Ultimate checklist to launching your website
A new report shows 87% of Australians access the internet daily, 55% of Australians access the internet more than 5 times a day. Getting your business online means you can be found anytime of day or night by anyone online. To get you started, here’s our ultimate checklist to make sure you get an awesome website up and running today:
1. What is the purpose of your website?
Before you start doing anything, the most important question to answer is, what’s your site going to be used for? Is it a brochure site, filled with stunning images and persuasive descriptions? Is it a online store where customers can buy your product or service within clicks? Is the site for capturing people’s interest after which you’ll follow up with a phone call? Asking these questions will help you plan the design and build of the website.
2. What's your domain name?
Once you know what your site does, you can register your domain name, which is most likely based on your business name. Here’s a step by step guide on how to choose the perfect domain name. You can easily search and register your domain in minutes with Honcho.
3. How will you build your website?
You may be blessed with digital wizardry skills yourself and whip up your own website. But if not, there’s a whole range of affordable D-I-Y website builders which have a range of templates to choose from, making it simple to create your website.
Here’s some to choose from:
- Weebly – Free and paid plans available, includes hosting.
- Wix - Free and paid plans available, includes hosting.
- Squarespace – Free 14-day trial, includes hosting.
- Honcho - Free landing page, includes hosting, additional website build services available.
- Shopify – Extensive eCommerce platform, offer a free 14-day trial.
- BigCommerce - Extensive eCommerce platform, free 15-day trial.
- Vend - An eCommerce platform specialises in Point of sale (POS) systems, free 30-day trial.
4. Are you mobile friendly?
It’s now a fact that people spend more time on their mobile than desktop to browse the Internet. This means if you’re going to the effort of making a website, we recommend you make it mobile. Many of the templates available on the sites above will automatically give you a mobile responsive version. If not, make sure you plan out how the buttons, images and navigation will look on both a desktop computer and a mobile phone.
5. Have you set up web hosting?
If you haven’t gone with an option which includes hosting, you’ll need choose a web host to put your site on their servers so that people can find it on the internet. Your domain address is your digital address, your host is a bit like renting out shop space for your domain name. Most of the website builders mentioned above include web hosting in their services. Other popular web hosts include WebDomains.
6. Are you socially connected?
In case you didn’t know, Australians are spending more and more time on social media sites. To be specific, 95% of us are using Facebook, 31% Instagram, 24% Linkedin, and checking up to five times a day. You may have already found business success on social networks, or if not yet, choose the right channels for potential customers to connect with you. Adding ‘like’ or ‘follow’ buttons to your website will help you get found online quicker. Or there are applications to pull your social feeds into your website.
7. How will people find your website?
Once you’ve designed and built you site, the real work starts! It’s time to spread the word and bring people to it. A good place to start is with friends and family. If you have 100 friends, and they have 50 friends each, you could potentially reach 5,000 people without lifting a finger!
Here are some other ways to promote your site:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is all about filling your website with the right content to increase your chances of being higher up on the top of Google’s search results page.
- Online advertising - There are many options for this including display ads, social media advertising and Google advertising to name a few. Google Adwords is a paid service to increase the chances of your business ranking higher on the Google search results. Honcho helps get your business in front of those customers with your own dedicated Google Adwords specialist.
- Physical store - if you have a physical store or office, have business cards, postcards and signage letting people know you have a website they can visit or refer other people to. Despite all the new digital technology available to us, word of mouth still works!
There isn’t one perfect solution to bring people to your website, rather, it’s about testing different channels and finding what works best for you.
8. How will you keep people at your website?
Getting people to your site is one side of the coin, the other is how to keep them there. This will be a combination of good design and valuable, interesting and helpful content. Videos, blog posts and images are great ways to keep people engaged. For example, if you are running a fitness business, you could provide exercising tips in a blog post. Adding great content gives you credibility and will help you rank higher on Google’s search pages.
9. How will keep people coming back?
It’s well known that getting existing customers to come back is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. In fact, it usually costs about 6-7 times more to attract new customers than to keep a current customer. These costs become very relevant if you have an online store. Newsletters and customer loyalty programs work really well as you can can keep customers up to date with everything that’s going on in your business.
10. How will you monitor your results?
All this planning, building and promoting means nothing if you can’t track your results. Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you see exactly what your customers are doing on your website. This will help you make important decisions such as which advertising channels are working the best or which pages yield the greatest sales. You can calculate your return on investment and even see the types of people coming to your site based on age, gender and interests. Setting it up is simple and really important to do.
If you’re ready to start your website and would like help launching it, Honcho can help you get started in just minutes.