Launching a website can prove incredibly stressful, as there are a ton of moving parts in place. And although you might be tempted to get your new website live as quickly as possible, you want to make sure that you’ve completed a few necessary items prior to launching. When these tasks are completed, it potentially save you a lot of time, trouble and even money further down the road.

Your website is often the first thing a customer sees about your business, so you want to provide them with a good experience that encourages them to keep coming back. Plus, it’s the only piece of your marketing that is completely controlled by you, without any outside input (reviews, comments, likes, etc.)

Below are several components you need to do prior to launching your new small business website.

Check URLs

On a new website (or any site, really) you want to be sure that all of your links are working properly. The last thing you need it someone clicking on a link and being redirected to an error page. Go through each and every link you have on your site and make sure it goes to the right place.

If you’re migrating information from an old site, often times certain URLs change. Be sure to put 301 redirects in place for these URLs to ensure that your visitors are landing on the correct pages. These redirects will help improve your SEO, as they inform search engines that the old page needs to be removed and the new page should be indexed instead.

Check Page Speed

If visitors are forced to wait a long time for your site to load, they will likely leave it for a different one. There’s no reason why your pages shouldn’t load in a timely fashion. Google’s Page Speed Insights is a great tool for testing page speed. It will even provide you with suggestions for helping your page load faster, and how much time these opportunities can save.

Create A Responsive Design

Consumers are utilizing their smartphones more than ever before to access information about businesses quickly. In 2018, 58% of website visits came from mobile devices. What that means is that your website needs to be responsive across all devices. You need to be sure that your website looks appealing on any and all devices (PCs, tablets), as well as website browsers, like Google Chrome and Firefox.

Ensure Functionality

Websites traditionally have a lot of different features and unique details. Elements like contact forms, job applications and email list signups should all be filled out and tested thoroughly to ensure that no errors occur. As a safe practice, check anything on your site that leads to something else, whether it’s a link, form or something else. That way, you’ll know for certain that users are being directed to the right place.

Input Proper SEO & Analytics

Prior to launching, you need to make sure that you have an SEO strategy in place on all of your webpages. Each page should have a unique title tag and meta description that describes the content on the page. These components will help your website get indexed properly by search engines and increase your chances of showing up in relevant search results.

You’ll also want to input an analytics tracking code to monitor what’s happening on your website. That way, you can make necessary changes or test certain things and see what works and what doesn’t. Google Analytics is very easy to input. After signing up, you’ll simply add a tracking code to your pages. Within mere hours, the tool will be able to show you tons of information about your website and the individual pages.

Lastly, you need to make sure that you review, review and review some more. Comb through your entire website for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofread your product names, address, phone number, everything. Nothing is more unsettling than a website with incorrect information.

By taking the time to execute all of these tasks correctly, you’ll be able to launch your new website easily and confidently.