Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Congratulations on launching your website—a significant milestone indeed! But as a small business owner, you might wonder, “I have a website, now what?”
Navigating the post-launch landscape can seem daunting, especially when you’re juggling multiple roles. Rest assured, the journey ahead, while challenging, is crucial for the success and longevity of your online presence:
- Post-launch activities ensure your website functions smoothly, addressing issues like mobile responsiveness, browser compatibility and page speed optimization.
- Submitting your sitemap, optimizing meta tags and configuring robots.txt enhance your website’s search engine visibility, driving organic traffic.
- Setting up analytics allows you to track user behavior, measure performance metrics and make informed decisions based on data.
- Proactive planning for security measures post-launch safeguards the website and user data from potential threats, protecting the brand’s reputation and user trust.
- Planning for post-launch user engagement strategies encourages interaction, feedback and reviews, fostering a sense of community around the brand and enhancing customer satisfaction.
With our comprehensive guide to post-launch website activities, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the world of website management and elevate your site to new heights of success.
18 post-launch activities every website owner needs to do
Jump to these topics:
- Review and align your website goals
- Conduct a website health check
- Security measures
- Set up analytics for your website
- Get a hold of website SEO essentials
- Website content creation and review
- Website social media integration
- Gather user feedback
- Monitor and adapt
Review and align your website goals
1. Understand what jobs you want your website to accomplish
In the post-launch phase of your website, understanding the specific “jobs” it needs to accomplish is crucial. These jobs dictate every aspect of your website’s development and use:
- Lead generation: Capturing the contact details of potential customers.
- E-commerce sales: Directly selling products or services online.
- Brand building: Enhancing your brand’s visibility and reputation.
- Customer support: Providing answers to customer inquiries and support issues.
- Content distribution: Sharing valuable content, like blog posts or whitepapers, to engage your audience.
- Marketplace awareness: Informing visitors about your industry, market trends and your company’s unique place within it.
- Community engagement: Creating a space for customers to engage with your brand and each other.
Identifying these jobs is essential as it influences all decisions, from design to content strategy—aligning every element with your business goals.
Source: website design by Mediaspace via 99designs by Vista.
However, a website’s ability to perform these roles is anchored in its technical foundation. This includes optimizing for speed, ensuring mobile responsiveness, and implementing basic SEO, security measures and analytics. These aren’t just add-ons; they’re necessities for a functional, accessible and findable website.
Conduct a website health check
2. Test mobile responsiveness
In today’s digital landscape, where your website’s first impression is often on a small screen, mobile responsiveness is a necessity. With Google prioritizing mobile-friendly websites in search results, ensuring your site displays correctly on various devices is crucial for an optimal user experience.
- 52.2% of all website traffic now comes from mobile phones.
- Users expect mobile websites to load as quickly as desktop sites, typically in 3 seconds or less, regardless of their internet connection.
- A staggering 80% of global customers will abandon a mobile site if they encounter a poor user experience.
- Over 79% of smartphone users worldwide rely on their phones for shopping, from price comparisons to finding product information and locating retailers.
Given these compelling statistics, testing your website’s mobile responsiveness is indispensable. Here are two effective ways to do it:
- Manual testing: Navigate through your website as if you were a customer. Pay attention to loading times, ease of navigation, and the clarity of your content on a smaller screen.
- Automated testing with third-party tools: These third-party tools simulate various devices and screen sizes, providing detailed insights into how your website performs across different platforms. Some popular options include Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, BrowserStack and Website Responsive Test.
Testing mobile responsiveness is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that ensures your website remains compatible with the ever-evolving array of mobile devices and user expectations. Check for mobile responsiveness every time you update your website.
3. Test browser compatibility
When it comes to delivering a seamless online experience, ensuring your website’s compatibility across different browsers is as crucial as its content and design. With a variety of browsers in use today, from Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to Safari and Microsoft Edge, each interprets website code slightly differently. This variation can lead to discrepancies in how your website is displayed and functions, which can affect user experience and, potentially, your brand’s reputation. A site that loads perfectly in one browser but breaks or displays incorrectly in another can frustrate users and drive them away.
