Section 8

Post launch
checklist

Congratulations! You have passed the tough trials of having to establish the foundation of your online business. But what now? Factors like post-launch SEO, social media marketing, site indexing, and communicating with the audience can bring more business to your site then you would expect. These four factors are of prime importance, and it is only fair to discuss them in detail in this section so that you can get a full picture of the things you need to do post-launch.

01

the post launch

seo checklist

Search Engine Optimization has been a primary topic throughout our discussion. In the previous sections, however, we talked more or less about pre-launch SEO. Though the line between post-launch and pre-launch is rather thin, it is important to talk about doing SEO for your site after it has been launched. The following are some of the considerations for post-launch SEO.

Robots.txt

When your site is live, you have to make certain that spiders and crawlers are indexing your site on their search engines. In beta mode, developers tend to disallow on-site spiders and block search engine crawling. The blocking is something that occurs more often than you might think. Ensure that your robot.txt allows search engines to crawl through your website.

Robots Meta Tag

Besides the Meta Robots tags that you place for security reasons, your site should not have any noindex Robots tag on your site.

Run a Crawl

The Time to First byte or TTFB is a metric that indicates the responsiveness of a web server or a network resource. In simple terms, it is the time between the sending of an HTTP request, and the time taken to retrieve the first byte of the page. Reducing the TTFB will mean that your site will load faster.

Check for Broken Links

The crawler tools that we discussed above can also be used to check for broken links. The importance of having no broken links has already been discussed since the switch from development to the beta site does not always go as planned.

HTTP Headers

The crawl data can also be used to confirm server response code. Make sure that all your pages return a 200 File Found server response after launch.

Analytics & Webmaster Tools Code

You should ensure that your analytics and webmaster tools are in place and in working condition. Your site should be registered with both Google, Bing. You can also register with Yandex as a third option.

XML Sitemaps

Verify all your all XML sitemaps through Google and Bing webmaster tools.

301 Redirects

When you redesign a website, an SEO best practice is to reuse as many URLs as you can. Though, it is not always possible, be sure to use the same 301 URL redirects as replacements. This allows the search engines to index your website and transfer ranking authority from the off-site links. It eventually makes for better user experience with visitors.

Check for 302 Redirects

A 301 redirect is permanent. Search engines know how to forward ranking authority through the use of 301 redirects from the old page. Another redirect is the 302 redirect, as search engines will not pass authority through a 302 redirect.

Check 404s for External Links

After all your redirects are in place, you can use tools like Open Site Explorer for 404 pages for external linking. Ranking strengths are passed from site to site through links. You can redirect them by pointing to SEO pages that require a boost.

Page Speed

Page speeds refer to the number of time pages take to appear and fully load within the web browser. It is both good usability and SEO factor. Check your website's page loading speed . Pages generally should load within a couple of seconds.

Remember when we talked about the line between pre-launch and post-launch SEO being a thin one? After reading the checklist above, we feel that you might have gotten a general gist of what that meant.

Besides these factors, there are several larger factors that contribute to the bigger picture of SEO. Site architecture and keyword targeting are some of them. However, these factors come down the road, when you have a well-established site.

02

Post Launch

Facebook Marketing

Using social media platforms, especially Facebook, for launching a business is a surefire way to get your business up and running. Press releases and pay-per-clicks advertisements are pretty common too, but social media is where your real audience lives and interacts.

Using Social Media to Launch Your Product

an awesome landing page

Having a good landing page for your Facebook page before you do anything else. The landing page will act as the central place for all your marketing initiatives.

A pre-launch landing page serves several purposes at once:

  • Builds interest

  • Helps collect emails for newsletters and announcements

  • Spreads the word of mouth for your brand

  • Builds site authority, helping it rank faster

Make sure that you link your social media page in your newsletters or your "Email to a friend" option so that you engage early adopters to spread the word. It is a great way to encourage faster sharing through limited invites.

Create a Promotional Video

With the evolution of video technology, gone are the days when video promotions were used only by big-brands who could afford it. Nowadays, you can easily put together an awesome video for either a minimal or no cost at all. In fact, anyone with a smartphone and some creativity can create stunning videos. You can easily put together a great promotional video using a tool like Animoto, which comes with all the things you need, like:


  • Awesome templates

  • Free background music

  • Text fields for titles

  • Customized editing

  • Uploading your own mini-clips

If you want to go a little further, you can use YouTube online editor a try.

With Facebook, you now have the option of having a cover video for your page. Create a good-looking promotional video of your business, and then upload it as a Facebook cover video. Moreover, you can also use Facebook ads to generate more views and clicks for your video, gaining traffic and potential customers in the process.

Get Influencers and Bloggers on Board

Now that you have your marketing materials and landing pages ready, you can get some influencers to promote your business across social media.

