Websites are essential in starting a business. Whether big or small, businesses in the digital age need to do this, or risk being left behind. Websites are perfect companions for companies’ digital marketing efforts due to their wide reach. According to Statista, approximately 4.5 billion people are online—with that sheer number, some people will inevitably see them.
But before making such websites come alive, businesses need to tick more than a few boxes on this startup checklist. Websites take a lot of time and detail to plan and execute, so entrepreneurs must tread carefully. This checklist is like a business plan; it’ll guide business people on what to do and how to plan for their website for the good of their ventures.
Developers and Web Designers Checklist
Website design and development is a time-consuming stage, but a crucial one. Since people tend to judge websites’ appearance and credibility, this has to be done right if entrepreneurs want to attract more people.
There aren’t any shortcuts to this stage. However, this website strategy for design and development should make things less stressful.
- Do Advanced Preparations
Clients and their clients’ audiences should be considered. Trends must be reviewed as well. A website proposal for design/development should be submitted (if necessary).
- Have a Streamlined Plan
Create a sitemap to get an idea on how the proposed website will work. Mock-ups should follow this for visualization purposes.
- Execute with Quality
This stage should not be rushed as sloppy execution leads to poor results. For more efficiency, divide tasks among the design and development members.
- Be Open to Change
Modifications may be necessary. Be prepared for inevitable changes to initial designs.
SEO is key to gaining tons of web traffic. Don’t skimp on any of these elements.
- An SEO-Friendly Domain Name
This should be based on businesses’ brands as it’s much easier for users to find them. When done well, domain names help propel websites to the top of search rankings.
- Keyword Research
There are plenty of keyword tools to help out in this department. If businesses can figure out what people are searching for on the web, they’ll have their audiences right where they want them.
- Meta Tags
While they don’t appear on web pages, don’t count them out. They provide descriptions to search engines regarding a web page’s content.
- SMART Goals
For the unfamiliar, this acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Businesses ought to focus on these fundamentals to get the results they want in their SEO plan.
Copywriters and Editors Checklist
What would websites be without content? Copywriters and editors have a role to play in the creation of good websites. Fortunately for them, matters relating to content are in their line of expertise.
Content gives visitors an idea of a website’s functions, purpose, and why they should stick around. Develop a good content strategy through these tips.
- Structure Content Properly
Content structure is just as valuable as visuals. If businesses’ messages resonate with their principles and customers, people will likely avail of their services or buy their products
- Get Creative
Content doesn’t have to be purely textual. Explore different formats (videos, infographics, etc.) for more variety. This can also help businesses stand out from competitors.
- Scheduling is Key
Beat deadlines by using a content calendar to schedule content-related tasks. This way, writers and editors won’t feel too swamped at work.
Marketing Managers Checklist
Marketing managers are in charge of creating, implementing, and overseeing businesses’ promotional strategies to attract potential customers. Here’s what they should do before a website is set to launch.
- Go Beyond Traditional Means
Marketing is an ever-changing world. Thanks to technological advancements and new methods, marketers have innovated their tactics to keep up with the times. Marketing managers must explore different strategies to stay on top of their game.
- Get Social
Social media marketing is an important piece of businesses’ digital marketing puzzles. This allows them to increase their online presence, gain leads, build connections with potential customers, and bump up sales.
- Boost Business Sales
Marketing managers are tasked to generate sales for businesses and brands. This is done by drafting and executing profit-generating promotional strategies.
Entrepreneurs can keep tabs on their business websites’ performances by looking at analytics. This shouldn’t be swept under the rug as it allows them to see the direction their ventures are headed. Luckily, web analytics tools exist to lend them a hand.
- Track the numbers
Google Analytics helps entrepreneurs and business people in demographic analysis. The free tool also allows them to see other interesting things, such as the number of website visitors, visitor browsing duration, and the most visited web pages.
- Keep Other Factors in Mind
Analytics isn’t just a numbers game. Business people should consider other factors, such website visitor behavior. Hotjar is a tool to help them do just that.It has unique features, such as heat mapping and conversion funnels. Hotjar also provides avenues for user feedback through features like surveys and polls.
Website Browser Testing
A website that looks good on one browser doesn’t automatically mean it’ll be the same case on another. If businesses want their websites running on every browser, they should let them undergo testing.
- Test Major Browsers
Conduct reviews on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and other desktop and mobile browsers. Tools such as Browsershots help get this job done at a faster rate as it uses multiple PCs from different locations.
- Don’t Leave Out the Smallest of Details
Take note of details like broken links, unoptimized images, forms, and fonts. Even the smallest things can potentially cause big problems.
- Conduct Speed Tests
Speed tests can let site owners know if a web hosting agreement holds up its end of the bargain. Take note of areas of concern.
- Test Website Performance
Performance tests are part of website performance management. Google PageSpeed can do the trick as shares suggestions on improving web pages.
Final Pre-Launch Checklist
Before finally launching a website, a few final tests have to be done to ensure smooth operation. This may seem tedious for entrepreneurs and website creators, but it’s necessary. Any error can be costly as they can drive potential customers or clients away.
- Double Check Everything
Incorrect links, incoherent content, and missing elements can be overlooked as launch day nears. Every error needs to be caught before site visitors catch them. Make sure everything is in its place.
- Plan for the Next Phase
Good project management entails advanced planning. If there were any items left out on the website roadmap upon site completion, prioritize them during the next phase. Meetings and brainstorming sessions can be conducted to review and plan for them.
- Follow Legal Requirements
All necessary legal documents and other requirements must be submitted and complied with before launch. Entrepreneurs can reach out to legal advisers to ensure they won’t miss anything.
If a website is ready to go, entrepreneurs should let their target audiences know. But how can they convince them to check it out?
- Send Out a Press Release
Small and big businesses can benefit from putting out a press release on credible websites. They just have to make sure their angles align with their target markets.
- Spread the Word on Social Media
Announce launches on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Website snapshots should be included to give people a glimpse of the site’s visuals and features.
- Send Email Notifications
Despite the rise of social media, email is still an effective marketing platform. For every $1 spent, email marketing gets an ROI of $44.
Business owners should continue their investments in this area by sending out emails announcing the launch of a website. Since all industries have a 20.81% average email open rate, a business ought to continue this practice.
Work doesn’t stop after a website’s launch. Get the following priorities in order after a website goes live.
- Check for Functioning URLs
A website is functioning if visitors are led to pages they should be looking at. Other indicators include complete images and functioning buttons. If visitors don’t land on a 404 page, the website is working the way it’s intended to.
- Run a Post-Launch Analysis
Know a website’s direction by using the web analytics tools mentioned in the Analytics Checklist section. Check which site pages are getting the most visits and the keywords that draw visitors in. Results will serve as a guide for future promotional campaigns.
- Submit the Website to a Search Console
Snag an appearance on Google by submitting a website to the Google Search Console. Through the submission, the website’s pages will be indexed. It also grants access to SEO pointers that can increase site visibility.
Websites are essential advertising tools for business. Not only does it save businesses money, but the effort from traditional marketing means as well. Websites’ global reach and non-stop marketing set itself apart from traditional business operations; they allow people from various parts of the world to access what businesses have to offer.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your business in the digital era, get on board with the times and launch a website. Its benefits and effects will convince you to amp up your digital marketing efforts to go along with traditional tactics. Setting up a website won’t be a cakewalk, but the effort will be worth it.