A client recently asked us what we recommend when launching a website. From an SEO standpoint, we at periscopeUP do a LOT to ensure the search engines are properly indexing a site, including quality control on the site using our SEO checklist, and webdesign checklist, submitting the site, XML sitemaps, webmaster accounts, and redirecting the old pages to the new in case people have linked to them or bookmarked them, Google Places, and of course, links, links, links.

But this isn’t what the client was asking!

She was interested in knowing what she could do herself, from a PR perspective, to get the word out.  The website launch plan below will help you increase visibility and get some SEO lift.

Website Launch Checklist

1. Plan your tasks for one month prior and one month after launch

  • Define your target audience and strategy
  • Setup monitoring tools to listen to mentions of your company (google alerts, for example)
  • List all your contacts, blog followers & blogger friends, email list, media contacts, social media fiends, etc
  • Schedule tasks
  • Write up all the features and benefits of your new site, to help users understand what improved and why they should visit. Remember that a feature is what a product or service does, a benefit is how it improves your life
  • Provide easy ways of contacting you in every communication
  • If applicable, document the roadmap of what’s to come (new site features, etc)
  • Know how to optimize your links! Our video on internal links holds true for external links too

2. Drop some hints to your audience a month prior to launch, to let them know it’s coming.

3. Syndicate an optimized press release that includes a good description of why you’re the best and what’s new about your site / services.

4. Email the world (don’t forget mom!)

  • Send an email announcement to your loyal followers / clients / mom / social media followers
  • Be sure to list new features of the site and give a reason to visit

5. Attack social media channels

  • The key is asking everyone you know to post on their accounts and give them good (short) content to do it
  • Notify Facebook & Twitter followers & followers of your clients / friends / mom
  • Update LinkedIn followers and groups you & friends belong to
  • Check out Social Toaster

6. Blog, comment & participate in forums

  • Write about your new site on your site, prior to, during, and after launch
  • Comment on industry blogs, forums, etc, showing off your great new site and asking for feedback

7. Ask for feedback

  • Collect and disseminate feedback a month after launch to share the good & stay top of mind

8. Track the impact of your efforts

We hope this checklist was helpful. Please comment below and let us know if we forgot anything!

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