Source: web design by malzi. via 99designs by Vista.
Like testing mobile responsiveness, you can test browser compatibility manually and with automatic testing tools. For manual testing, check for layout issues, font inconsistencies and interactive elements like forms or buttons to ensure they work correctly on the most popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge. The automated testing tools BrowserStack and SmartBear are widely used for this purpose.
4. Page speed optimization
Faster-loading pages are crucial for user satisfaction and play a significant role in search engine rankings. A sluggish website can frustrate users and increase bounce rates, while a fast-loading site enhances user experience and boosts your SEO efforts.
- According to a survey conducted by Unbounce, 82% of consumers say slow page speeds impact their purchasing decisions, with 45.4% being less likely to complete their purchases and 36.8% being less likely to return.
- According to Google, the probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.
The probability of a website bounce in correlation with page speed. Source: via Think With Google.
Here are a few tips to help optimize page speed:
- Measure your website loading speed on both desktop and mobile devices (use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix or Pingdom)
- Optimize images by compressing them and using appropriate file formats (like JPEG for photographs and PNG for graphics) without sacrificing quality. Tools like TinyPNG or Adobe Photoshop can help with this.
- Minimize HTTP requests by simplifying your website’s design and combining files where possible. Each element on a page (like scripts, images and CSS files) requires an HTTP request to load, so more elements mean slower page speed.
- Leverage browser caching allows visitors’ browsers to store certain elements of your website for future visits. This means that the browser doesn’t need to send an HTTP request for these elements every single time, thus reducing loading times. This can be done by setting expiration dates for your website’s resources in your HTTP headers.
5. Install SSL certificate
The growing awareness of online security among internet users is evident. A John Cabot study reveals that 46% of respondents lack trust in websites without SSL certificates and refrain from engaging with them.
An SSL certificate, signified by a secure padlock icon in the browser bar, plays a pivotal role in building this trust. It encrypts data between your website and its users, transitioning your website’s URL from HTTP to HTTPS, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’.
Source: via Depositphotos.
To install an SSL certificate, start by selecting a reputable provider. The process typically involves purchasing the certificate and integrating it into your web server. Many hosting services simplify this by offering SSL certificate integration, sometimes as part of their hosting packages.
SSL certificates have expiration dates, so it’s important to renew them as required to maintain website security.
Set up analytics for your website
6. Install Google Analytics
To truly understand and enhance your website’s performance, setting up analytics is non-negotiable. Google Analytics stands out as a powerful tool, offering in-depth insights into website traffic, user demographics and behavior.
Navigating Google Analytics can be challenging for beginners, but don’t let this discourage you. The platform offers numerous resources to help you wrap your head around it and get started with advanced website analytics.
Insights that can be retrieved with analytics. Source: via Depositphotos.
7. Monitor key metrics
After installing an analytics tool like Google Analytics, it’s essential to regularly track key metrics. This practice provides a comprehensive view of user interactions on your website, enabling you to make data-driven decisions for enhancing the user experience. Additionally, monitoring these metrics helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website, allowing you to continuously refine and improve your strategies over time.
Here are some metrics you could monitor…
- Bounce rate: Indicates the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate could suggest issues with site content or user experience.
- Average session duration: The average length of time users spend on your site. Longer durations typically indicate more engaging content.
- Conversion rates: Measures how often users complete desired actions, such as signing up or making a purchase. This is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of your website in achieving its goals.
- Traffic sources: Shows where your visitors are coming from (e.g., search engines, social media or direct visits). This helps in understanding which marketing channels are most effective.
- Page views: The total number of pages viewed. High page views can indicate good engagement, especially when coupled with longer session durations.