Try and reach out to influencers and specialists within your niche, and invite them to be a part of the promotion. You can use various perks as a lure strategy:

  • Awesome templates
  • Free background music
  • Text fields for titles

We will recommend three tools that will help you find those influencers:

  • HARO is a site that can connect you with niche reporters and journalists, and can be a great help when you are looking for coverage for your site. S
  • Buzzsumo is popular for having a host of bloggers that can write about related topics. You can filter results on the basis of "interviews" and "guest posts" to find bloggers who are willing to participate in the projects of other people.
  • MyBlogU is a community of writers who are looking for free opportunities. You can use the “brainstorm” feature to find suitable writers and influencers for your brand.

Besides the tools we have discussed above, if you are using a team to manage a campaign, then you can use Salesmate to organize your influencers. Salesmate is primarily a sales application, but it can be used to manage influencer onboarding when you have a number of influencers signed up.

Working with influencers can be a bit tricky, so make sure that you have a clear outline of the type of disclosures that they will need to run. Kerry O’Shea Gorgone provides a solid outline of the type of disclosures influencers should be using when endorsing projects.

The connections that you make on social media can help you get initial influencers on board. You can ask your current followers to nominate influencers who like to participate. You can also ask influencers to introduce you to influencers if you have friends in common. LinkedIn is a good resource to use when you are first starting out with research.

Hold a Pre-Launch Webinar

A webinar is another useful way to engage influencers to your site. Webinars work effectively for lead generation so you will be able to expand on the pre-launch email list that you are building through your landing page.

You can combine webinars smartly with group interviews with the help of the following tactics:

  • Using influencer quotes that they have contributed and add them to your
  • roundup to create slides for the presentation
  • Engage your social media to let followers ask questions
  • Answer live questions during the webinar
  • Let influencers participate in the webinar to contribute input

Clickmeeting is a simple and cost-effective tool to host pre-launch webinars. It has support for multiple users, custom invitations, waiting rooms to hold an agenda, and more tools to make sure that your webinar is a success.

You can invite your followers to spread the news on social media about the webinar. For that, Clickmeeting provides a convenient social media promotion integration.

Create a Poll

Quizzes and polls are an effective promotional tool because they lead the user towards conversion in a playful way. They are also very effective as promotional assets because, when done right, they can spread very quickly through social media.

Let your users play by answering questions, and once they are finished, ask them to opt for your email list. The quizzes that you post should be a reflection of your marketing strategy.

Facebook provides the perfect grounds for promoting quizzes. Here is an amazing guide on how to market quizzes through your Facebook audience.

Use Crowdfunding

If your business is a unique one, then crowdfunding can prove a really useful way to leverage your existing connections. GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and KickStarter are some really good websites for creating a crowdfunding campaign.

Facebook also has a crowdfunding feature that allows you to spread the word about your cause or project. It was previously available to nonprofits, but it can be used by anyone nowadays.

Conclusion? Social Media is Useful.

The internet has become more connected with the creation of social media. It only makes sense to leverage its online strength to boost up your business. There are tons of other social media platforms that can help you gain more boost, but Facebook holds a special place in the social media community. Now that we’ve finished talking about post-launch Facebook marketing, it is time to move on to the website for a more technical (the simple English kind) discussion: Site Indexing.

03

post launch site

indexing

As a business, your goal is to gain as much traffic from Google, isn't it?

The problem is, when you launch a site, organic search traffic can be hard to come by. By organic search traffic, we mean those people who are directed to your site through searches.

Getting organic search traffic. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? It does not have to be. In fact, getting Google to notice your site can be the easiest part of the SEO process.

If you play by the rules, you can even build a solid platform for your future SEO that is not affected by updates and algorithm changes.

In the following sub-section, you will learn about Site Indexing, when to do it, the importance of indexing your site today, what is a Site Map, and the steps involved in creating Site Map.

Reading what we wrote above, you might think that the following article would be a drag. Fear not, we will cover all of the technical details in simple English. We believe that it will not be a drag. It might even be enjoyable!

What is Site Indexing?

This section will be split into two sections. In the first, we will be talking about the definition of an index, and in the next, we will talk about what indexing is. What’s the point of the split?

You need to start from the very basics in order to get the biggest picture. If you already have an idea about what an index is, then feel free to scroll down the next step.

What is an index?

This might come as no surprise to you, but an index on the internet is the same as it was in your school textbooks. It is a collection of names, titles, information, page numbers, and references that show you where you can find the correct information that you need. Compared with a "Table of Contents" page, it is more specific. How specific? Well, it can help you find a particular piece of content more quickly.

The “Table of Contents” that we are referring to is the one used in referencing University and College thesis.

