Deciding to relaunch your business website is a little bit like stepping into the seat of a roller coaster: It's normal to feel a sense of excitement mixed with a healthy dose of fear and dread. If you get it right, you'll have improved the most important part of your online marketing plan and made your company more profitable as a whole. Make a mistake and you could be looking at endless costs and delays…
Assuming you have followed the advice elsewhere on our blog and chosen an awesome web design and internet marketing team, then you probably don't have a lot to worry about. The trouble, however, usually comes in the details.
As you get ready to relaunch your business website, make sure to run through this checklist to make sure you aren't forgetting anything crucial:
Be sure to announce your new site. You don't want to make an investment into your new business website and forget to tell people about it. In addition to e-mailing current customers, you might consider sending out a press release as well. Doing so could earn you some attention online, as well as giving your new site a search engine boost.
Test, and then test more. It's important that your new business website be tested to ensure that it works exactly the way it's supposed to, with no exceptions, throughout a variety of browsers and systems. This is especially true if you'll have a mobile version of your website, which carries its own design and programming considerations.
Make sure your new pages can be found. As part of your new business website launch, it's very likely that at least some of your URLs or permanent links will change, even if your domain isn't. Pay special attention to updating links and forwarding relevant pages, or you'll run the risk of losing existing customers when they can't find what they're looking for in its usual place.
Update sitemaps and other search engine data. Naturally, you'll want your new site to be as search engine-friendly as possible, and the first step is telling Google, Yahoo, and Bing where to look for your new pages. This is a small step, but one that should never be overlooked, given that it could help you gain lots of new Internet traffic.
Adjust your pay per click campaigns. Likewise, you don't want to pay for ads that point to old pages, especially if those pages aren't there anymore. It can be easy to miss an ad here or there if you have a few comprehensive pay per click campaigns, so make sure you have a hefty testing system in place to ensure that all of your PPC links are valid.
Update your e-mail signatures. As we mentioned before, the problems in relaunching a business website aren't usually in the overall strategy, but in the minor details that are easy to overlook. Changing things like e-mail signatures, or even addresses, can be one of them. Even if your web designer has updated them automatically, make sure all employees know where their signatures should point now, to prevent them from accidentally sending out bad links on their own.
Keep an eye on the metrics. This is an important point to make. That's because the success of your relaunched website will ultimately rest on the same process that your old website did: constant measurement and improvement. Pay attention to which pages are gaining attention – and which ones are losing traffic – on your new business website. Those insights will help you become more profitable over time.
Relaunching your business website can seem like a stressful time, but try to think of it as an opportunity to make your company better-equipped to devour the competition.