Whether you’re creating a website from scratch or enhancing an existing one, launching a website for your business on the Internet can be a daunting task. There are many different moving parts that you need to plan and track. To make this process easier, we’ve developed a checklist that will help you prepare for the launch of your small business Internet website.
Polish Your Search Engine Optimization
Search engines are the first place most consumers go to find local businesses. But have you ever wondered why some webpages appear first in Google’s search results, while others are much more difficult to find? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process that marketers use to increase a website’s search engine ranking.
Even if your website appears complete on the surface and has great graphics and design, there may be some technical issues underneath that can affect your SEO rankings. Before launching a website, it’s important to find and correct these issues to give your site a solid foundation.
Check for Broken Links
As developers build the different components and templates on a website, they may change links across pages. Because of this, it’s important to check for and fix any broken links. Screaming Frog is a great website crawler tool that you can use to easily identify any broken links on your site.
If you’re moving to a new domain name, it’s also important to set up website redirects for any URLs that will be changing from your old site to your new site. This will make sure that all users are redirected to the correct pages.
Check the Favicon
A favicon is the icon that appears at the top of the browser tab when a user opens a page of your website. A favicon typically represents a business logo or a simplified version of the logo. To check if your website has a favicon, open your homepage and see if the favicon shows in the browser tab. If you have a WordPress site, you can easily add your favicon within the Administration section of the backend.
Connect to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best tools available for a business on the Internet. Google Analytics allows website owners to track different kinds of data from their site traffic, such as pages viewed per session, session duration, and bounce rate. From this data, they can gain meaningful insights and improve their bottom lines. A few benefits of Google Analytics include:
- It’s free and available to business websites of all sizes.
- Its reports are beginner-friendly and easy to understand.
- It provides a comprehensive look into a website’s audience, giving all of the needed data to improve a website’s user experience and boost revenue.
You can take a few different approaches to setting up Google Analytics on your website. Check out our blog post on the topic, A Small Business Guide to Setting Up Google Analytics, to learn more.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Each year, more and more people use smartphones. According to a study conducted by SmartInsights, more consumers are accessing the Internet through their mobile phones than through desktop computers. A mobile-friendly website is not only a valuable addition to a small business marketing strategy but also a priority for business success.
Because of this, it’s critical that you confirm that your website is mobile-friendly before launch. To do this, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test, which allows you to test how easily a visitor can use your website on a mobile device. The test identifies any mobile usability errors with screenshots, giving you the opportunity to correct these errors before launch.
Check Browser Compatibility
It’s also essential for your site to be compatible with the most popular browsers that current and potential customers are using. To test your website across browsers, you can use a tool like BrowserStack, which allows users to try different browsers without having to install any software.
Double-Check Your Copy
Spend time checking all copy across your website. Look out for grammar and spelling errors and any confusing writing. Studies have shown that, on average, a user spends less than 15 seconds on a web page. Because of this, it’s important for all website copy to be clear and concise, allowing a user to quickly read and understand any important marketing messages. To make proofreading faster, you can use a tool like Grammarly.
Ask for Feedback
It’s always valuable to get a second set of eyes on your site. See if a friend or colleague can go through your website and find any issues you might have missed.
Test Website Performance
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you should test your website’s performance. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is an effective tool that shows your website’s speed score and provides recommendations for improvement. If you increase your site’s speed, you can elevate your search ranking and enhance your overall user experience.
This checklist is a great starting point to ensure that your launch goes as smoothly as possible.