Everybody asks about the best way to launch a website, and I have three really important pieces of advice for you about your website launch plan:
- The launch of your website isn’t nearly as important as you think it is.
- Launch day numbers are vanity numbers (for you).
- It’s much more important to have a plan for consistently getting people on your site than it is to get a rush of people on day one who’ll never return.
I’m sure that sounded harsh, but I see the same trends in 90% of new service-based websites.
- They don’t mention their website again after the first week or month.
- They put up a few blogs for the launch of their website and then quit.
- They never bring their website into their sales funnel.
To help you not fall into those traps, I’ve created a website launch sustainability checklist for you.
Yes, it has the things you should do for your website launch. But it also includes things you should be doing every week or month for the rest of the life of your website.
Website traffic is super important, and most people really struggle to get their traffic numbers up in the first year or two after launch.
My goal (and yours) is to have your traffic consistently increasing right away, from the day or week of launch. Because you want people to be checking you out erryday, amirite?
The more times people visit your website, the more chance there is they’ll hire you to work some magic in their lives.
It’s simple math. And percentages. And maybe fractions. I don’t know, I was never good at statistics. It’s just truth.
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So let’s get your traffic hoppin’ from day one.
What to do before you launch your website
Your website launch plan starts long before launch day, and it’s in your best interest to plan ahead for the things you’re going to accomplish along the way.
- Build your website. Yes, that’s a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how many times people plan on launching on a specific date, and the site isn’t finished until the day of launch. That’s definitely not doing yourself any favors.
- Put up a coming soon page that has an email subscribe form on it so people can get on your list early and get an email when the site officially launches.
- Test your website on desktop + mobile to make sure everything looks the way it should.
- Make sure links and forms all work.
- Put SEO into all your pages. Use Ubersuggest to help you pick good keywords to rank for.
- Connect Google Analytics to your site so you can get traffic analysis.
- Test your email form to make sure you get added to the email list and the follow up emails get sent to you.
- If you’re going to write a blog, get 3–5 posts up so people have something to read on launch day. If you need help planning those epic posts out, check out this post.
- (When you start building) Let people know there’s a website being built behind the scenes and how excited you are. Just sorta slip it in there.
- (2 weeks out) Share the biggest things you’ve learned from the website creation process. Copy? Images? Layout? Tech? C’mon, you learned something. And mention again how excited you are for people to lay eyes on your hard work.
- (1 week out) Let them know when the website is almost done, and that it’s looking FAB. You want to build a little anticipation, my friend. It’s true that they don’t necessarily have anything invested in the launch of your website, but if they’ve been hearing about it for awhile, they’re way more likely to check it out on launch day and beef up those traffic numbers you’re secretly pining for.
- (3 days out) Do an optional 3-day countdown on social media to build hype. You could decide to give something away on launch day and announce it to your fans ahead of time to increase their interest, or you could simply share sneak peeks of the best new content or design elements.
What to do on launch day
- Make your site live. Take down the coming soon page.
- Run through and double-check everything on the site.
- Announce the website to your social media pages (include a preview image). Go beast here — make the announcement all the ways possible — feeds, stories, whatever you use.
- If you’re doing a giveaway, share the details and rules of how to enter the contest.
- Email the people on your list to share the good news.
- Add a link to your website on all your social media profiles.
- Sit back and focus on something else — if you stare at your website analytics, you’ll make yourself crazy.
What to do after launch
Here’s where the sustainability plan comes into effect.
You need a plan for getting people back to your website over and over again, because once or twice is not going to help them make the decision to work with you. And that’s the ultimate goal of everything you create in your business — getting your dream clients to reach out and work with you — especially your website.
So here’s a list of things you should be doing regularly to get people back on your website.
- Post a weekly piece of helpful content (blog, podcast, video) and announce it on social media and to your email list so people go and check it out. Make sure you’re talking about it in a way that’s enticing and going to get people interested. If you just say “I launched a new blog post today” without giving them a reason to believe it’ll be helpful to them, they won’t be inclined to read it.
- Reintroduce yourself to new followers on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and invite them to learn more about you on your about page.
- Encourage people to join your email list for exclusive weekly content — send them to your site to sign up. On the sign up thank you page, give them quick links to your best website content so they don’t just leave. Then, make sure your emails are actually giving them good content to chew on, and not just a weekly blog post announcement. Commit to giving more so you build an engaged audience.
- Include a PS in all your emails that directs people to check out your signature offer. This doesn’t have to be complicated — just explain in two sentences how your offer could change their life and link to it. Done.
- Get creative about other ways to get people back to your website. Any time you have the opportunity for it, use it. Run challenges and create special pages on your site to support the participants, or design a page specifically to feature your best content, and then share the link all over the place.
- Work to figure out how you can get your website into your sales funnel.
Don’t just create a website launch plan — pay more attention to the traffic sustainability plan
I get it, your website launch day is super exciting. It’s the day you’ve been dreaming of for weeks or months, or maybe years.
But don’t let launch day be the only thing you focus on, because it will leave your website empty of traffic, and therefore useless in the grand scheme of things. The point of a website is to get traffic to it, and if you don’t do that, it’s doing nothing for you.
Instead, focus mainly on getting consistent traffic to the site. Turn your website launch plan into a sustainability plan. And you’re welcome.