What to do when you launch a new website
1. Install Visitor Analytics
Nothing can be improved if it’s not tracked. Get your pages in analtic code before your first visitor. Use google analytics, before you launch a new website.
2. Set up Google and Bing webmaster tools account
Use Google and Bing master tools that monitor data about your site and message it back to you through online interference.
3. Run a Crawl Simulation of your site
No matter how perfect you or your developers are, there’s always problems at launch – broken links, improper redirects, missing titles, pages, files blocked by robots.txt, etc. By running crawl test you can check your site’s accessiblility and insure that visitors and search engines can reach pages successfully in the ways you want.
4. Test your design with browser emulators
In addition to testing for search engine and visitor accessibility, you will want to make sure the graphics and layout you’ve carefully prepared checks out in a variety of browsers.
5. Set up RSS feed analytics
Virtually every site will have some form of structured data being pushed out through an RSS feed. Just like visitor analytics, if you want to improve the reach and quality of feed, you will need to leverage data.
6. Tag the action that matters
No matter what your site is, there are actions you’re hoping visitors will take – from tweeting links to your post to leaving a comment to buying a product or subscribing to an email list. Whatever those actions might be, ou need to record the visitors that make through your analytics tool.
7. Conduct an online usability/branding test
Before a formal launch, it can be extremely helpful to get a sense of what users see, experience and remember when they browse to your site for a few seconds or try to take an action.
8. Build an email list of friends and business contacts for launch
This may seem non-obvious, but it’s shocking how a friendly email blast to just a few dozen of your close contacts can help set the stage for a much more successful launch. Start by building a list of the people who owe you favors, have helped out and who you can always rely on.
9. Bookmark brand tracking queries
In order to keep track of your progress and identify the sites and pages that mention or link to your new site, ou will want to set up a series of queries that can run on a regular basis. These include a number of searches at Google, Twitter and Backtype.
10. Create our site/brand’s social accounts
Social Media has become popular and powerful enough that any new site should be taking advantage of it. At a minimum, I’d recommend creating accounts on the following networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Profiles, YouTube, Flickr.
11. Form a list of target press, blogger and industry people for outreach
Create a targeted list of the site, accounts and individuals you want to connect with and form a strategy to reach the low hanging fruit first. The list should include as much contact information as you can gather about each other
12. Build a list of keywords to target in search engines.
If there are keywords and phrases you know you want to rank for, these should be in a list that you can measure and work toward.
13. Set targets for the next 12 months
Without goals and targets, there’s no way to know whether you’re meeting, beating or failing against expectations and every endeavor, from running a marathon to cooking a meal to building a company or just launching a personal blog will fail if there aren’t clear expectations set at the start.