The process of launching a fresh website is an exciting adventure, but also one filled with pitfalls and perils.

Every step of the way is crucial, and leads you towards success. Even with the exhausting process of designing and building a site finished, it might be that some crucial elements are missing. The intended audience must be able to find a website, easily navigate it, and locate the information they seek. It may take months of hard work to enable this, so roll up your sleeves.

Web hosting

One of the first things to do is to obtain the host, and check whether it supplies you with the software for website building. Next, choose the bandwidth which enables the website to run smoothly. Access the expected internet traffic, but bear in mind that extending the bandwidth might be necessary in the future. This is due to the fact that a growing site must prevent users from experiencing lags and other problems. A local version of the website should be kept on your computer, but a production copy on the web host is a sound idea.

Choosing a domain name

The right domain name helps with SEO and drives more internet traffic your way. A name that is brief, easy to remember, and distinctive is the cream of the crop, but make sure you match it with the purpose of the website. For a long time, top-level domains like dot com ones have been stealing the internet show, but now more and more people turn to other creative solutions or practices like domain hacking. Notice that with the help of some of the new gTLDs like domain.me you can secure the prime online real estate that stands out and personalizes your brand.

Identifying issues

To detect any potential problems like broken links, run a crawl simulation on the website. There are some excellent free tools like Xenu for doing this, and they also help in checking the contractor or outsourced work. The most important thing though is to see whether search engines and visitors can reach your pages in the expected way. Critical errors must not be left to rot, so validate the CSS, JavaSript, XML, HTML and XHTML codes. Finally, implementing a site map enables search engines to index your pages more easily.

It is time for keywords

See what phrases and keywords you want to rank for. Build the list first, and ensure that the pages feature them. It is essential to pick the highest traffic keywords, but also to make them reflect what your website is offering. Use Meta and ALT tags to ensure that pertinent keywords from your pages are displayed. The latter also signals search engines and searchers what kind of picture the website has. This way it is possible to increase the number of visits and boost your online presence.

Letting people know

To get the word out and let the world know about your website, you need to put together an email list of friends and business contacts for launching. Keep influential bloggers, industry experts and media that might be interested in your activities on the radar. Send them press releases or personalized emails, and ask for feedback. Remember to check if the contact and mailing list forms are working as they should. Also, you should make an email subscription option available on the website.

Checking the design and usability

Now, you might have created stunning graphics and a gorgeous layout, but it is also necessary to test your design. It might be that the design or structure of the site is not displaying properly. There are many browser testing options, but see to it that Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are covered. These browsers are used by the majority of people who browse the internet, so it is safe to assume this should gauge the usability of the website accurately.

Integrating analytic capabilities

In order to improve, one must be able to track and evaluate results with visitor analytics. Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools which need to be placed and verified on every page, and according to GA’s instructions the best spot is the top of the page. Whatever is your tool of choice, always strive to measure the visits to the sites, as well as user actions that are your lifeblood. These may include subscribing to email, commenting, or tweeting a link, and they can be tracked in a KPI Dashboard.

Marcus is an IT support professional. He’s running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

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