You may be considering doing a website relaunch but aren’t sure about the steps you need to take. More importantly, you’re not sure if your website even needs a relaunch. We’re going to walk you through launching a website with some essential tips and practices.
When Do You Need a Website Relaunch?
Usually, web designers will give you two options: launch a website from scratch or give your website a mini facelift with some modifications. But unless you’re switching platforms, you may not need to redo your website completely. To know if you need a website relaunch, ask your team the following questions:
- Do the changes you want align with your buyer’s persona and buyer’s journey?
- How much of the website’s content is outdated? If it’s over 90%, you may want to redo your website completely.
- Does the design look outdated?
- How big are the changes? Are they slight adjustments (like seo tasks, for example), or is it a complete rebranding?
- What are the proposed changes in response to? Are they based on analytics? Visitor complaints?
If you’re not sure whether a website relaunch is needed, don’t jump the gun and invest in a relaunch. Talk to the experts first. A marketing network have expert freelancers that can help you through the process of deciding if it’s the right move for your business to achieve its goals.
Drive Website Relaunch with Data and Personas
Naturally, you want your website relaunch to perform well. However, a website relaunch can be an overwhelming experience as everyone has an opinion. This can confuse you on what’s actually needed. However, ignore the opinions. The real power lies in the data. Marketing networks like etribal can help you focus on what matters: analytics.
Before launching a website redesign, create a benchmark for yourself. This means go through your website, familiarize yourself with the average bounce rate, traffic, user behavior, and other stats. You paint a picture of how your site’s performance and can compare it to the website relaunch. Moving forward, use your data to help you determine the necessary changes needed on your website.
Once you have an idea of your buyer’s persona and traffic, you’ll be able to set realistic goals for your business. Research your competitors, do some seo tasks to see what keywords they’re ranking for. By doing some snooping, you can use this information to set goals for your own website.
Now understanding your business’s data is complicated if you don’t know how to apply this data to your website strategy. A marketing network have experts that read your data, create a plan and use their expertise and resources to carry out a successful website relaunch.
Plan the User Experience
While you may like or dislike aspects of your website, what’s important is what your users think. For launching a website, the focus should be on heightening the user experience. Keep in mind, you may need to make adjustments depending on analytics from the website relaunch. Here are some crucial steps to take while designing a website:
- Learn and understand your website visitors via data analytics
- Understand who your competitors are
- Research the latest website tactics
- Main objectives for the new websites
- New pages and features your site will have
- Current pages and features
- Design the front-end experience
- Design website wireframe (outline of the website, including page elements, navigation, and features)
- Design style-tiles (website’s color palette and fonts)
If you’ve already passed this point in your website relaunch, great. It’s now time to move onto the development stage.
Develop the Website Design
Whether you’re working on the website redesign process with outsourced marketers like from etribal or tackling it yourself, you must use the right Content Management System (CMS) and design a functional front-end user experience.
When looking for a Content Management System for developing the back-end of your website, make sure it can deliver on your organizational needs. CMSs, including WordPress and Drupal, are flexible and provide the necessary support.
For front-end development, make sure your or your developer uses the latest methods and practices. While this may not sound too big of a deal, it is. Your website gives the impression to visitors, and impressions matter—especially when you only have 50 milliseconds to grab the visitor’s attention. The last thing you want is to launch a website that’s not compatible with a user’s browsers and devices—that would be a website relaunch nightmare.
Engage and Attract New Visitors
While your website is designed to promote a product or service, that’s not the only thing it should focus on. Most visitors are not ready to make a purchase, meaning you’ll need to invest time engaging with them.
Create content that provides information not only about your product or service but about general information in your industry. By doing so, you’ll attract ideal visitors looking to educate themselves—this is called Inbound Marketing.
However, it takes more than doing a couple of seo tasks like posting a photo on Instagram or writing a blog once a month to engage and attract new visitors. Sit down and create a plan to help you reach out to your ideal customers.
For this, you’ll need to know your buyer’s persona, and understand the buyer’s journey, including the problems they have, the keywords they type into Google, and what they consider valuable content.
