And Tips to Avoid Time-Sensitive Mistakes
Congratulations! You're planning on launching a new web site for your business, and that's a great step for your company. After all, your web site is the foundation of your Internet marketing strategy, and the key place where your customers engage with your brand.
But if you aren't careful during this delicate process, one mistake could set you back months – or even a full year! Please don't let that happen to you!
Instead, be on the look out for these four warning signs. If you see them creeping into your process, get help fast!
1. You Don't Have a Plan
Every web site development process should start with a strategic plan for your web site. At the minimum, that plan should define your online audience and messaging strategy, along with a finalized outline of the web site's information architecture.
Ideally, your strategic plan should also include a conversion strategy, an SEO strategy, and final copy with basic wireframes for each page. If you aren't sure how to put together that kind of plan, don't worry. We do!
2. You Started with Design
If the first thing you or your web company talked about was the design of your web site, then there's a good chance you're going to be hitting a few road blocks up ahead. Even worse, if you already have design comps, but still haven't talked about messaging or content - then you should expect major revisions and big delays.
Good web design doesn’t impress anybody, anymore. It’s expected. Instead, you should delight them with your message and content. That’s why in the web site planning phase, copy comes first - design is second.
3. You Don't Have Any Content
A primary reason why web site launches are delayed is because of lack of content. During the web site planning process, everyone is always very excited to talk about design and features - but nobody wants to talk about content.
Without content, one of two things will happen: your web site company will finish your web site without content and give you an empty shell that doesn't meet your needs, or the web site company will stop the project altogether.
4. You Can't Stop Revising
If you can't make a decision about whether or not a button should be blue or green, or if that sentence should end in a period vs. an exclamation point - well, then you're in big trouble. A state of constant revisions will delay your project and probably frustrate everyone involved - so you better act fast.
Remember, your web site cannot generate any leads or sales until it's launched - so getting to version 1 is critical. You can always make changes later. Limit yourself to two rounds of revisions before launch - and keep your project moving forward.
Ready. Set. Launch
If you make it to launch – and I really hope you do – then you’re going to need this handy dandy web site launch checklist. Enjoy!