Launching a new website with the best strategy and process right from the start can make all the difference between a successful launch and one that will fizzle out before getting off the ground.
Let’s be real: websites are big investments for businesses—but with a great plan in place, they can also become a brand’s biggest asset. I like to see a website as a brand’s most valuable employee; it can be the company’s biggest cheerleader and salesperson, without the need for a salary. Yet in 2018, Clutch discovered that more than 35% of small businesses did not have websites. With over 4.48 billion unique active users, there’s a big audience that is not being reached by remaining offline.
Although, simply launching a website is not enough to help your business. Recently, I read that in 2018, 28% of small businesses spend less than $500 on a website. This clearly shows that some small businesses are not seeing the full value of a website and in fact might be doing more harm than good by underfunding their public-facing front.
Here are the key steps in the process of creating your new website—and a strategy for an interstellar start.
Just like when building a house, a good framework and blueprint needs to be created for a successful launch. Planning a website correctly allows us to be sure that we are going into work on the same page and will keep us on track to approach this with our target audience in mind.
And the planning certainly helps users, too: 38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive.
To cut back on cost, we commonly see companies taking shortcuts by either fully relying on stock imagery or pre-made website themes. They don’t keep in mind the potential audience of the site and forget unique visuals, which can create a personal connection with their target. Keep in mind that it only takes .05 seconds for a user to form an opinion on your website. Are you creating strong and unique visuals to present your business and attract your audience? Remember: websites are often the first impression of your brand, and therefore hold immense weight. In fact, 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business.
With many build-your-own-site solutions, development is a process businesses attempt to take on internally with visual, drag-and-drop building—but is this hurting their business? Many of the current visual builders tend to come with all the common web functionalities already built-in, even when a site only uses a small percentage of it. This creates “code bloat”, unnecessary code that takes up resources and can cause the website to be slow. With 40% of people abandoning websites that takes more than 3 seconds to load, is your website optimized for best results?
At BMSD, we send our sites through various scans to make sure we have our bases covered. We also have a checklist we follow to make sure we haven’t missed a crucial element that might cause issues for our clients from the start. We oversee everything from auditing code and searching for broken links, to reviewing the overall on-page SEO setup to make sure we are gearing up our customers for success (that’s a whole other beast in itself). While the steps we take differ based on the type of website and client that we work with, we always make sure all our projects have gone through rigorous testing to catch issues before going live—and you should, too.
There’s no 100% foolproof method to guarantee a launch is successful from the start. Having a solid strategy and process established early can, however, set yourself off on the right foot. There have been some historic screw ups when launching websites (who can forget the healthcare.gov fiasco), but when breaking down what went wrong, most launch failures can usually be attributed to a short fall in one of these steps. While cutting corners to save on cost is tempting, in the long run these cut corner can end up costing you much more.
Are you ready to launch a site or elevate it to the next level? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can start strategizing for a website that’s out of this world!