How To Launch A New Website To Maximize Your Site Visitors?

by Calvin Cox on August 19, 2008


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What does it mean to maximize your site visitors? Well… the idea is to squeeze out as many visitors as ‘legally’ possible out of the search engines, the pay per click campaigns, your banner ads, your email blasts, word of mouth, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn contacts, the blogosphere, PR Newswire… I think you get the picture!  You want a successful launch, one that will leave you with many new contacts, subscribers, and/or sales.

So how many visitors qualifies as a successful site launch? Well, your industry should give you a good indication of a reasonable goal that you can expect to see at launch time. Look at your top competitor’s visitor traffic numbers and deduce what would be a reasonable number of visitors you can expect taking into consideration your launch budget and human resources (launching a website can be both time consuming and budget intensive) Setting a new site visitor goal will help you focus your resources in the right places in order to attain that lofty figure in your head of 100,000 new visitors, WINK WINK.

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We are currently in the process of launching a really cool website called Styleapple – a design portfolio and job site for designers (can’t wait) and wanted to really maximize the amount of site visitors when we launch in September. So I’ve outlined the steps that we are currently taking coupled with the advice of a few industry leaders to hopefully guarantee a successful launch, and so far… so good. The first thing you should know about a website launch is that there are three stages: THE PRE-LAUNCH , THE ACTUAL LAUNCH AND THE POST-LAUNCH .

THE PRE-LAUNCH

The pre-launch period should start about 6 to 8 months prior to the actual launch of your website (this number may vary depending on who you talk to) This will allow for plenty of time to build your company’s brand image in the public eye for them to become excited about your product or service. Think of the prelaunch as a concert or blockbuster movie promotion; giving your audience a trailer or preview of what’s to come. Your trailer arsenal should include a company blog, social media and networking presence (Twitter, Stumble Upon, LinkedIn, Facebook) a prelaunch press release, opt-in email list (Emails should be sent out three weeks to a month prior to launch and the day of the launch at minimum) and directory subscriptions.  These steps are vital to a successful website launch for this primary reason: Would you consider going to a movie opening or a concert you knew nothing about?

THE LAUNCH

It’s a good idea to launch early Monday or Tuesday morning. This way you take full advantage of the day and week of your website launch. Get on your social media bullhorn to tell the World Wide Web that you’re open for business. “WhooHoo, my new website launched today: http://www.styleapple.com” could be an appropriate Twitter title on that Monday morning. Use Stumble Upon and Facebook to post the news. Write a blog post on your launch day, I would recommend that the post be your press release. There are many additional marketing techniques you can use depending on your business and industry…exhaust them all.

THE POST-LAUNCH

This is when you employ your website analytics (Note: You should be using your analytics throughout the entire launch process to track how well your pre-launch efforts are working) There are many free alternative that will provide site visitors information, Google Analytics is one of the more popular; Hubspot, an Internet Marketing Company has an awesome paid service that will help you with most aspects of your prelaunch and post launch preparation, I would definitely recommend them. Send an email to thank your opt-in email list as well as your new contacts thanking them for making your company’s website launch a success. This email should include a link to your website and relevant product or service information for them to review. This email marketing technique will drive the no-shows to your website the following day because they want to see what all the fuss was about. Pay close attention to where your visitors came from and how long they stayed by analyzing page views, referral traffic and keyword information. Beef up or enhance the pages or products they found most interesting to maximize conversion, and modify page content or layout of the ones that weren’t as effective. Pay very close attention to any complaints and or suggestions made by your visitors (implementing a comment or feedback page on your website will prove to be a vital tool for a new business startup) Remember the customer is always right; even on the internet.

AND THE WINNER IS…

A company’s website is successfully launched when they come away with lots of new visitors who became contacts , subscribers and/or customers. So when you’re thinking of the layout of your website consider the layout and navigation that will optimize your contact forms and email subscriptions , product placements and buy now buttons. Your goal more than anything else is to get as many contacts as possible. If your clients don’t bite the first time you will have a second chance to woo them.

I‘m sure there are additional techniques that I may not have covered in this article. Comment on some additional techniques you’ve used when launching your website so we can discuss

Article Update:

I decided to include my Alexa traffic numbers to answer a question asked on my comments:  This graph shows 3 months of blogging and social media networking for Branded Designers.  The yellow line represents our blog and the other two are blogs and or websites that are similar in content and within a year or two of launching.

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