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11 Things Most Business Owners Overlook When Launching a Website

What’s one thing most business owners overlook when launching a new website?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

launch a website

image credit: annaOMline

1. Creating an “About Us” Page

So many people think, “How am I going to get new customers from this website?” Put yourself in the shoes of a potential amazing employee, and the first thing you would do is look up the company’s website. What does the website evoke? What kind of people would you be coming into? What is the company culture and the environment like there? The “About Us” page is essential.

- Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper

2. Posting a Privacy Policy

California law requires a website to conspicuously post a privacy policy if it “collects and maintains personally identifiable information from a consumer residing in California.” “Personally identifiable information” is defined very broadly (including emails). Even if you are not selling a product or service, your website most likely needs a privacy policy.

- Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

3. Testing Everything

When you’re ready to launch, giving the site a final once-over is low on the list. But checking every single link, all the internal pages and how it shows up on a variety of devices and browsers is so critical to that first impression. After all, if you drive traffic to a site that breaks, you’ve lost momentum and possibly your reputation. Build in at least a full day to test the site completely.

- Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

4. Planning an Editorial Calendar

Updating the content of your website on a regular basis is required these days. But many business owners forget to plan future content when launching a new site. It’s crucial that you sit down and plan out an editorial calendar as far in advance as you can. Include who is responsible for producing each piece of content and what other resources are necessary to get it published.

- Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

5. Getting Content Ready for Launch

Many new businesses rush their website launches and don’t have enough content ready when they go live. It can easily leave an unfinished and rushed first impression that can last for a long time. Get your content ready for the launch. Think about content strategy after launch. And, whatever you do, make sure you don’t have Lorem Ipsum placeholder text still in place in your live site design!

- Juha Liikala, Stripped Bare Media

6. Including a Call to Action

Nowadays, most business owners know a website is a necessity. However, many forget to include a call to action. If potential customers come to your website, you have their attention, so make the most of it. Get them to complete a form with their email address so that you can follow up and provide more information.

- Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Test Prep

7. Translating Your Site to Mobile

We are as guilty of this as anyone. It’s important to build a great website that works across browsers. It’s also important to create a nice mobile experience — even if it’s limited. Your fans will talk about you when they’re out and about and will want to show off your brand. Make sure that they can share your story through their phones and tablets!

- Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

8. Focusing Users on Relevant Information

Anything that isn’t around driving conversions might not belong. Conversion rates for landing pages fall as you add more clutter. If you want someone to read about you and then contact you, why are you presenting them with links to your profile on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.? Minimize any non-critical calls to action, and your visitors will tend to focus on the more relevant information.

- Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

9. Producing a Video

Websites are a lot of work. Look at Dropbox. They did not really launch with a website, and in a way, they almost don’t have one yet! They just have a video and a form to sign up for the product. That video increased conversion rates by 10 percent and increased revenue by $48 million in 2012. Simple, clear, and it works better!

- Andrew Angus, Switch Video

10. Following the Conversion Funnel

Conversion rates are important, but they aren’t everything. The site design that brings in the highest percentage of new user registrations may not be the one that yields you the most customers. Follow your conversion funnel all the way through to understand the design that’s best for you.

- Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics

11. Considering a CMS

Especially for startups, an easy-to-use, simple CMS (content management system) can be invaluable.WordPress is one simple CMS to seriously consider. If a developer is later required to make any content changes, blogging and other content can get stuck in a bottleneck.

- Jesse Pujji, Ampush

About the Author: The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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  • http://www.gmrwebsitemaintenance.com/ GMR Website Maintenance

    Fantastic tips on starting a website for the business. Its really helpful and useful to read your article.
    All of the above things mentioned before starting are excellent. Specially considering a CMS is the most important factor. Blogging is really important for the website as the users are keen to read the upcoming changes going on in the world.

  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Ivan Widjaya

    Devan,

    Agreed – also consider to use broker link checker tool to help you out.

    With regard to WordPress – I am personally a big fan of the CMS. I was a Joomla! user and I think WordPress is easier to use. Also, don’t forget to follow the development around Ghost, soon-to-be launched blogging platform – perfect when you are launching a blog.

  • http://www.noobpreneur.com/ Ivan Widjaya

    Jayden,

    Indeed, site loading time is often overlooked. People often want flashy design and animation, without considering the fact that they must be loaded remotely, which will impact your overall website loading time – and eventually, lose you leads and hurt your search ranking.

  • http://www.enmast.com/ Devan Perine

    SUPER solid list! Dead-on.

    Advice for #3 — have someone ELSE test all the links. If not two other people. I can’t tell you how many times months down the road I would find a broken link when I swore I clicked every link at least twice. lol

    And to add to #11, in my opinion, WordPress is the way to go and ideal for small businesses. Once you learn it, (there’s a small learning curve) you can edit and change the site yourself with out the need for a developer. (cheaper and easier in the long run!)

  • http://www.callbox.com.sg/ Jayden Chu

    Really did share a helpful list here. Building a website takes a lot of preparation and planning but the bottom line is that; it should be pleasant appearance and should have easy access to your clients. Minimize the loading time that will accumulate as part of your bounce rate.