Just like that, you’re live. The months of sales demos, legal hoop-jumping, PO’s, requirements gathering, content wrangling, testing and re-resting, frantic emails, nerve-wracking presentations, time-lines and more stress than you like to admit and the moment has arrived! The site is up and the emails of congratulations start to make their rounds.
You take a moment and think, “Now what?”
You realize what you just did was start something rather than finish it…
Is there a typo on that one page? All good, we can get in there and fix that immediately. Done.
Is that the wrong image for that product? Not a problem, give me a second, found the real one, hold on, ok, done.
How come when I search for this I get that? No worries, let me tweak a couple of things, give it a few minutes, now check again.
This one section is somehow all wrong! Ok, let’s take a few hours and figure out exactly how it should be, now give me about 30 minutes, ok, cool, all fixed.
The actual practice of launching a website is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. For as much effort and stress and focus the launch gets, the actual value of what you just did comes the day after. The month after. And so on.
So take a minute and think about what you want from your website 6 months after the launch.
- Think about the group that is going to maintain the site and how easy that is going to be for them (or not).
- Think about how efficiently you want to be able to spin up a new micro-site or online campaign and what it will take to make that happen.
- Imagine a prospect receiving an email from your marketing department, they click the link and it goes to a mobile-experience where they are going to need to do something. What is that experience like?
- All of a sudden you get that big PR moment you’ve been waiting for and your entire audience floods to your site. What happens?
Yes, the launch is important. That new design is going to capture attention and set a brand experience immediately. That content will either draw people in or have them bounce from your site. The information architecture will guide visitors down a path or not and they will find exactly what they need to make their decision. All of that is important.
If you don’t think through how you will actually use, scale, grow your site post-launch, you are wasting your time. Maybe it means the launch is delayed for a couple of weeks while you figure it out. That’s actually ok. It really is.
Maybe it means you back up and make sure your platform will be able to handle your ambitions. It might also mean looking at your team to make sure you have the right people in place to make your vision happen.
The complete web experience is what you’re launching. Anyone can spin up a site. Anyone can make it look pretty and work on mobile devices and have great graphics. What will set apart the dominant companies of the future is how they continue to evolve and grow their digital marketing well beyond the launch.
Take the time…
Sales will thank you, as your leads will be stronger and better informed.
Marketing will thank you, as they have an avenue to actually do the work they are on the hook for.
Your team will thank you, as they will see their hard work is going to live on past a launch and provide amazing value to the company.