— July 31, 2018
It’s almost go-time! You’ve put in the months of work leading up to your B2B website launch and you may be feeling anxious about it. At Bop Design, we’ve launched 300+ B2B web designs and we have a website launch process in place that has proven to be successful.
However, we know this might be your first website launch so we’d like to help calm your nerves with our essential tips to prepare. This isn’t a complete list, but it should give you the basics to focus on pre-launch.
Create a Post-Launch Strategy
In our experience with launching new websites, the biggest thing that needs to be sorted out pre-launch is the post-launch activity and strategy. You don’t want to focus all your energy on the launch itself and then scramble to throw together a marketing strategy after the fact.
An essential part of the website launch process should be creating a post-launch strategy that is clear and thorough. You’ve invested all this time, money and resources into crafting a professional B2B web design, so it’s imperative to have a post-launch strategy that continues the momentum and maximizes the investment.
Get Your Launch Team Aligned
Another critical aspect of a seamless website launch is having your team in alignment on the details. At Bop Design, we have a documented quality control process in which each member of our launch team has a checklist to go through.
Rather than share the 60+ point checklist here, we’ll cover a few of the basics that you need to have your team aligned on:
- Check all navigation menus and links – Assign a team member or members the task of manually clicking on each link in the website menu navigation to ensure it links to the proper pages. Also, be sure to check all links throughout the website to make sure they are going to live pages and not placeholders. Don’t assume that someone will do this.
- Test and handle website form submissions – Verify that every single form on the website is functioning properly and you aren’t getting any errors. Be sure to log in to the backend of the website and check that the forms are being recorded and/or emailed to the right individuals. Ask the individuals if they received all the test submissions. This is an absolutely critical aspect of any B2B website design that is created to generate leads.
- Define who’s handling the live chat – If you install a live chat feature on the website, define who will be logging in and handling the live chats. In many cases, there will be multiple people handling live chat. Make sure they have what they need and are familiar with the live chat tool.
- Update social media profiles to match the look and feel of the new website – You want your prospects and clients to have a consistent experience with your brand. Ideally, your social media profile banners and backgrounds will all be updated at the time of the website launch so even if a prospect leaves your website to visit your LinkedIn or Facebook page, they see the cohesive branding. Ensure that someone is assigned to making these updates and verify the updates are made and look good.
- Web launch announcements – How do you plan on announcing your new website internally and externally? Do you plan on drafting and sending a press release? Will you be sending an email announcement to your newsletter base? Are you showcasing your new B2B website at an upcoming convention or trade show? Have a plan of action for when the website goes live, don’t let it be an afterthought.
- If the launch includes a brand name change and/or URL change, make a list of all the places that need to be updated – brand name changes and website URL changes need to be rolled out across all your digital and print assets. Make a list of everywhere you need to update a new brand name or URL, including business cards, tradeshow banners, email signatures, brochures, stationery, etc.
Prepare Your Internal Staff
A common mistake we see companies make is not communicating the website launch with internal staff. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially after months working on the web design project, you expect everyone internally to know what you are working on. As you prepare for the website launch, it’s important to have a plan that makes everyone in your company aware of the web design changes and educates them on where to find the regularly shared content.
Alerting employees about the launch makes the transition smoother as they can then educate prospects and clients about the changes. It also enlists internal buy-in and employee support for the new website. We recommend showing the new B2B web design to your employees prior to launch so they really get the inside scoop. Learning about a major change at the same time as clients can be demotivating and make your employees feel like they aren’t included in major changes. It’s an easy issue to avoid.
Talk to Your Sales Team Regarding Website Leads
Never assume that the sales team is getting website leads or has a process in place to handle them. As part of your pre-launch strategy, it’s important to bring in the sales team, educate them about the website leads, and put a process in place for handling the leads. Simply handing over the leads is not a good process. It will streamline the sales team’s duties if you can provide them additional tools for handling the leads, like including an email nurturing campaign, providing them content pieces to send to prospects, and showing them how the leads will be feeding into and identified in your CRM. Don’t wait until post-launch to handle this process since that could cost you critical leads.
Start Implementing Your Post Launch Strategy
What’s next? We’ve put together a downloadable guide that includes a detailed strategy to implement once your B2B website launches, however, there are a few additional questions to consider when crafting a post-launch strategy:
- How are you going to market your website?
- Will you be doing retargeting or search ads?
- What other methods are you using to drive traffic to your website?
- Where are you promoting your website?
- Are you sending a press release about the launch? Social media posts?
- How are you going to continue updating and maintaining your website?
Tremendous planning and preparation go into a new web design and launch, but it’s important to make sure all the bases are covered pre- and post-launch. Rather than getting caught up in the excitement of the launch, take a few minutes to step back and prepare for the B2B website launch by following the tips outlined here.