You may have noticed things looking fresh around here… that’s because the brand new tinyblueorange.com launched last week! It’s always a process to be your own client, but the results have us really excited to share with current + future clients alike.
During the launch process, I realized that our clients are lucky to not know what’s going on behind the scenes. They pick a launch day + we do the work to publish their new site. They get to celebrate + share the results, not having to sweat over the long checklist.
Not everyone is that lucky.
If you’re launching something on your own — especially a rebrand — you might be missing some simple but important steps.
The finish line is in sight + you might have been working on the project for weeks or months (or longer). That can mean a loss of steam or wanting to “get it done” for the sake of getting it done. Trust me, I know those feelings well.
But if you spend a few minutes on these steps, you’re setting yourself up for long term success with your latest site. Whether it’s a rebrand, a sales page or a client project you’ve created, these simple steps are good to add to your launch checklist.
No matter what your feelings are about social media, it’s good to run your site through the Facebook Debugger for a few reasons.
- You can preview exactly how your site links will look when shared on Facebook (whether you’re sharing them or your fans are sharing them)
- You’ll be notified of any missing properties that make sharing or publishing to Facebook problematic so that you can resolve them before they become problems for your business
- You can click the “scrape again” button to grab the newest featured image on your homepage (this is important if you are rebranding or relaunching)
We run all pages that are listed in the menu through the Facebook Debugger seconds after the site is live. That gives us the chance to confirm that all pages are working (not just the homepage) + reset the featured images in the Facebook preview. It takes less than 15 minutes to do a handful of pages + is so worth the effort!
Add Google Analytics code
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “we launched without adding our GA tracking code” I could buy myself a venti hot chocolate from Starbucks right now. It’s way more common than you think + the bummer is that you cannot go back in time to retrieve analytics data.
Most development sites don’t have Google Analytics code in place because there’s no need to track the developer testing features + functions. But as soon as the site is live (or even the night before), it’s a good idea to paste in the tracking code from Google Analytics so that you collect data on your brand new site immediately.
That data will tell you if the new design is working for your business, if your contact or opt-in pages are doing what they are supposed to (converting) + where people are sharing your site around the internet.
All of that data is invaluable as an online business owner. And you can get it for free by spending 5 minutes to install the tracking code on your site. You can use a plugin to do this, but we recommend another route because the fewer plugins you have, the faster your site will be.
Test your forms
Every business has different goals, but the purpose of most websites is to get leads into your inbox or email system — via contact forms or opt-ins. Don’t launch your new site + assume that the forms worked the same way as they did during the testing phase.
If you had a development link that has now changed to your actual website URL, that change could have caused problems for your forms. Or maybe you ran plugin updates prior to launching + the latest version doesn’t work with your form tool. What about the notification settings for your forms, are they set to your personal email, your work email or someone that added the plugin for you?
Even if you have 5 different forms on your site, it won’t take long to run through each one + make sure it works for your leads and for your business.
- Confirm that you can tab through the form fields
- Check that the success message or page loads quickly
- See what email address the message is sent to (and if it gets marked as spam or goes to your inbox)
- Double check that your opt-in goes to the right list or tag in your email provider
By reserving 1 hour on launch day, you can ensure that these 3 simple, but very important steps get tackled. And you’ll save yourself the potential hours of work trying to figure out why you aren’t getting contact form alerts, why your mom shared your new site link on Facebook + the image is wrong, or why your Google Analytics check-in after 3 months is showing a giant zero for site traffic.