On the day that you launch and share your new website (which is different from the day that you start it), the aim is to have lots of traffic coming your way. “Lots of traffic” is relative, of course (and for any brand new website, any traffic is something to be proud about), but there are ways to maximize your reach and traffic on day one, which we’ll get into in this post.
You’ll also want your new visitors to perform a number of different actions—as many of the following as possible:
- Read your content (duh!).
- Subscribe to your email list.
- Share your content and website with others.
- Engage on your website and leave comments.
- Get excited about what’s coming next.
The main purpose of the launch, beyond getting maximum traffic and engagement on day one, is to truly establish you and your brand as a new authority in the niche that you’re entering—one that’s worth paying close attention to.
Entering a niche late is actually an advantage, because you can see what’s missing from an existing market, come in to fill those holes, and be the solution that has yet to exist. With a launch plan in place, if done correctly, you can definitely ride the “New & Noteworthy” wave.
Ideally, you’ll want people to think something along the lines of: “Finally! Where has this been all my life?”
What to Do Before You Launch
You’ll want to think of the launch of your new website like an event—something important that happens during a specific day and time where your brand and everything it has to offer becomes available to the public.
Doing this puts the launch in the correct frame of mind—not just for you, but for those you’ll be contacting before launch day to help you promote, as well as those who visit your site on launch day.
The specific date also helps you schedule what happens when, and gives you a target date or deadline to shoot for, which will help you avoid procrastination and putting things off “until tomorrow.”
The launch of your website should be treated like an event, so build anticipation for it and keep people who have given you words of support up-to-date on your plans. Then, when the date comes around and you turn off that teaser page, celebrate what you’ve just accomplished, but realize that you still have a lot of work to do.
After You Launch
The moment you flick off that teaser page there are a number of things you should do:
- Email the list you’ve built. You already have an email list—awesome! Now it’s time to email your subscribers and let them know you’re live. Also, give them an easy way to share your new site by including a link to that convenient share page on your website. These are your ambassadors, and you’re definitely allowed to ask them to share for you.
- Source your 200-outreach program. Beyond tapping into your existing list, send a quick, personalized email out to each website and blog on your 200-outreach program spreadsheet. You could even draft each of these emails beforehand so you aren’t spending time on launch day writing them. A quick mention that you’re live and a link to your ultimate resource can go a long way, and even if you get a two to five percent response rate, that’s more than you’d get if you didn’t send any emails at all. Don’t force anything or be aggressive in your emails, and remember what’s in it for them too.
- Thank those who have helped you. If anyone has helped you get to this point, email them to thank them. It can go a very long way. If you’re thanking those in a round-up post, include a quick, easy-to-copy-and-paste link that they can share on their social media platforms. If you find people are retweeting your stuff or mentioning your new website on Twitter, reach out and thank them too.
- Reply to every comment. On launch day, if you do it right and you have traffic coming to your website, chances are you’ll get a number of comments on each of the posts that you’ve already written. Respond to each one of them. You want to be as present on day one as possible because if new visitors see you’re actually replying to comments and active on the site, they’ll be more likely to stick around and share. You won’t always be able to reply to every comment down the road, but it’s one of the most important things to do within the first few months of a website’s start.
- Reach out to local news. Local news stations are always looking for new stories, content, and events to share. There’s no harm in reaching out to all of the local news networks and pitching them your new website and seeing if they’d be willing to cover the story. What’s the worst that could happen? They’ll say no. . . and that’s not a big deal.
- Keep producing more content. If things are going well, you’ll want to ride that “New & Noteworthy” wave as long as possible, and the best way to do that is to continue to provide more content frequently right from the start.
Beyond those things, keep asking people (and providing easy ways) to share and subscribe to your list. Within the first week or two you’ll be several months ahead of where you would be if you just started dripping content to an audience of zero. Keep your eyes and ears open around the web about you and your brand, and over time make pivots to better serve your audience in the way that they want to be served.