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At The S3 Agency, we create and optimize websites all day, every day, so we thought it would be helpful to share the top 10 most common mistakes to avoid when launching a website.
Of course, you’re excited that you just finished designing and developing your website and you want to show it to the world! But take a step back before you jump the gun. Before launching a website, the entire site should be extensively tested for programmatic, functionality, and aesthetic issues before it goes live. No one wants to click on broken links or get the dreaded 404 error. Design quality control (QC) is equally important. Whether you designed the site from scratch or used a template, it’s always important to ensure that the styles, fonts, and images are all showing up correctly to ensure a smooth website launch.
Mistake #9: Launching a website on a Friday or right before a holiday
While this may sound like a great idea and the perfect way to kick off the weekend or promote a sale before a holiday, you’re setting yourself up for potential trouble. Even if you do sufficient testing, problems always arise when an avalanche of users start visiting your site. It’s better to do this in a gradual process and not with a 4th of July Sale launch. You also want to make sure that you have a team in place to monitor and troubleshoot problems as they arise.
You have awesome content to kick off your site—but it shouldn’t end there. You always want to give the user reasons to come back. Regularly providing quality content is a great way to do that. It’s also a way to boost your SEO rankings.
Mistake #7: Contact information is missing or hard to find
This one is simple but many times overlooked. Whether it’s for questions, comments, or problems, users like to have a way to easily get in touch with you. Have your contact information featured prominently in the header or footer of your site.
Your site should encourage a social connection. It could be through sharing articles and posts, or by simply linking them to the social pages. It’s the best way to get to know your users and allow them to personally interact with the company. Users also love to read testimonials and reviews from real people. It’s a powerful way to increase brand awareness and identity.
Mistake #5: Assuming the expertise of your audience
Launching a website with content that is too advanced (or doesn’t have a basic explanation of your solutions) could leave users scratching their heads. Just because you have a clear understanding of the topic, others may be just starting to learn about it.
Your site is absolutely beautiful. Great! But if your audience doesn’t know what to do next, you missed a huge and crucial opportunity. You should have a clear call to action set up that directs the user to their next action. These actions should flow naturally both in terms of how the user would want to interact with the site and how you want to guide them toward the site’s ultimate business goals—typically sales conversions or contact-page forms.
Mistake #3: Ignoring SEO/having weak SEO
Having strong SEO is the only way your site will ever be organically found on the web. A few elements that help elevate your SEO include: targeted keywords, quality backlinking, positive user behavior, and optimized content. In addition to increased traffic, having solid SEO will also naturally increase the user experience on your site, which is always the end goal.
You spent all this time planning, designing, and optimizing the perfect website. Your SEO is on point and traffic is flowing. But how would you even know if all your hard work is paying off if you haven’t set up analytics? Fail! Setting up analytics is the only way to learn more about your end user, track and measure your website’s success, and, more importantly, learn what can be improved. The gold standard for website analytics is Google. If you’re a beginner, check out this article by Moz to get started.
Having a poor user experience is ultimately a culmination of everything mentioned on this list. For a seamless user experience, you need to know your audience and create a site that’s useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, and accessible. Avoid the mistakes listed here and you should be on the path to successfully launching a website that includes a great user experience.
I’m a Sr. Interactive Designer at The S3 Agency. I’ve been creating digital designs for 10+ years. Since the world of design is constantly evolving, I love staying on top of trends, industry best practices and broadening my skills. When I’m not behind a computer, you can find me outside soaking up the sun with my 2 adorable rescue pups.