This post will tell you what NOT to do when trying to launch a website! This was probably the worst site launch in history. Simply put… I was blind and stupid. Feel free to judge, but be nice!
There are a few ways to launch a site. The proper way would require a bit of time, decent content, excellent tools, a great design, search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing.
My (Not so Proper) Launch
Admittedly, my site did not have great content. I assumed that everyone would want to use my site, rather than read words. I mean ‘duh!’.
It did, however, allow the website owners to list their website and in return get a link back. So, I thought it would be a useful tool for link building. Everyone loves SEO, so what could go wrong?
I wanted to get my site out there, but with no marketing budget. I would do ‘anything’ to get as many websites to join, as quickly as possible.
My big plan was to launch my site on a bargain hunting site that provides free advertising for deals… I just needed to create the delusion of a bargain. So I labelled the advert as “FREE for a limited time”.
FREE + bargain site = millions of users! Right??? Right!
Not only did my site get free exposure as intended, but it far exceeded my expectations. My site received thousands of visits. There were many new signups in just 3 hours! My plan worked. My site went viral! $$$
The truth is that I did get many sign-ups, but none of them had good comments or was from genuinely interested people.
People signed up using fake accounts. Not account had good comments or was suitable to list my site.
Some comments said:
“CAPS LOCK IS IN STYLE AGAIN!!!”
“WTF! YAHOO REBRANDED”
“SPAM SPAM SPAM”
… and hundreds of other R18 rated comments.
This site, in particular, uses a community of admins that vote on content. My site was escalated quite quickly to them. Soon my email went mad with warnings from the bargain site admins.
The site admin removed my site their website within 180 minutes! It must have been a new record!
Let me be honest – the humiliation was severe. I expected at least some positive feedback or valid signup. So, what did I learn?
Don’t use free hosting
My site used a free website host. Free hosting sites can be handy and not every free hosting is terrible! Mine was. I can list a couple of technical reasons, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. It involves banned IPs, rate limits, content forced within frames and the inability to get SSL certificates. All of which is bad in one way or another. It just depends on the visitor, his/her browser and the security tools they use.
Ask for feedback
Opinions matter! Ask friend and family for feedback. Simply put, you are biased and they are not. Look at how they use your site… Notice their first reactions… Listen to the questions and feedback… Make the changes and adjustments before launching the website to a broader audience. Remember, your site must be able to sell itself! The purpose of it must be clear to anyone.
Make sure your site seems trustworthy. Certificates help and give visitors a sense of safety. Make sure you have an ‘about us’ page to express your vision and connect with your audience. Add reviews/testimonials from others. Use visual elements that include wording such as “Guaranteed”.
Add great content
Great sites have great content! Add content such as ‘how to posts’, tips and tricks, frequently asked questions, press releases and more. It gives the impression of a healthy site that is active and trusted.
Design, Design, Design
Ensure your site has implemented good design practices. Mine used bootstrap, but I must admit it lacked one or two nice images that made it more aesthetically pleasing.
Provide a good deal
The listing on the bargain sites was a great one! I genuinely believe that my website would have had fantastic exposure. People love bargains, and there is no better way to get exposure quickly. Unlike me, make sure you provide a valid deal!
Let me know what your experiences were?