Your Website Post-Launch Checklist


Your Website Post-Launch Checklist

So your website is tested, live and running... but now what?


Forgetting about post-launch marketing and how to get people to your website for a second (that's a whole other story!); I'm talking about the housekeeping/technical checklist you'll want to go through and tick off in the days after launch.

Yes, the items are useful for SEO and marketing, but these are really the step before going through your actual marketing strategy - like preparation!


1. Get Google Analytics 

If you're on Squarespace you'll have built in traffic analytics to show you what visitors are doing on your site and where they have come from, but Google Analytics is a much more powerful too with another layer of information. So if you're getting serious about stats and conversions, you'll definitely want to start getting to know GA.

I've written a post before about how to set up Google Analytics on your site in 4 simple steps for both WordPress and Squarespace users. Plus I've also written a tutorial for creating a 'vitals dashboard' to help you narrow down what data you see and help with the overwhelm!

Google Analytics

2. Submit your site to Google search console

I'm not an SEO/Google expert, so I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly what all the functions on Google Search Console do, or why it all requires a separate website to Google Analytics... but I do know it's important to add your website here to help Google to 'index' your pages and to gain valuable SEO insights into your website.

Once you've logged in, you'll be asked to 'Add a Property' (aka a website you own) and verify your website using a range of methods, one of which is using Google Analytics, so follow the steps for this seeing as you've just set that up, right? ;)

Google Search Console

Once your website is verified, you can edit the settings to change your language/country preferences and other things, but the main thing you want to do is submit a 'sitemap'.

A sitemap is a list of your website's pages that tells Google and other search engines how your site is organised and therefore how to read (aka 'index') it. This helps Google decide which pages of your website to display and where when people type search for relevant phrases/words in Google.

To find your sitemap if you're using Squarespace, you simply need to add /sitemap.xml at the end of your domain. So for example, you can find my website's sitemap at http://www.byrosanna.co.uk/sitemap.xml. You should see a page that looks like this:

Sitemap

It won't make much sense to you, but it does to Google!

If you're using WordPress, you can get a plugin to help you create a sitemap. You can either download the Yoast SEO plugin and enable the sitemap function, then you can click on the 'Your XML Sitemap' section and see a list of your sitemaps created for you: 

Yoast SEO

Or you can download Jetpack and enable the sitemap on the settings there, and you'll be shown a list of your sitemaps:

Jetpack
Sitemaps

So you then want to copy and paste your sitemaps into Google Search Console, by going to the Crawl > Sitemaps section and clicking 'Add Sitemap' in the top left hand corner and press submit! 

Sitemap

It can take a long time for Google to read/index all your pages if you have a lot, so be patient. You can see the status of it in the Google Index > Index Status section.

If you're interested, all the fun stuff is in the Search Traffic > Search Analytics section! You can see exactly what search terms people are typing in to find you and which pages are getting the most hits etc.

3. Update Facebook, Twitter, Insta & Pinterest

On social media, you have the ability to add one website link to your profile, so don't forget to add yours! All you have to do is go to your profile editing settings and add in your website link - sometimes they may ask you to verify you own your website, but usually it's fine.

Facebook

4. Update Google Business 

If you have a 'Google Business' account (a great idea if you're a physical store or work specifically in a certain area!) you'll want to update your listing to add your new website.

Google Business

Not only is this useful for people searching for your business to help them find all the new information on your website straight away, because it's owned by Google it'll gain some extra 'SEO' juice for normal rankings too.

(Also update your personal profile too! It doesn't matter if you barely use it, it's more Google juice and relevancy that all helps for the overall ranking of your site!)

Google profile

5. Let LinkedIn know

I know LinkedIn is technically a social media profile as mentioned above, but it's a little different than just adding a website link. You can actually add a whole project section of your profile dedicated to showing off your new website if you wanted to!

LinkedIn

Or you can add it as a link to your 'Experience' section to bulk out your current 'employment information' (yes it's still relevant if you are freelance or own a business - just use your own info here!).