Now, let us bust a common misconception about the internet. Ready? Whenever you type a search term in the search engine of your choice, you are actually searching their index of the internet. You are not searching on the internet. Simply put, search engines take your search term, store the relevant information from it, place it into their huge database, and provides you with the search results. All in the span of milliseconds!
That is some serious amount of information, right?

This is why ranking factors and every piece of SEO terminology is about how you will rank in Google’s Index and not on the internet. Suppose you are searching a term like How to bake a chocolate cake on Google: The search results that you see are the most relevant pages from Google’s index. This indexing system is also why sites on the dark web, where people can buy illegal products, do not show up in search engine results. Google has regulatory control over what shows up in their search results.

This might not be the most exciting traffic generation topic that you will read, but knowing the fact that Google is a search index makes for a better understanding of indexing.

What is an indexing?

Now then, let us talk a bit about what indexing is. Simply put, it is about getting your content to appear in Google’s Index. Why did we say Google’s Index? Because Google does a good job of indexing. If you have a website, it will eventually show up in search results. Now just because it shows up does not mean that it is going to show up correctly, or follow Google’s optimization standards. This why we use Indexing.

When you apply proper indexing practices to your site, as we will explain in this article, you will be well on your way to inform Google that your site is active, and the type of content you have or will have. Your chances of ranking will be much higher if you make it easier for Google’s spiders to crawl your site.

Let us look at how you can index your site correctly on kick-start your SEO.

are you in google?

If you have been posting on your site for the past few weeks, then chances are that Google has already indexed you. In that case, just follow some of the next steps to ensure that your site is indexed properly.

But before that, you need to find out if you are indexed. Simply perform a Google search. When the page opens up, simply perform the following search: Site: + Your Domain Name + Your Domain Name Extension. The following are some examples of how you can enter:

  • Site:forbes.com
  • Site:ebay.com
  • Site:Amazon

If your site is live, it will show up. Our shows up nicely:
If it is not showing up, then it is not indexed at all. If it is, it has been indexed to some degree. Either way, you need to verify yourself with Google.

Get On Google’s Radar

This step might sound a little tricky but we are going to hand you over to Google themselves. Their guide on the Google Search Console is rather useful for this discussion.

When you have verified yourself with Google, you can move on to the next step.

Create Your XML Sitemap

Earlier in the discussion, we mentioned that Google uses Spiders to crawl through website pages so that they can find relevant content for the search. Spiders are the ones who go and find pages, like in the chocolate cake example earlier.

When you enter a search term, Google does not send these spiders to your website. Instead, it sends them to your sitemap. They are a quick and effective way to sift through and find the relevant page on your website to the content of your choice. The problem is that your site does not come pre-packaged with a sitemap. You have to create one and then submit it to Google.

It might sound hard, but it is not really. Here are a few steps you can follow.

If You Have A WordPress Site

If you are using WordPress, then you can go ahead and download Yoast SEO Plugin. Not only are Yoast's SEO tools effective, but there is also a tool that will create a sitemap for you.

Once the plugin is installed and downloaded, head over the Yoast Plugin section on your WordPress Dashboard, and select the XML Sitemap section:

When you click on this section, you can access your site map and everything for yourself.

You Don’t Have A WordPress Site…

All is not lost. You can still create a sitemap by visiting XML Sitemaps. You can create a sitemap for up to 500 pages.

Just follow the steps in the image (at least up to step#3) and then come back to the uploading part of your sitemap.

Uploading Your Sitemap

At this point, it is safe to assume that you have verified your site through Google and created a sitemap. Now it is time to upload it online.

  • Visit the Search Console and select your property (site):
  • Once you have selected the website, select the add/test sitemap and add the following text after the domain name.
  • Just hit submit and you should be good to go.

Now let us move on to blogging.

Add A Blog with Content

A blog can work wonders for your search engine results.

When you are constantly adding content to your site, not only are you showing Google that your site is still active, you are also able to connect with hundreds and thousands of people all over the world.

Your content can range from anywhere between solving industry problems or creating content that is both engaging and fun to read. On the backend, you are climbing through the ranks in Google.

Adding a blogging platform on your site is pretty unique. Unless you have a WordPress site, we would recommend contacting the service provider about your blog setup.

If you have a WordPress site, simply follow along with this blog post, and you will learn how to add a blog.

Add Internal Links To Your Content

With blog comments, you can build a strong foundation for traffic. If you comment on industry-specific blogs, you will be able to build a consistent, yet small targeted traffic. Moreover, these links are termed as indicators to Google, so they are not considered spam. Once you start commenting on industry-specific blogs, Google will group your site in that specific industry. Google will be more convinced once your comments start to build traffic back to your site.

Now, a good step would be to do some research regarding your competitors or the big names in your industry. The best way to do that would be to set up a free account on Feedly and search for people within your industry.

Make sure that the content you comment on is fresh and that you do not go overboard with commenting. There are ethics involved.

