Over the years we’ve seen companies destroyed by a new “Pretty” website launch! In this article we will count down the top 10 Mistakes people make when launching a new website!
10. Data Gathering and Validation of Current Website KPI and Metrics
One of the biggest mistakes of people who are launching a new website is Why? You don’t relaunch a functional scaling website unless you know exactly what KPI and measurements you feel a new UX/UI, new Technology will implement. What are you “gaining” and what are you “losing” with this investment. Lots of people assume a new website is always better but the fact is that over 90% of websites lose traffic, and in turn, sales when they launch a new site. We can’t believe the amount of companies pushing for a “Holiday” release of their new website, having 0 understanding what that is going to do to the bottom line. Having KPI, Metric and Goals Defined is step one even before you should think about a new website build. Get GA installed, Get User Feedback and understand the user Journey, then build from that!
9. User Survey and Feedback
Number 9 on our list is that the saying “The customer is always right” until the CEO’s favorite color is a deep purple and not a light purple. These gut assumptions trumping data is the death of so many companies. No one dug into their persona and asked what does our brand mean to the customer, what is the emotion we want them to feel. How would they rate our current experience and how can we approve. This feedback is normally easily obtained but never ask for. Your paying customers are GOLD and they will help you make the decisions. Talk to 100 of your customers 1-1 about your website and your brand and watch the magic happen!
8. Meta Tags and Optimization
Number 8 on our list is one of the most common mistakes we see when companies launch new websites. The tagging and code behind the website is either just not there, or it was filled with errors or garbage written from a coder and not a marketing copy writer. Google is blind, and if you don’t tag your website then Google and your actual consumer will literally never find you. The only way you can see the “Meta Description” Text is in the code/cms or if you use this trick in google and use “site:yourwebsite.com”, this will show what you are showing your customers when they find you on Google. Take a look and you will be shocked!
7. Inner Site Linking and Silo Structure
You know how everyone in Business Talks about cross department integration and Breaking down the Silo’s in your organization. Well the same goes for your website. The user journey needs to flow seamlessly and effortlessly through each phase of the User Journey. We have discovered it takes about 10 hours of interaction with a brand to make a decision. The old way was to have a sales rep build rapport and establish that bond. Now in the digital age you have to engage the visitor with that same 10 hours but digitally. The number of customers who will come to your website and just buy, even within the 1st day of interaction is less than 1%. The reality is that they will Google you, they will watch videos, they will educate themselves until they type in “Your Product Name” into google and buy. The funny things is you probably bought an Ad to get them back to the site and your Ad Manager will say, “See look at all the money we made you.” Better cut back on social and give me more Ad Money. What is the ROI of Social Media and your Brand, It is EVERYTHING, this isn’t pay to play or Rank and Bank anymore. This is the real deal game!
6. Pre Launch Data Validation and A/B Testing
Data Data Data. You can’t change what you can’t measure. It is wild to me to go through wireframing, design, board approval and launch with 0 data. Cool, you think it looks great to you, but how do you know it is what will work? Have you run Landing Page Tests to look at 20 different content blocks and see what people are drawn to. Have you tested the SEO Metas with Google Ads to finding the highest CTR. Content and Design can be tested not fulling but partially ahead of time. The idea to launch with 0 data is a recipe for disaster. You might as well flip a coin and do a lot of hoping it works!
6. Content Migration Plan and Content Sunsetting Timeline
People underestimate the value of the content on their website. People are shocked to discover when we come in to play clean up that they removed a page from their website driving 20% of their overall site traffic. Or when they relaunched the website they only made “minor” changes to the Web Content, to make it better, but that “better” is an assumption. When you launch your website and you drop to page 2 of Google, you are going to be scratching your head and hiring someone like us to not only find the issue but then fix it. Let alone the politics of people defending that “I don’t care I like the new content”. What? Just make it go back up on Google, do your magic! This isn’t Magic, this is Science.
4. Quality Assurance Testing (QA)
Testing Testing Testing. This is always a scramble. You are overdue on the project and you have run out of time, so what gets cut? Features? Of course not, that can’t happen because we HAVE to launch with the ability to apply multiple coupons but not with certain ones, as it was custom coded in the old website, and people love Double Couponing. So what goes out the window? Testing! “We’ll do it Live.” Literally half of all websites we’ve seen launch have had very little testing, and the ones with testing for sure didn’t have 3rd party proper QA processes.
3. SEO Link Migration and Link Chain Update
When you launch a new website you migrate the Links and Redirects but oh my what happens when you forget to move the .HTACCESS on the server, which is the server record of the “Links to the Links”, well you lose about 20 years of Authority with Google. Legit this is so HUGE and often missed. What a mess to fix too, it is like trying to resurrect the dead. We aren’t magicians, but when it comes to websites, we’ve have had to play Necromancy wayyyy too many times!
2. Industry Trend Data and Technology Stack Evaluation
How is that Joomla working out? All jokes aside picking that right Tech Stack has HUGE implications for your business. Is the tech going to be around in 5 years, will there be a migration path. How much are you willing to risk to jump to the newest Tech, and work through the growing pains. Or how far are you behind using outdated tech while the new guys zoom past. This is a HUGE decision. I have seen people pay 500k for a Magento Website to have to redevelop the site a year later because they later decided they wanted to move from Magento 2 to Magento 3. A good website should be on a 5 year rotation and migration path. When do you start planning your next website? The day you launch the new one. Or even better look at a Continuous Development Stack, where you never launch a new website but make small incremental changes every Sprint. This is how Silicon Valley is doing it, so watch out!
1. Picking the right Vendor Partner
Finally the Number 1 Mistake people make is picking the wrong partner! This will by far be the number 1 factor of wether your website succeeds or fails! When you pick a partner look at the data, look at the case studies, look at the KPIs and Metrics. Design is cool but that is subjective, it is art. Pick a vendor based on results and outcomes and who can help scale your business to the next level. You want to get to the next stage, find a vendor who has already helped others just like you, do exactly that! You are paying for a Website, you are paying for a likelihood that the website will become a revenue producing asset and not a Sales Brochure. So ask yourself, what is that worth to me, and pick Ezzey as your next partner in Business!
Here’s what Ezzey’s CMO Rick Bodey recently had to say in Forbes Magazine
If you’re not sure if your website has checked all the boxes and is ready to go into production, contact us today to see how Ezzey can help put your website on overdrive!