New website launches offer a big marketing opportunity to generate visibility and create long-term SEO value. So while you’re developing the site and getting ready for the release, use the time to develop a launch strategy that will enable you to make the most out of your launch.
1. Put up a Launch Soon page [pre launch] – while your website is still in the works, create a landing page and put it up as soon as possible with a launch notification alert. This can serve as an effective lead generation tool for potential customers, help get the page indexed in search engines and create anticipation for your site. Check out LaunchSoon to get some ideas of killer landing pages.
2. Submit to design galleries – If your website is well-designed and creative (as it should be) you can try to submit it to the dozens of web design and CSS galleries out there on the web. A lot of these galleries not only have massive traffic and high page rank, but are also visited by a web-savvy audience that can yield a wealth of social links and bookmarks for your site.
3. Contact relevant bloggers – If nothing else, do this. Before you launch your site, research and compile a list of blogs in your industry or that may have relevance to your website. Start a relationship and get to know these guys… they will be your friends withlots of benefits. On launch day, reach out to your new friends and give them the exclusive news before you announce it to the public.
4. Issue a press release – Another great way to generate visibility and back links to your website is by issuing a press release across the news wires to announce your website launch. Press releases don’t carry as much weight as they used to but are still an effective way to get the word out and build some links. Check out PRWeb, PR News Wire and Marketwire.
5. Notify Twitter heavy weights – Similar to bloggers, you should also spend time and identify the Twitter authorities in your industry. Get to know these people (often times they will be the same people as #3) and channel your efforts on extracting tweets from a few influential profiles on launch day. They can help create a snowball effect and drive both traffic and SEO value for your site.
6. Leverage your personal networks – Friends, family and colleagues can also help fuel the word-of-mouth fire so make sure you don’t forget about them. Post your news on Facebook and LinkedIn and don’t be shy to ask them to help spread the word.
7. Leverage your online communities– You should create, at the minimum, a Facebook page and LinkedIn page for your business and start building and engaging with the community before launch. If you have more time/resources, you can also create a presence in StumbleUpon/Reddit/Digg and try to identify and engage users that can help you generate visibility on launch day.
8. Email blast – Basic, but very important. In the weeks prior, you should be building your email list… don’t wait till your website is launched. Also, remember the leads you captured from step 1? Now is the time to contact them and let them know about your new website. Be sincere and transparent about your effort to spread the word.
9. Incentivize word-of-mouth – Another approach to consider is rewarding users to tell their friends about your new website with economic incentives. Services like SponsoredTweets can help you spread the fire on Twitter. Also, keep your eyes open for up-and-coming services like InviteBox and LaunchRock that offer a self-service platforms that can help boost your launch.