1, 2, 3...It’s Website Launch Day!
You have spent months planning, designing, writing content, and testing website and you are finally ready to unveil your efforts to the world. It’s definitely an exciting time, but one that can also be a bit nerve-wracking.
And, why wouldn’t it be?
Your website is usually the first thing prospects interact with. It’s your brand’s virtual home for them, and it needs to make the right impression. 88% of consumers search for a product online before they visit a store. Furthermore, your website is the focal point for your inbound marketing efforts. A functioning and relevant website doubles up as a sales representative and is the key to converting visitors into leads and then customers.
“A bad website can greatly tarnish a company’s credibility—but a quality website can help a company extend its sphere of influence and create leads.” – Sweor
A website design or overhaul project is a mammoth task to undertake. It takes time, resources, effort, and dedicated teamwork to build or upgrade a website. There are just so many pieces to the puzzle, from ensuring payment gateways are working, to correcting grammar and spelling issues. You have spent hours going over all aspects of the website with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that everything runs perfectly, but how can you be sure you haven’t missed out on anything?
Checklists are an excellent way to make sure you have crossed all the T's and dotted the I’s. We use checklists for a variety of things because they are an effective way to ensure you are not missing out and reduces chances of error. No matter how simple or challenging the task, checklists help us navigate through the process. Even NASA has a protocol they follow leading up to the rocket launch.
HubSpot, leading marketing automation and CRM provider, makes building a website easier. However, it still needs to be thoroughly reviewed because there are multiple things that could go awry and we definitely don’t want that.
Use our comprehensive HubSpot Website Launch Checklist to guarantee that your website runs as smooth as silk once it’s live.
The Ultimate HubSpot Website Checklist
In inbound marketing, we know that content is king. Work in teams to go over all forms of content for your website, and this includes premium content like ebooks, download guides, and case studies.
Go over typos, spelling, and grammar again and then again (can’t stress this point enough!).
Review content with legal team to avoid any copyright or trademark issues.
Verify that all company contact information is updated.
Have proper rights and/or citations for any images, fonts, and content used.
It takes 0.05 of a second for a visitor to form an opinion about your website and determine whether they are going to engage or bounce. According to a Web Study by Stanford, judgements of a brand’s credibility are 75% based on website design. In short, your website design has to be spot on and therefore don’t overlook the design aspect before your launch your website.
Double-check all images and scripts to ensure they are optimised across ALL pages.
Check for formatting consistency. All paragraph styles, font, and indentation should fit the overall theme.
The CTAs should be clear and concise.
HubSpot lets you create websites with a lot of nifty features. From personalised landing pages and CTAs to integrating with social media. However, none of this will deliver the desired results, if they have not been verified.
Test your forms, thank-you pages, auto-responders are working properly. Do a dummy run through so you know any incoming data is being captured accurately.
If you have a payment gateway, do a test run on the payment process.
Click on ALL internal and external links and social media icons to ensure they are working properly (this includes contact forms, landing pages, CTAs, login, downloads, checkout cart, etc.). HubSpot makes this easier and notifies you when there are conflicting URLs on your site.
Measure your site load time on laptop and mobile. Today, every second counts and nobody has the time to wait for your site to load. A delay in loading directly impacts your bottom line. On the HubSpot Website platform, you can check your speed of individual pages by going to account —> content —> website —> select a page —> optimisation tab.
You might have designed a brilliant HubSpot website, but if it is not SEO optimised then it is not going to show up on Google search results and give you the needed sales. Run a final check on SEO measures.
Pages should have unique titles (under 70 characters) and meta descriptions (under 156 characters) which include keywords.
Pages, URL, meta descriptions should include keywords.
Metadata is established for content and social media sharing.
A dynamic XML sitemap has been created, configured, and submitted to search engines.
Page URLs are accurate and reflect consistent site layout.
Your website brings in a bounty full of data on prospects, insights, etc. Capitalise on this valuable information by making sure your website is ready to capture all web data analytics. You can continually improve your website performance based on these metrics.
Ensure all your tracking codes are integrated into the website.
If you are going to use Google Webmaster or Google Analytics to track website performance metrics, then ensure the respective accounts are set-up and synced with your website.
If you are using Google Ads, then make sure your Ads and Google Analytics accounts are integrated.
There might be a period, such as a holiday period when your website might get heavy traffic. If you foresee such a spike in activity, then conduct a stress test to understand how much simultaneous traffic your website can handle. Work with your developer and find a test that closely simulates a real-life scenario.
Privacy and protection of data are one of the top concerns today. Information coming through your website is your intellectual property, and you need to make sure your website is robust enough to ward off malware.
24/7 monitoring scripts are set-up.
Have back-ups of your final website copy and all other future updates.
Ensure passwords and other website credential are securely stored.
Make sure you have created an SSL certificate.
Don’t underestimate the value of a thorough website review process prior to launch day. You have already put in the work and effort towards designing a powerful website and even small glitches, such as unresponsive links or spelling errors have the potential to negate all that effort. It might seem like a lot of work, but work as a team and split up tasks using a responsibility assignment matrix. Testing and launching a website requires all hands on deck! Use our checklist to reduce the chance for errors and set yourself up for a smooth and successful launch.
Do you have a website launch checklist in place? What are the steps you follow? Do share your experience with us in the comments below.