So you’ve done it! You have launched the new site you have been working on. What do you do next?
Below are some of our top recommendations for things to do after launching a website. Let’s dive in.
1. Tell Your Team
This is a big one. You have just completed something not everyone does. You have built a new website. Take pride in your creation and share it with your team, family, and friends.
Celebrate your achievement, but also make sure the team knows so everyone is on the same page. This new site is live and ready to get to work for your business. Whether that is making sales, generating leads, or providing unique info to the public you want everyone to know it is in place.
2. Test All of Your Forms, Links, and Widgets
Now that the team is aware of the new website, let's make sure everything works!
Before you get to promoting the site it’s important to know that every part of it is functioning exactly how it should. As you and your team check out the website click all of the links, test all of your form inputs, and make sure any scheduling/booking/etc widgets are all operational.
This shouldn’t take long and the value of identifying any broken parts early on is going to make it well worth the time investment. To save some time with the link checking you can use a free tool like Broken Link Check.
While you’re scanning the whole site, proofreading for grammatical errors is also a good move.
3. Check Your Site Speed and Mobility Friendliness
This is another quick step that you can complete with the PageSpeed Insights Tool and the Mobile-Friendly Test.
If your page speed is not in the green you might want to look into some page optimization tools like WP Rocket or NitroPack (which we have a great article on here).
If these plugins aren’t a fit for your website, you can focus improve site speed by optimizing your images. There is a new file format called WebP which is the best format for speed. You can read more about this in Google’s WebP Documentation. They have a link at the bottom to download their image converter too!
With these benchmarks recorded and optimizations made you are ready for the next step.
4. Start Backing Up Your Site
This step may be one of the most important. What better way to make sure all your hard work is not lost than to do a full backup of the site?
Getting your site backed up will not only give you peace of mind when making any changes but also keep you safe from potential malware infections as well as making it way easier to migrate hosting if that is ever something you would like to do.
If you are using WordPress it can be as simple as using BackupBuddy from iThemes. Alternatively, you can get started with a WordPress maintenance plan from your web designer or WP Buffs.
If you’re not using WordPress you still have options for an easy backup using cPanel to download a full site backup. You can find instructions for that here. Alternatively, check out this list of backup methods from PCMag.
With your site tucked away and safe, let’s get to tracking it!
5. Set Up Google Analytics
Before we start driving traffic to the website it’s essential to set up performance tracking. If you already had Google Analytics on an old website, then you can use the same Google Analytics account and install the tracking code on your new website. That way, you have a continuous data stream.
If this is a brand new site or your last site did not have Google Analytics installed you will want to make sure you get that onto your new website.
Luckily for you, Google has impeccable documentation for its services. Get the full spiel on Google Analytics by checking out their help docs here.
If you are a member of Pathfinder SEO already, we also have a step in the SEO Checklist dedicated to getting a dual analytics (Universal and GA4) set up installed. If you would like to learn more about that SEO Checklist, schedule a demo with us!
6. Set Up Google Search Console
As far as tracking how your site is performing in search and what issues your site may have, there is no better option than Google Search Console.
You can see which queries people are using to find your site, submit sitemaps, check your Core Web Vitals reports, and so much more.
If you are looking to get started with Google Search Console. You can sign up here.
We highly recommend making sure any site you have is connected to Google Search Console.
What else does Google offer to help you with your brand new site though?
7. Set Up Google Alert Mentions
Now that your new site is out we want to make sure we see if it ever gets mentioned anywhere. This is a great way to keep a pulse on the public’s sentiment towards your site and even find backlink opportunities. Chances are if someone is talking about your site they are probably interested in linking to it too!
Google Alerts is a pretty simple setup. You can see Google’s instructions for setting up these alerts here. Never miss another mention of your site again!
8. Create a Plan for Ongoing Maintenance
Keeping your new website up-to-date is a must. Sign up for an ongoing website care plan with your designer or developer is a great way to make sure your site stays up to date.
Between adding new pages, updating relevant info, and maybe even updating plugins you will want to make sure someone is responsible for making these changes happen. A weekly or even bi-monthly check-in should be enough to stay on top of any site maintenance you may need.
If you’re running the site yourself through something like WordPress, just check to make sure everything is functioning properly every once in a while and update your plugins when you get email notifications from WordPress that something is out of date.
This step does not have to be hard but is important to keep on your radar.
9. Plan Your SEO Strategy
You don’t just need a new website to grow your business. You also need great traffic. Will you hire an agency? Take a DIY approach? Or follow a guided SEO approach?
All are great options and it really just depends on how hands-on you would like to be. If you can’t be bothered with this side of things maybe look into an agency or something like our QuickStart SEO option, where we get your website up to speed with a great SEO foundation.
If you are looking to do it yourself, then consider taking a guided approach. Below is a video from our SEO Coach Erik explaining Guided SEO.
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10. Email Your List
This one is a no-brainer!
If you have any amount of people on your email list you should share your new website with them. This is free traffic to your website from a source you own.
Either way, this is a no-cost way to get some highly relevant traffic to your site. Be sure to include a call to action in the email too. Give them a reason to actually click and go to your new site.
This could be redeeming a discount or promotion in association with the site launch.
With that email sent out, where else can we share it?
11. Share on Social Media
An easy way to take up more of the Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP) is to have official accounts for your new website on all of the biggest social media platforms.
This includes having a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and if it makes sense for your brand a Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Youtube Channel. Not only does this give you more places pointing to your website it allows people to follow along without having to consistently visit the site.
With all of the appropriate accounts created, start sharing your site updates, new blog posts, seasonal deals, and more on them. Give people a reason to follow you and even better a reason to click on your Call to Actions you are posting about.
If you have existing social media accounts for any of your other sites or brands a great way to cross-promote your new site is to share it with your other audiences. If there is absolutely no overlap this might not always be a great idea, but if you think the audience would like the contents of your new site then share away!
With the social shares going out it’s time to find some links.
12. Reach Out to Bloggers and Site Owners
With your new site in place, you will want to get content on it that people want to point links towards.
An easy way to get started with this, after you have quality content, of course, is to start making people aware of the value you are providing. Would your blog be perfect for a page on someone's site to link to? Then reach out to them.
There are tons of ways to start getting links to your site but finding blogs that are relevant to your niche is a good place to start. Find opportunities on their page where your content could fit in. Reach out, tell them you love their site, and show them the opportunity you found.
Now, this will not always be successful and it is a numbers game. Starting relationships in your niche is not a bad idea though. Maybe they have some content you could link out to also.
One other place I would recommend checking out is HARO. This is for helping a reporter out. You’d be surprised how often journalists and local column writers are looking for something to write about. If you have something newsworthy going on or can craft a story that involves your site you can share that on HARO and potentially score a link back to your site.
13. Create New Content
You thought you were done with content when you launched your website. Turns out, content is an evolving process. The number one thing you can do to fuel your website’s long-term growth is to steadily create new content. It’s how you share your expertise.
What will you write about though? You can start by turning questions your customers usually have into blog posts or creating explainer posts for what it is you do. Learn how to think of blog post ideas.
Launching a site is a time to pause and celebrate! The heavy lifting is done!
After you are up and running there are plenty of opportunities to improve your site, find more traffic, and expand your content. Take a step-by-step approach as highlighted here.
Now to get started!