LinkedIn

6. Got a blog? Set up Your RSS

Make it super easy for people to follow your new blog or the 'news' section of your website by getting set up on an RSS feed reader like Feedly or Bloglovin'.

I've written up a step by step tutorial on how to do this before, so check that out and add some buttons to your site to make it simple for visitors to subscribe!


Got more tips for launching a website? Share below!


Brand & Landing Page Design: The Guitar Box Company


The Guitar Box Company Branding

A fun, modern brand for a new UK-based guitarist's subscription box company!


With a vision to create an iconic, modern brand for his new guitarist subscription service, Neil came to me to come up with a logo, brand elements, collateral and a landing page to capture new leads.

He had a clear idea of what colours and styles to use in the branding, so we came up with a moodboard inspired by a combination of modern fonts and vintage imagery to use as a guide throughout the project and for Neil to use in the future of his business.


The moodboard

The Guitar Box Company Moodboard | byRosanna

Images via: 1 // 2 - stock // 3 // 4 - custom // 5 - custom // 6 // 7 // 8 - stock // 9


The brand concept board

The Guitar Box Company Brand | byRosanna

We used the idea of 'glyph' icons to use for the brand submark, to give the brand a modern edge and make sure this logo would be recognisable and print clearly on packaging and on plectrums.


Brand collateral

The Guitar Box Company Collateral
The Guitar Box Company Collateral

We also created branded mockup graphics for Neil's plectrums and 'process graphics' to share on social media once launched to help people understand the subscription concept!


The landing page

The Guitar Box Company Website | byRosanna

Neil wanted to create the landing page using Instapage, as it allows you to add more sections and 'call to actions' as well as connecting easily to a range of email marketing providers. It's a really powerful platform for high converting lead captures! 


It’s been a pleasure working with Anna and I’m really pleased with the final product! In setting up The Guitar Box Company it was critical to get the brand right from the outset. Anna listened and quickly understood our values and what we stand for. I’ve been extremely happy with the initial brand and how it has developed and feel the creative work has been first class. I have no hesitation in recommending Anna and will definitely be working with her again in the future.
— Neil, The Guitar Box Company

View the full portfolio page

or

Branded Collateral You Might Need in Your Business


Branded Collateral You Might Need for Your Business | byRosanna

Your branding doesn't just stop at your logo!


When working with clients on a branding project, I always offer the option of adding on collateral items to their package. For some businesses (usually start ups), these things may not be necessary just yet as they literally just want to get to launch stage as quick as possible.

However, many people I work with are ready to invest in a fully cohesive brand; and that means working on branded collateral.

But what do I mean by 'collateral'?

I class collateral items as either physical or digital 'touchpoints' for your brand that are outward facing to your customers. I've written about the importance of brand touchpoints before, and why it's so key to make sure everything is consistent.

Below are some examples of collateral items you may want to consider designing for your business. This is the same list I provide my clients with to choose from:


1. Business cards

One of the most obvious collateral items to consider are business cards. These are so important if you plan on doing any kind of networking, as they are a great (quick!) way to pass on your contact details and get across the essence of your brand.

Business Cards for The Cocoa Lab

Business Cards for The Cocoa Lab

Why choose a designer to create these?
A designer will understand the best file specifications and settings to create your print files in to achieve the highest quality, using professional tools such as Illustrator. They will also know how best to lay out the card for maximum impact with your target customer.

2. Social profile graphics

These include: your social media profile picture or 'icon', and a header image that you have the option to upload on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google etc. 

Why choose a designer to create these?
When you're a small business, it's likely that many of your customers will initially hear about you or find you on social media, so first impressions are vital! A designer will know how to create the best first impression for your business.

3. Social post templates

These days, social media is all about visuals and creating branded, shareable graphics that your followers will love and instantly associate with your business. Having a selection of branded templates to use means it's easy to make sure your brand is always looking consistent!

Why choose a designer to create these?
A designer will know what makes a graphic shareable and appealing to your audience on social media. All you need is a set of these created once, and you're good to go with minimal editing needed on your part - just a change of wording and imagery when needed!