Add Internal Links To Your Content

Internal linking is when hyperlinks go from one link on your site to another. Internal linking is often overlooked by SEO specialists but it is a primary ranking factor and helps search engines to crawl faster (faster indexing).

If you already have content present on your blog or have content that you are ready to post, then try to find ways to link them together. It can be either through a keyword or relevant phrase, or it can be something like this: P.S: Like our articles on chocolate cakes? Click here for more fun recipes!

Link Back from Your Social Profiles

Linking back from social media platforms is kind of a taboo topic for SEO experts. Most of them do not consider a part of link-building.

Social media links, however, are present on your site for a reason. Google knows that these links exist, and your site is active and in business.

Whatever social media profiles you have associated with your businesses–be it Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook-make sure that you link them to your site.

Wrapping It All Up…

That might have been a little too much to take in. True enough, it might have not been the most exciting SEO article, but it sure was an important one. Let us do a little recap and we can move on to the next section:

  • Finding out if you are on Google.
  • Getting a verification through Google.
  • Creating and uploading a sitemap on Google.
  • Adding a blogging platform to your site.
  • Internal linking to content.
  • Commenting on industry-specific blogs.
  • Linking back from social media accounts.
04

Communicating

with the audience

Are you just simply chasing numbers and missing out on what really matters? Marketers have a weird habit of growing traffic, fans, and followers. However, when it comes to creating a following of dedicated supporters, they fail to deliver. This is called engagement, and it can boost your brand by over 300%.

Marketers, therefore, need to move away from their advertising-based metrics, like clicks and page views. Instead, they should focus on measuring the impact of social media through the activity and reach metrics.

The name of the game? Quality over Quantity. Many of us skip to the fun part and underestimate the impact of engaging the target audience. Find your audience before they find you.

Communicating with an audience is a subtle game. You need to be calm and especially tactical. Here are 5 ways of increasing engagement with your target audience, and create more value for you and your readers.

Know where they are (Platform)

In a similar way our favorite sports team can be decided by our location, or our food by our culture, our preferred method of communication has a lot to do with our life situation, choices, and preferences.

It is important to understand the preferences of target audiences so that we can tailor our marketing strategies accordingly. Eventually increasing the potential for successful engagements in the future as well.

With the help of social media, the way we communicate as a society has changed. However, the personal and cultural choices have not changed. With that in mind, it is important for any social media or digital marketer to find out where the target market is, and how they are communicating with each.

Facebook is the primary playground for understanding the communication between social groups. Analyzing or taking part in conversations allows you to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.

If Facebook fails to deliver for you, then there is no need to worry. There are many popular social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter where you might be able to the target audience for your niche.

Know what they’re looking for

Unless you are the supplier of cat videos and memes on the internet, most people are only going to visit your site to either find a solution to their problem or gain insights on a topic that they find interesting.

The primary reason why many promising businesses fail is that their market is saturated. Trying to get up and going when you are already faced with several competitors can be rather daunting. It is, therefore, important to do your due diligence on the current landscape, and solve industry problems

The more value you add to your content, the more likely it is that people keep coming back to your content. The same content is not enough, you need to give the audience something insightful, useful, and exclusive. So try to tailor your content to meet the three criterias.

Timing is Important

The internet has managed to breed a generation of individuals who prefer instant gratification. Socially, that might be a negative aspect, but in terms of marketing products, it makes things tougher. Timing is everything, so you must be focused on what you can offer and how quickly you can accommodate industry demands, and be up-to-date at the same time.

If your primary source of traffic is through blogging, stay proactive and be on the money with the latest news and updates regarding your industry.

It is always best to have a weekly blogging schedule that includes the "breaking news" contingency. That way, you will not be disturbing your regular blogging periods and also focus on the latest news on your blog.

Be consistent and reliable

Once you have a dedicated audience in place, it is now time to be as consistent as possible. The audience dedicated they might be, will not stick around if you are not consistent with what you have to say. If you are going to take an unexplained hiatus, do you think the audience would stand for it? Of course not.

Try to stay consistent in your content, and add value. Once you do that, your readers will consistently return to consume it. This will work even better if you include timing within your content as well.

Social is a two-way street

It is nice that you have a blogging strategy in place, but do not forget that you have to keep up with the audience engagement. You have to keep your eyes open towards the comments section and engage the audience in a conversation. The more you keep them engaged, the more likely it is that you will create fans and not just traffic.

Conclution

In this section, we talked about what you should be doing once your site is fully launched and ready to go out into the online world. To that end, we discussed the post-launch SEO checklist, Facebook marketing strategies, post-launch site indexing, and finally, communicating with the audience. All of what we have written in this section is important if you are looking to improve your site performance and create a dedicated following for your brand. In the next section, we will be going in-depth into some of the more advanced topics of online businesses.