- User demographics and interests: Provides insights into the age, gender and interests of your audience, which is valuable for targeted marketing.
Get a hold of website SEO essentials
8. Submit sitemap to search engines
A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos and other files on your site and the relationships between them. Search engines like Google read this file to discover content on your website with the help of search engine bots (also known as web crawlers or spiders; hence, the process is called crawling) more intelligently.
Submitting a sitemap helps these search engines index your website more effectively, improving your site’s visibility in search results.
You can create and submit sitemaps using tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools.
9. Create and submit robots.txt file
Another thing that can help you increase your website’s chances of getting crawled properly is the robots.txt file. It instructs them on which pages of your website should be crawled and indexed, and which ones to avoid.
By properly configuring this file, you can ensure that search engines are focusing on your most important content, while avoiding pages that aren’t relevant for indexing, such as admin pages or duplicate content.
To learn more about writing and submitting a robots.txt file check out Google’s guide.
Optimize your website for search. Source: via Depositphotos
10. Conduct keyword research and start incorporating keywords into your website content
Keywords are the cornerstone of effective SEO. They help your website rank higher in search engine results, drawing more traffic and visibility to your site. Identifying the right keywords is crucial for aligning your content with what your target audience is searching for.
In a nutshell, to identify the appropriate keywords for your website, you need to…
- Know what your target audience is searching for related to your products or services.
- Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify relevant keywords.
- Look at what keywords your competitors are targeting to gain insights into industry trends.
Find more information about conducting keyword research for SEO in Ahrefs’ guide to keyword research.
Once you have the list of keywords, you need to make sure you incorporate them into every bit of your content in a natural way:
- Page titles and descriptions: Include relevant keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions.
- Headings and subheadings: Incorporate keywords naturally into your Heading tags.
- Website content: Use keywords throughout your website content, including blog posts and product descriptions.
- URLs: Include keywords in your URLs where appropriate.
- Alt text for images: Use keywords in the alt text of images to improve image search visibility.
Website content creation and review
11. Create landing pages and the website blog
It’s now crucial to populate your website with content, typically spread across various landing pages and the website blog.
Creating effective landing pages is crucial for converting visitors into customers. Each landing page should be designed with a specific goal in mind, such as promoting a product, service, event, or capturing leads.
Key elements include a clear call-to-action (CTA), concise content and an attractive design that aligns with the specific objective.
Use landing pages to target different audience segments, offering tailored solutions or information that speaks directly to their needs.
Source: website design by Mediaspace via 99designs by Vista.
Having a blog on your website is essential for several reasons. Regularly publishing relevant and valuable blog content can significantly boost your SEO when incorporating keywords from previous research, as it provides fresh content for search engines to index and helps establish your site as an authority in your field. Blogs are also a powerful tool for engaging with your audience and offering insights, advice, or updates related to your industry.
As a rule of thumb, you should review and update your website content every 6 months. Track URLs and original publish dates and set a process for updating on a rolling basis.
12. Check for broken links
Even if you’re an owner of a new website, you should still pay attention to the quality of your links. According to the Linkody study, about 8.03% of all links break within the first 3 months, and a significant 44% of links are gone after 7 years.
Broken links can lead to frustrating user experiences and negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings. So, to ensure a seamless browsing experience and maintain SEO health, you need to regularly check for and fix broken links on your website.
13. Ensure clear calls-to-action
Clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) are essential for guiding visitors towards desired actions, directly influencing conversion rates. Each CTA should be concise, action-oriented and strategically placed to catch the user’s attention. The effectiveness of your CTAs can be gauged by their ability to motivate users to take the next step, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a resource.
Source: web design by malzi. via 99designs by Vista.
To evaluate the effectiveness of your website CTAs…
- Assess whether your CTAs are easily noticeable and understandable.
- Check if they clearly communicate what action you want the user to take.
- Ensure that they lead to a relevant and straightforward next step.