To best engage with visitors, you need a solid marketing strategy—which isn’t easy to create. A marketing network will be able to understand your brand, its needs and create a marketing strategy that aligns with your website relaunch and goals.
Crawl URLs and Setup Redirects
With a website relaunch, there’s a lot of work to do. The process of moving your content to new URLs takes time. Crawling through your pages can help, but depending on how many pages your website has or its navigation system, it can be tricky.
Choose a reliable and reputable site crawl tool to help you run through your website. Look at the URLs on your current site that drive organic traffic. Ensure your new website has those same pages (implement a 301 redirect plan to keep valuable traffic and links). This part of a website launch may not seem so obvious, yet it’s a must-do step if you want a smooth transition.
Website SEO Strategy, Audit & Speed Test
Unless you have a new SEO strategy, there’s a high chance your SEO problems will move onto your new website. To avoid this, do a comprehensive audit that will provide you with insight into the website redesign process, including your SEO strategy and content plan. This will ensure your website stays on the right path and achieves your goals.
To ensure you’re making the most out of your SEO and not wasting valuable time and money, a marketing network uses best in class freelancers who will do the SEO research for you, implementing the right keywords your website needs to bring in organic traffic.
By bringing in organic traffic through SEO, you save a lot of money on paid advertisement while increasing traffic and conversions.
Also, don’t forget to do a speed test. If your website takes minutes to load, you’re going to lose visitors. Whenever you add new features, whether it’s images or plugins, there’s a chance it’ll slow down your website—you don’t want that to happen. There are plenty of free speed tests online, like Pingdom, that show you how quickly your pages load.
Use Meta Robots Tag for Indexing
You don’t want Google to penalize you for duplicating content or indexing content you don’t want indexed yet. Since there are some pages you don’t want included in search engine databases, you can select and notify Google on which pages they are.
You can do this by adding a meta robots tag with a “no index” value set on your selected pages. This will let Google and other search engines know that these pages are not to be included in their search engine databases. And just like that, you avoid any Google penalties during your website relaunch!
Use a Phased Approach
Instead of making a huge switch all at once, you have the option of moving a subcategory or subdomain. Once you test it out and see that it works, then you can move chunks of your website to your new URL. Will it take some time? Yes. But, by doing this, you reduce the chance of something going wrong—and you don’t want anything to go wrong.
Move a section of your website, wait for Google to crawl it, and see the response. Once you get the green light, move another section. This is one step of the relaunch you don’t want to mess up. With a website relaunch, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Create or Update Your Sitemap
This is such an easy step, yet most people forget to do this. For a successful website relaunch, you need to add new URLs to the XML sitemap. A sitemap informs Google which pages and files you think are important on your website. With this, it boosts search engine optimization as Google can go through your content and include it in their search engine.
Make sure you add your sitemap index to both Google Search Console and your robots.txt file. This is extremely important if the URL of your sitemap is changing with the website relaunch.
Use Email Subscriptions
You’re not collecting email addresses for fun. The power of email subscriptions allows you to engage and connect with your visitors, encouraging them down the buyer’s journey. With email marketing, you can alert them on sales, new products and inform them about the website relaunch.
But how are you going to get their email addresses? What are you going to offer them? We recommend offering them a discount or valuable content like a downloaded pdf, video, or blog. By doing so, they’ll find the offer beneficial and will exchange their email address for it.
Connect Social Accounts
Your website has a facelift, and you’re ready to show it to the world. But there’s one problem. Your social media accounts are still connected to your old website. This is an easy step to overlook but an important one, especially if you’re advertising your new site on social media.
When doing a website relaunch, always remember to connect your social media accounts and vice versa. This will help you direct traffic to your new site and get people acquainted with your new look.
Website launches are very common and help give your website a fresh face and fine-tune the user experience. However, there’s a lot to consider when launching a website. Outsourced marketing networks like etribal can help streamline the process and make sure your website relaunch runs smoothly and efficiently.