Instagram Template for Feely at Home

Instagram Template for Feely at Home

Instagram Template for Feely at Home

Instagram Template for Feely at Home

Pinterest Template for Feely at Home

Pinterest Template for Feely at Home

4. Document template

At some point in your business, you're probably going to want to create some kind of document for your clients. Whether that's an invoice, contract, questionnaire or just some instructions/information, it's more professional to send this on 'letter-headed' paper or as a branded file. 

Why choose a designer to create this?
Depending on which document processing software you use (Word or Pages, for example) the settings will vary on how to make sure your design applies to every new page created in a document. It can get a little complicated, so having a designer create a template for you means you just have to install it and type!

Document Template for How to Build Your Business Online

Document Template for How to Build Your Business Online

5. Presentation template

For some types of businesses, creation presentation slides for clients is part of their every day routine. This is common for events planners or designers, for example, where it's common to showcase ideas to a client before a project is started. 

Why choose a designer to create this?
Similar to a document template, the settings can vary and be complex, so having a designer create high impact slides for your deck is an easy way to make sure everything your client sees is a high quality reflection of your brand.

6. Notecards

You could think of these as large versions of your business cards, but generally they can be used more flexibly. By leaving a space to include a handwritten message, these can be transformed into anything from thank you cards to feedback requests!

Why choose a designer to create this?
Similar to creating business cards, it's important to understand the file specifications (such as resolutions, colour modes, and bleeds/trim marks) needed for high quality printed items, as well as how to make sure your business will be remembered from this one piece.

Note Cards for Bluebird Creative

Note Cards for Bluebird Creative

7. Pricelist/Menu

These types of documents are of course specific to certain types of businesses, but can be really useful to quickly attach to emails with clients, have as a downloadable document from your website, or have as physical print outs in your shop/restaurant/hotel etc.

Why choose a designer to create these?
Files like these can easily be templated, so again, you can have it professionally designed once, and it will be yours to tweak the text whenever you like. This just makes it so easy to have up to date, beautifully branded and cohesive documents for your customers to download or put in their handbag for later!

8. PDF design

Sometimes you just need something a little bit lengthier and more 'visual' than a pricing sheet or document template; something slick and easy to attach to an email! I always get compliments on my own info packs that I send over when clients first get in touch, but the below example is of a blogger's media kit too.

Why choose a designer to create this?
As this is usually a more visually-focused graphic-heavy type of document, it's a good idea to get help from a designer to come up with an 'on-brand' layout for you and give you the ability to edit the images and text you need.

PDF Design for Jam & Clotted Cream

PDF Design for Jam & Clotted Cream

9. Email signature

If you are a slightly more traditional business, or someone who receives a lot of email enquiries vs. social media, your email could well be the first impression a client gets of your business, so make it count! It's helpful to include all your relevant contact information, as well as a logo so people can remember who you are.

Why choose a designer to create this?
Using your brand fonts and selected colour palette, a designer will create a signature that is memorable and works for a variety of different email clients (ie. software that people use to read emails, such as Outlook, Gmail or webmail systems). Many graphic-based signatures will appear differently and won't work with some email clients, but a designer can advise you on this.

Email Signature for ReNu

Email Signature for ReNu

10. Email marketing header

This is the initial graphic that shows at the top of your email newsletters; it can be as simple or as information-rich as you like!

Why choose a designer to create this?
If you're focusing on building an email list and putting out some great email marketing messages, having a well-branded header is important for capturing peoples' attention!

11. Website/slider graphics

If you're in the process of creating your website, or have one that you need to add fresh new graphics to, having impactful banner/slider imagery can be helpful for getting your brand and key information across quickly.

Why choose a designer to create this?
A designer will be able to advise on what information to include on your banner/slider graphics and how much text to have, as well as what images will work best, so that your graphic are eye-catching but not overwhelming. 

Website Banner for Odette

Website Banner for Odette


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