Website social media integration
14. Share your website on social media platforms
Utilizing social media platforms to share your website launch is a strategic move to reach a broader audience. By promoting your website on channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, you can…
- Increase visibility: Social media platforms have vast user bases, offering an opportunity to significantly boost your website’s exposure.
- Drive traffic: Sharing your website on social media can lead to increased traffic, as followers click through to explore your site.
- Enhance SEO: Social signals are a factor in SEO rankings, so an active social media presence can positively impact your website’s search engine visibility.
There are different ways in which you can announce the launch of your website on social media. To maximize the impact of the integration, don’t limit yourself to just one:
- Add your website link to your social media profile’s bio and active links.
- Create a post announcing the launch of your website.
- Share website content on your Instagram or Facebook Stories with a Link Sticker your followers can tap.
An example of a website launch announcement on a brand’s Instagram page; maisiekboutique via Instagram
To make your website launch announcement on social media more memorable, we have templates to help you DIY a visually appealing design to accompany your post.
15. Set up social media buttons on your website
Following the strategy of sharing your website on social media platforms, it’s equally important to ensure that social media integration on your website isn’t a one-way street. Integrating social media buttons on your website is a powerful way to encourage users to share your content, enhancing social engagement and broadening your online presence and social proof.
Ensure social media buttons are visible and accessible across your website, particularly on blog posts, landing pages and key product pages.
Gather user feedback
16. Set up feedback forms
An essential step in refining your website and enhancing user experience is to gather direct feedback from your visitors. Setting up feedback forms on your website is an effective way to collect valuable insights about user satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
- Place feedback forms in strategic locations on your website, such as at the end of blog posts, on service pages or in a dedicated feedback section.
- Keep forms concise and easy to fill out, asking straightforward questions that yield useful information.
- Actively encourage users to leave reviews. Positive reviews not only build trust and credibility but also provide constructive feedback for further enhancements.
Source: Wix website design by extrafin via 99designs by Vista.
Monitor and adapt
17. Stay informed about industry trends
Staying informed about industry and website maintenance trends is essential for small business owners to remain competitive and meet evolving user expectations. Here’s how you can stay ahead:
- Follow industry blogs and newsletters: Subscribe to leading blogs and newsletters in your industry. They are valuable resources for the latest trends, insights and best practices. For instance, if you’re looking for information on 2024 web design trends, check out our guide.
- Attend webinars and offline conferences: Participate in relevant webinars and conferences. These events not only provide up-to-date information but also opportunities for networking.
- Join online communities: Engage with online forums and communities related to your industry. Platforms like LinkedIn groups or industry-specific forums are great for insights and discussions.
- Monitor competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors’ websites and marketing activities. They can offer clues about emerging trends and user preferences.
18. Adapt strategies based on analytics
Regularly reviewing and acting on analytics data enables you to make informed, agile decisions, keeping your content and marketing strategies effective and relevant.
Navigating the world of analytics doesn’t have to be a maze. By diving into the data, you can pick up on patterns in user engagement and website traffic, eventually understanding what keeps your audience coming back for more.
Use analytics as your scoreboard to gauge the success of your marketing and content strategies. Metrics such as conversion rates and bounce rates are like applause (or silence) from your audience, giving you real-time feedback on your performance.
Analytics also play a crucial role in highlighting areas of underperformance on your website or in your campaigns. This information is invaluable for guiding necessary adjustments and improvements. For instance, if certain pages have high bounce rates, it might indicate the need for better content or user experience on those pages.
I’ve done all of that, now what?
After going through the 18-item post-launch website activities checklist, you’ll have laid out a solid foundation for your online presence. Congrats on that! But the work doesn’t stop there. If you want your website to perform well and help you achieve your business goals, you need to continue working on it.
Staying relevant and effective will require a lot of website maintenance and regular updates, so keep evolving your website—review and update the content you share online, conduct website audits and explore and implement additional website enhancements over time.
Ready to get started?