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Rookie Mistakes I’ve made launching websites (and how you can avoid them)

When it comes to launching a new or updated site. Things can go one of two ways. You can either have a successful enterprise/marketing tool or flat line. Here a some of the mistakes I’ve made while launching websites, and hopefully how you can avoid them.

Wait What?

Forgetfulness, more specifically in regards to your marketing. Maybe you have been thinking about marketing your new website, but thinking is not enough. Too often I have been caught up in the whirlwind of design & development excitement. Only remembering after, or very close to launch date that I actually need to market the damn thing.

Trust me, the sooner you actually start marketing the better.
Some easy marketing steps to take:

Don’t Forget PPC
Don’t forget PPC ads to kick off your marketing. If you have a budget behind you it can certainly boost your traffic and brand recognition. Don’t only look at search engine advertising. Social media advertising is now very powerful and it can help you to reach a targeted audience.

Go Go Guest Post
Guest Posting is currently the favorite traffic driving technique of the worlds biggest internet marketeers. And for good reason. If you are not familiar, the idea behind guest posting is that you write/provide content for a site which is bigger and connected to your business/website in some way. You receive credit and a link next to your content and a flow of traffic directs from that site. A good tactic at how to find sites to guest post on is go to large sites within your sector / niche and look at the comments. Among these most likely will be some people looking for great guest content.

Commenting madness
Another way to market your new site is via commenting on similar sites content within your sector / niche. This along similar lines to guest posting drives interested parties from the hosts site to click through to your pages. Commenting also builds up your trust factor, and allows people to see that there is a person behind the brand. Comment 2-3 times daily and you will start to see traffic generating from those sites.

 

Splitting My Assets

I’ve been there, done that and have got a whole cupboard of t-shirts. If you can’t manage everything don’t. When you are trying to juggle Facebook, twitter, commenting, PPC, Instagram and a blog its very, very hard to do all of them properly. Especially if your only a small team. Stick to one or two avenues of social media. One of which I think should be blogging, but hey what do I know.

Do this at the start, and grow into other avenues later. Do them well and reap the rewards.

How to split your assets and keep your sanity (at least to start):

Concentratio…….
Concentrate on building up useful, good quality content and publish it via an integrated blog. Having an active and useful blog can be a massive marketing tool and asset. Remember, content doesn’t just have to be written. Try out different mediums, such as audio, video, pod-casts and webinars. In terms of how often you should post, it should be no more than you can realistically manage. If you can only post one, original, useful, great bit of content per week, then you should do that. Don’t worry about posting daily if you don’t have the resources.

Choose the one
You should choose one other major social network. It should be the one which is most used by your target market, for obvious reasons. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share your published content on other networks, but proper social interaction takes time. Unless you have a large team which has the time, start out with one. Once you’ve got it down, then start to expand.

Know when you need help
Some times its easy to believe that we can accomplish everything all at once, and underestimate what we can accomplish over time. If your wanting to expand on an aspect of your site, make sure you have enough resources at hand to get them done properly.

Not Setting Time Aside For The Most Important Part Of The Site


Content. I am certainly guilty of this one. Remember to schedule time into your launch expectations. Because content is important. And it takes time. Both writing and inserting / formatting it onto your site. I’ve learnt its best to be/have someone working on the final copy right from the word go. And trust me no matter how good the content is on the previous iteration of the site, it can always do with an update.

Thinking SEO Has Me Covered

Another mistake that I have made in the past is thinking that SEO has me covered. Great so your site is fully optimized? It should be. But SEO on its own won’t create the flooding orgasm of traffic you were envisioning after launch.

How to beat seohasmecovereditis :

Fully Optimize & Test before you launch, make sure that all your ‘alt’ tags are in place and all open graph and Google authorship meta in place. Do a final sweep to make sure everything is in place, SEO wise, and run it through an online tester. My favorite is nibbler.com. Once the results are in make any modifications it suggests and be on your merry way. If your site was built correctly that should be all need for now.

Not Enticing My Readers Early Enough

The second most important thing on any site is your list. Emails are like gold dust, and people protect them as such. If you haven’t figured it out yet the internet is all about giving. Give and thy shall receive. Make sure you offer your potential list member something of use and substance.

How to entice with some spice :

Create a resourceful, well created/written ebook/software/template/font/course e.t.c.
Depending on your industry, create a useful giveaway to entice your potential clients. Make sure that it has actual value and/or use as nothing is more annoying than handing over your email and being disappointed. Not the best way to build loyalty to your brand

Give it all away
Now that you have your fantastic freebie give it away! In return for the download/access ask for a few details and an email address. A nice addition is incorporating pay with a like or tweet, this way your not only growing your subscriber list but spreading your brand to your new members network. You can easily get this to filter into your email list with the incorporation of a 3rd party API or ready built form.

The No Hype Crowd.

Don’t be part of that club, I have and its no fun. This goes hand in hand with your marketing. But creating hype before and during a launch is something which will make your analytics numbers jump with glee.

Three hype creation techniques:

And the winner is
We all love the game, the possibility of a win. Create a competition and come up with a prize which your target market would be interested in, which your company/website can provide. For example a website or a one on one lesson. This will achieve two things : Firstly you can create hype surrounding your brand. Secondly as your prize is something which your business can provide people who are interested in the prize are naturally interested your services, giving you wider exposure to your target market.

CrowdFunding
An interesting way to create hype around your new site/product is to create a crowdfunding campaign to raise both capital and buzz surrounding your brand.

HARO
HARO or help a reporter out is a network which connects reporters to experts within specific fields. Reporters constantly need experts in a wide range of different sectors. This is a great opportunity to get the brand name out there as well as start to develop an authority status.

 

So there you have it, some of the mistakes that I’ve gone through while launching websites in the past so you don’t have to. Let me know some hiccups that you’ve had when launching a site below.

 

Stay dedicated.

 

Enjoy this post? Follow me on twitter @rorykermack

 

 

Rory K

Rory Kermack is a professional programmer, interactive designer, and entrepreneur. Working with the #iot, #hybridapps, #webrtc & #reactjs. Senior dev & main contributor of codeanthology.