is a great solution for updated backup.
In addition, you have to keep a website users’ data private and secure as well; hence, an SSL certificate is needed for data encryption to intercept hackers and ensure the credibility of the resource. SSL certificate acts as a safety for your site making it vulnerable to “Not secure” mode.
According to Small Business Trends, 70% of small businesses miss call-to-actions. One of the main reasons why websites do not convert is weak call-to-action without a sense of urgency. A perfect CTA is aimed at captivating the target audience and stimulating them to make the right decision, thereby, increasing conversions.
Call-to-actions help adjust your visitors to the most important locations and build an email list. Remember that placement and the color of your call-to-action plays an essential role the same as the message itself.
In order to better understand your website performance and the behavior of your visitors, there are great tools that come into play. Google Analytics is free of charge tool which will help you:
By implementing tracking codes in the HTML source code, you will capture data regarding users’ activity, their transitions to make your marketing strategy more solid and insightful. For more in-depth analytics, there are a variety of marketing automation platforms for setting up advanced targeting and tracking. Also, among great paid tracking services is HotJar allowing you to grasp users’ behavior and visualize their actions on your website via heatmaps, or Hubspot which helps get full visibility into your sales pipeline and easy-to-use CSM system.
The pre-launch process may take you much more time than it seems at the first glance but it is absolutely worth it. Now you have a detailed website pre-launch checklist covering all the essentials to confidently move forward. Collaboration with technical, SEO, and web design teams is extremely important since a full-fledged ready-to-launch website requires high levels of expertise, robust and proven approaches toward product design in line with industry trends.
Need help to test the usability of your website or improve your existing website?
Contact us, we’re keen to share our knowledge and support you during the pre-launch process.
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