You’ve Just Launched a New Website… Now What?

You’ve just launched a brand new website and now you may be wondering, what’s next? Well let’s take a second and first say this:

Congratulations! It was likely a lot more work than you expected and you deserve to take a moment, pat yourself on the back, and high-five the nearest hand… even if it’s your own. High-five yourself like nobody’s watching!

But okay really, what is next? Are we done here? Well, yes and no — but mostly not even close.

Things to Do as Soon as You Launch

The following are the base items that most likely have been done by your web designer, but if not… these are things that still need to be done.

if you’re a Spigot customer these are already complete:

  • Submit your site to search engines. Let Google (and Bing I guess) know the site exists.
  • Install Google Analytics or an analytics service of your choice.
  • Check the site speed in a tool like GT Metrix.
  • Set up any necessary redirects if the site has been redesigned and page links have changed.

Again, these are a few of the nuts and bolts technical items that are likely already complete. If you’re not sure if they’ve been done, ask your designer / agency. Once these tasks are complete, we can think about tackling post-launch items.

Marketing: Just Because You Build It, They Won’t Automatically Come

Now that you’ve launched, high-fived, and battened the technical hatches, it’s time to start thinking about how to get eyeballs on the site. If you think just building it is all that’s needed, get used to disappointment. Google may now know the site exists, but until they find your site as a credible source to send searches, they’ll be sending them elsewhere. (Unless you pay them to do so.)

Plan for an Organic Content Strategy

If there were an actual soapbox here at Spigot I could stand on, it would be there to say this: You need an organic content strategy in place and it needs to be steady and long-term. We’ve said it before… organic SEO is a long game. It takes time to ramp up and start paying dividends, but once the traffic starts coming, it’s just going to keep coming. (In general. With caveats. But that’s a different post.)

It’s our opinion that a solid organic content strategy is the single best way to drive traffic to your site in the long term, for the long term. And traffic is a numbers game — the more visitors on your site, the more opportunities we have to convert them into customers.

Google Ads / PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising

If an organic content strategy is the Long Game, a Google Ad campaign is the Quick Game. Google Ads show at the top of Google searches, even above organic results, and are an effective way to drive traffic. You pay directly for that traffic but it’s an efficient, proven strategy and something we recommend when the marketing budget has room for it.

Social Media

If you have a strong social media presence, you don’t need to be told what is the what here. If you don’t, that’s okay too but I wouldn’t put too much stress into it. Our philosophy around social media is this: Post great content to your website in the form of articles, etc. then cross-post them to your social channels. That way you get a twofer — a blog post to boost organic content and an easy social post that drives traffic back to your website (and doesn’t take a ton of effort). There are social media marketers raising their pitchforks at that statement, and they may be right. But for those of us without the bandwidth to manage a truly thriving social channel, this is the way.

Email Marketing

Tried and true, sending out periodic emails to your crew is a great way to get them to visit your site and say hey. When we relaunched Spigot 15 we sent out an email announcing the new site and sweet little scavenger hunt. Some people liked it; some even came away with a sweet Yeti mug.

Maintenance & Security

Most websites are built on a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress. Sites such as these require ongoing maintenance, including software updates, security monitoring, hack cleanups, and of course backups. These are all tasks that can easily be handled by a site owner or in-house staff. If you’re a small business and don’t have a dedicated IT person, hiring an expert support team can save a lot of stress and be way more cost-effective.

Backup Strategy

You’ve built it, you’ve marketed it — the last thing you want is to have it all go away never to return. Most web hosts have a great track record for uptime and reliability. But things do go wrong from time to time. A solid backup strategy is like a solid insurance policy. May you never need it but thank goodness when you do. A good backup strategy will be scheduled, incremental, have a retained history, and not take up too much (or any) of your hosting resources.

Security Strategy

We host many of our clients’ websites and I am shocked at the constant barrage of attacks that servers receive. We have in place many layers of protection to withstand these attacks and it’s important you do, too. Here’s a few more to think about:

Secure Hosting

Hosting is a commodity and you get what you pay for. Don’t cheap out on hosting, find one that understands the layers of protection required to host a public website.

Security Monitoring

You can do all the right things and still get hacked. It’s not likely but it’s possible. The best way to mitigate a site hack is to root it out right away. And the best way to find it is to be looking for it. A good, daily security scan, or scans, is another great insurance policy.

Software Updates

The two most common vectors for website security breaches are: 1. weak passwords and 2. outdated software. WordPress makes it easy to keep things updated with one-click updates. A website maintenance service makes it even easier by doing it for you on a daily basis.

Find out more about our WordPress Support Plans.

Fun Fact: Spigot customers get two months of free hosting and maintenance as part of their package. 99% stick with it after the trial period because it’s cost-effective and it’s awesome.

What Not to Do After Launch

The worst thing you can do is sit back and do nothing. To build it and leave it would truly be a waste of time and resources. Consider the minimum you can do to keep your site updated and in good health (it will pay off in the long run, we promise):

  • Some level of minimal marketing
  • Update content as needed — hours of operation, staff bios, event information, etc.
  • Keep the software updated and run a periodic backup

Summing Up

  • This is the beginning, not the end of the website project.
  • Get a plan together for marketing and keeping the site content up to date.
  • Plan for ongoing maintenance and security.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready for a refreshing experience on your next website design?