The months of sweat and tears have passed and the stakeholders have finally signed off. Your new website design is about to go live – but how do you announce a new website launch? How do you get people to care about a new website? How do you get the most traffic and conversion you can out of a new website launch?
1. Send out a Press Release
First of all, target local business publications and anyone who you feel would be interested in the new site. Then move on to utilizing the press release process as a link-building exercise. If you write up a professional press release and use a resource like Press Release Jet to get the press release spread far and wide for the purpose of gaining links back to the site.
Unless you’re a very big company, serious news sources won’t make a big deal out of your launch but it doesn’t mean you can’t use the opportunity to get on some cool sites and possibly promote it there. Press Release Jet and other services distribute your press release to the press release section of local news stations websites around the company so you can even promote those articles once they get published – and they do get published on very credible sites that can make you and your company look good. Just make sure your press release takes an angle that would be interesting to your prime demographic and isn’t just navel-gazing.
2. Schedule a couple posts for every social media account you have
Use the post scheduling tool Buffer or Hootsuite to set up well-written posts on all your social accounts, but make sure you have them set for the hard launch, not the soft launch. Let’s be real, the first day any website launches there are usually some tweaks that need to be made and things that are getting squared away. I generally suggest waiting a week to really make the big announcement. But at that point, announce it 2 or 3 times (especially on high volume platforms like Twitter), and include an image of your website in all its glory or even a gif of someone scrolling through the site showing it’s best features. Here’s an example of clothing store Maurice’s showcasing their new WordPress blog developed by Minneapolis Web Design with a gif in a tweet.
3. Emphasize new features and promote a tweet and Facebook post.
If there are new features that your customers or clients will love, take a little video of someone using them and showing the feature in action and promote it in a Facebook post or tweet. Not everyone is going to intuitively know to go check every nook and cranny of your site and find why it’s so cool, so you might need to give a nudge or two to let them know you’re trying to serve them better. Promoted posts and tweets are a great way to get the information about new features out there more quickly.
4. Create a blog post about what’s changed and any refocusing you’ve done on the site.
This one is a no-brainer. You just spent a ton of time working on a site to better showcase your products or services and now it’s time to share why the new site is better. It’s also a good idea to do a write-up because people really do search “Company Name Website Redesign” in search engines hoping to find out what’s been changed and why. In a recent re-launch people were landing on the post from 2 years before when the last iteration was launched, so we did a write-up really quickly and redirected the traffic that was coming to the old post to the new post – as it was clear that’s what they were looking for.
5. Send out an email telling your existing customers and fans about what’s changed.
E-mail is still one of the most visible digital marketing tactics we have in our arsenal so don’t underestimate its power.
According to Mailmunch, if you have 2,000 people in your e-mail list, 2,000 people who like your page on Facebook and 2,000 people who follow you on Twitter – on average:
- 435 people will see your email and open it
- 120 of the people who like your Facebook page will see your post
- 40 of the people who follow you on Twitter will see your tweet
Yes the mediums are different, but these are compelling reasons to dip into your e-mail list on a website launch.
6. Create a game around a hidden easter egg on the new site.
You can drop the word “serendipity” on the website somewhere and give a $25 gift card to anyone who finds it and sends you a screenshot. You could really hide anything you’d like, but the idea is to incentivize finding it and encourage people to explore the site your team worked hard on.
Don’t worry your easter doesn’t have to be as dope as Kanye West’s easter egg in the code of his website:
7. Edit your email signature and add “Check out our new website!”, linking to the new site.
Speaking of the effectiveness of e-mail, try the drip method by adding the announcement to your e-mail footer and every routine e-mail you send helps spread awareness. You might not feel comfortable sending every contact the announcement normally, but subtly in your email signature can let them know without being pushy.
8. Recognize that “new” is relative, and keep playing it up for a month or so.
You may be tired of your new website before it even launches (because it was a lot of work to create content for, coordinate people to complete, etc) but other people haven’t seen it yet. So don’t spend one day letting everyone know it’s launched and then give up. A couple posts on each social network, an e-mail, a press release, a blog post, and some promoted posts or ads around the launch can linger for at least a couple weeks to make sure the news of the launch is spread far and wide. At most, you can spend a month tactfully sharing the new website launch and new features on it – try to take a new angle each time you do, and people will be less likely to get tired of it.
Tim Brown is a digital marketer and web designer – who has experience doing website launches for a wide array of business niches, from sales development software, goal-setting software and France student travel.