Picture this: it’s coming to the end of the first week in your new dream job as a Marketing Manager. You know you’ve some great marketing experience under your belt and you feel confident and ready for the challenges ahead. Everything’s gone fine and dandy in your first few days; you know where the lunch room is, your PC is up and running, everybody is really friendly. As first week’s go, it’s been great. The final day of the week is here and your boss says to you, “Right, we’re going to need a new website.” The calm and composed interior that started the week begins to fade into a bubbling ball of anxiety. You’ve never really worked on a full-blown web design and rebuild and your thoughts move to feelings of panic.
If you find yourself in this position, then worry not. To keep it simple and help you remain focused throughout the project, I’ve put together 5 important factors to consider if you find yourself challenged with preparing to launch a new website.
It’s easy to underestimate exactly how much content exists in a website, particularly when you’re on the hunt for a new dress or the perfect wedding venue in your downtime. Once you’ve found the ideal dress, you’ve subconsciously scrolled through page after page of images, text and videos. All of these images and words have been crafted to generate the most relevant content for the web user in order to increase traffic and increase sales. For this reason, you should ensure that content generation is high on your planning list for the project.
Once you’re happy with your web designs it’s important to remember there’s no point writing reams of text if your new design will only allow for 50 words on your home page. Align your content with your brand’s tone of voice and new designs, and you’ll be winning.
Successful web content also relates to point 5: Website Performance and how it connects with your audience. As your team prepare your content, you should consider your Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is like an onion; it houses layers to your branding story. In the middle layer is the ‘Why’. When writing content always consider Why you’re doing what you’re doing, then the How, and then What you’re doing. Creating your web story with images, videos, interactive tools and text starts and finishes with the Golden Circle.
YOUR LAUNCH PR
Launching your website to the big wide world can seem like an overwhelming prospect so let’s start with the big picture. What are your business values and mission? Are these going to be showcased in the weeks leading up to your website launch day or have they been lost in the whirlwind of chaotic marketing activity?
Will your values and mission follow through after the big push live? Think carefully about how you want your existing content to support this brand spanking new website and engage with your audience. The lead up to launch could include a website count down on your social feeds. Each week you reveal a new product or an interesting fact about your business.
Have you got leaflets for the exhibition you’re attending a month prior to launch? Getting the word out there as effectively as possible is the ultimate aim so it’s important to prepare and plan your surrounding launch activity in parallel with your website launch date.
Test, test, test and test some more! It’s important not to downplay the testing of your new website. It’s easy to think it’s a relatively quick scan through of all pages to see if the content’s all there and looks spot on. You should be ensuring that your website looks great, but it’s equally as important to test what’s happening under the hood. Each and every aspect of the website should be tested to check that all functionality works.
Does your contact form return emails to your admin dashboard? Does your payment checkout process work correctly? Is the website looking good and working on all internet browsers and mobile devices? With more devices on the market, the website testing plan should leave enough buffer to accommodate for a plethora of development tweaks and fixes.
Your web development team are there to support you through this process so work closely with them to understand delivery expectations during the testing process.
With all of the pre-planning, reviewing and a hive of activity in the lead up to your website launch, it’s all too easy to push website support on the back burner. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how you’re going to maintain the website after launch. Where do you go if a page on the site is broken? What approach will you take if you want to implement a new section to the site?
If you’re working with us, you can discuss website maintenance and support options open to you well ahead of launch, so get ahead and tick this one off your to do list!
You’ve allocated a large proportion of your annual budget to this new website and you’re a seasoned marketing pro which means you’ll want to track your ROI. For better results, you’ll need to allow for a few months or so to give the new website time to breathe.
Check whether you’ve got Google Analytics set up to track how your new website is ranking in Google and look at websites like HotJar to discover how users are interacting with your website to help support future improvements. With so many avenues to explore in the digital marketing sphere, it can seem like a daunting area to delve in. We have a team of digital marketing professionals here to help support your every need.
Hopefully, these 5 factors have helped to restore some serenity to your impending first website redesign and build project. Good luck!