Congrats! You Launched Your Website! Now What?
Launching your website is a HUGE thing, and once it’s done, it can feel like a huge weight lifted.
But, the work doesn’t stop there!
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they launch, or relaunch, their website is simply walking away after it goes live.
Maybe they announce it on social media or tell a few people, but beyond that? Nothing.
In order to truly make the most of your online presence, make sure you’re committed to making it be the best it can be even after you launch it.
1. Promote It
If you’re like me, you may have a tendency to feel kinda gross and skeezy when you self-promote your stuff. But guess what? It’s a must-do.
Look at it this way: if your website is set up to truly help people, you’re doing them a major favor by announcing that you’re open for business! Spread the word using whatever social media platform(s) you love to use, like Instagram or Pinterest or via your email list.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider:
- Promoted posts & ads: the more people that see your website, the better. You can promote your content and boost your posts on just about every social media platform these days. If you DO choose to go this route, make sure you actually know what you’re doing! Promoting posts and paying for ads without a strategy can mean you’re throwing money down the drain.
- A discount or giveaway: everyone likes getting something for free! Discounts and giveaways can be a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer.
Remember, it’s totally okay to promote something more than once! It’s so easy for people to miss something when they only have one opportunity to see it! For example, instead of only sending one email, plan a whole campaign.
2. Track Your Stats
Not only is it fun to watch the visitors roll in, it can be extremely helpful to start collecting stats so you can analyze them later.
Google Analytics is a super helpful tool that lets you do just that. It not only tracks who is viewing your site, it can tell you how long they’re staying on pages, what your most viewed content is, and where your traffic is coming in from.
You can learn a lot about your site and how people interact with it by utilizing Google Analytics. There is a bit of a learning curve figuring out how to interpret the reports, but it’s free and easy to set up!
3. Nurture Your Email List
Email marketing is crucial. If you don’t have an email marketing system set up yet, consider:
- Mailchimp: a decent option if you are just starting out, as it is free for beginners and has enough tools for you to do basic email marketing.
- Convertkit: when I decided to get serious about email marketing years ago, I switched to ConvertKit. Within a month, I’d already increased my list size by like, 30%. Creating automations is easy.
- Flodesk: this option is a favorite amongst many creative business owners, as it allows you to create “prettier” emails than most of the other choices.
- Klaviyo: this platform is one of the best out there for online ecommerce brands. If you’re selling lots of products–not services–through your website, check out Klaviyo!
4. Have A Back-Up Plan
Not making back-ups of your website is risky. In the case that your website is hacked or some other unfortunate event happens that is outside of your control, you can restore a “clean” version of your website if you have a back-up of the database and your site files.
These days, most web hosting companies make regular back-ups of your stuff for you, however, you should definitely check for sure.
Also worth doing: make a list of all the things you’re paying for that make your website work. For example, annual domain registration renewal, monthly web hosting, and so on. Make sure none of the things you need lapse, or your website could go bye-bye.
5. Stay Updated
Website software, platforms, apps, plugins, etc…they all get updated from time to time.
Sometimes, these may require action from you.
For example, if you have a WordPress website and you don’t have auto-updates turned on, you will manually need to push updates live for the WordPress core, plugins, and themes. (Don’t worry–you can do this in just a couple clicks!)
Stay on top of any updates needed, as keeping outdated versions of these things can cause security vulnerabilities.
6. Lock It Down
Protect your site from getting hacked by:
- Choose smart login credentials: use difficult-to-guess passwords.
- Restrict access for those who don’t need it anymore: if you’ve shared your information with someone, like a copywriter or web developer, and they are no longer working on your website, cut their access. You can always give it back if they need it again.
- Set up 2-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA requires a second authentication event when you login, like entering a code generated in a 2FA app.
- For WordPress, limit login attempts: Sometimes, bots will try to login to your website over and over again, which can cause a high load on your server (which isn’t good!). Install a plugin like WPS Limit Login which enables you to temporary block a user from trying to login if they’ve tried the wrong password too many times.
- For WordPress, hide the login screen: You can also hide the login URL from bots to prevent bots from hitting it. Use a plugin like WPS Hide Login.
7. Combat Spam
You usually only have to worry about this if you have a WordPress website. If you have comments turned on for your blog posts, or if you have a contact form plugin, chances are you will start seeing an influx in spam form entries if you don’t do anything to prevent it.
8. Work On Your SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is often misunderstood. A lot of people I speak to know what SEO is and realize it’s valuable to them, but they don’t know the proper ways to implement it on their site. (There’s a lot of bad SEO advice out there, by the way!)
SEO can be as basic as choosing smarter file names and adding alt text to the images you share on your website, or as complex as doing hours of keyword research. Some of these things should already be completed when you launch your website, but it is an ongoing process.
SEO is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up on the latest trends to figure out how to best make it work for you.
9. Create Shareable Content
Let’s bring it all the way back home to tip #1: promoting your stuff. You’ll find best results when you create content that other people want to promote as well, like by sharing it with their friends and followers on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and more. This is easier said than done, I know, but consider:
- Create content that matters: it goes without saying, but content that people find valuable gets shared the most! Your website will be all the more valuable when it contains lots of resources your target audience can use.
- Work on your content strategy: it is worth spending time developing this.
- Have pretty share graphics: your content is way more likely to be shared and clicked through to if your graphics look professional, pretty, and enticing…and don’t get cut off because they’re the wrong size for the platform you’re sharing on!