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Launching a new website is a big event for most companies, and while most of the effort is typically focused on building a great website that delivers compelling content and a superb user experience, what you do before you launch can impact your post-launch success.

Here are five ways you can promote a successful launch before you introduce the world to a new website.

1. Make it look pretty.

When you're working hard to complete your website, designing a good-looking placeholder -- be it a Coming Soon page or otherwise -- probably isn't your top priority. But first impressions count, and if you're going to put a Coming Soon page up, being lazy isn't a good approach because you never know who might be dropping by.

2. Say something.

Unless you're in super stealth mode, it's worth considering the advantages of providing more information, and not less. This can be especially useful in convincing visitors to sign up for notification of your launch (see below).

3. Don't forget analytics.

Even if your pre-launch website consists of little more than a Coming Soon page, you don't need to wait to begin collecting analytics data. While there's a decent chance it won't provide any earth-shattering insights pre-launch, there's always room for surprises and in some cases, you may find a nugget or two that can help inform your launch strategy.

4. Collect email addresses.

If you build it, they will not come. New websites need to be marketed, and a mailing list can be a very valuable asset in driving early traffic. From your Coming Soon page to offline networking, there are numerous ways to ensure that you have a list to market to when you launch.

5. Don't park.

Be careful about parking your domain pre-launch. According to Google's Matt Cutts, using common parking services, particularly in the weeks running up to your launch, can have a negative impact on your potential to start working your SEO magic post-launch.

Patricio Robles

Published 8 November, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2407 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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Nick Stamoulis

Get that analytics code on your site as soon as possible! With a new website you want to pull as much data for as long as you can so you can start making educated decisions.

almost 4 years ago

Michal Matovcik

Michal Matovcik, Online Presence Manager at ESET

I would say. Try to align expectations of users to the level of service you will provide after the launch. If you over-promise, you can loose them all.

almost 4 years ago

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I agree with Nick. Great little checklist for new site owners, thanks.

almost 4 years ago

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Natalie Green, PR and communication assistant at postcode anywhere

I would suggest adding a blog to your site. Blogs provide your site with content to drive potential customers to your site and help to improve your site’s search engine results ranking.

almost 4 years ago

Neale Gilhooley

Neale Gilhooley, MD at Evolution Design Ltd

I especially agree with point #5, DO get a holding page up as soon as you register the domain then you can
a). submit URL to Google and
b). avoid having a ISP standard holding/parking page appear and be cached by Google for some time after you have launched.

almost 4 years ago

Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis, Google Analytics Analyst at Koozai

I'd also say don't put a robots no index (of any type) on it. Even if you only have one page for the time being it's good to let the search engines see it. I made the mistake of having a robots disallow on one of my sites up until the day I launched it, the pick up of it could have been a lot better had I not then had to wait for Google...

almost 4 years ago

Andy Killworth

Andy Killworth, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

Also test, test test. Don't assume just because you and your web developer think it's great that your users will. Get some people who don't know your product/service/site to try it out and see if they follow the journey they're 'supposed' to.

There was a recent post by Matthew Woodward who did a great video about the Everything Everywhere launch, which was a total fail (the site, not his blogpost!):

http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-not-to-launch-a-website-a-live-example/

almost 4 years ago

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Tom Waterfall, Director of Optimisation Solutions at Webtrends

Be prepared to AB test or use MVT!
You should be:
1. Testing to learn what to implement
2. AB test new vs. old areas of your site
3. Have tags in place and a key test or two ready to go on the new site to mitigate risk.

almost 4 years ago

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