- Set SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
- Setup and check links work correctly
- Setup website logo/icon (Favicon)
- Create a custom 404 Page
- Create and test your forms
- Activate SSL certificate and enable HTTPS
- Setup Website Analytics
- Submit your site’s XML Sitemaps To Search Engines
- Setup an email sending service
- Setup Legal Pages
- Optimise your site performance
- Ensure your website is secure
- Regularly test your website again and again
- Call to action buttons, get the user where you want them to go
- Scan website for SEO
- Stop the spam
- Analyse and backup your old website
- Identify your goals for the new design
- Pick primary, secondary, and a few lighter accent colours
- Ensure everything is displaying correctly, images, font, icons, etc
- Get staff or friends to test it.
- Safely store your password
1 - SET SEO TITLES AND META DESCRIPTIONS
Setting up the title and meta descriptions is one of the easiest things to overlook however this is really important for SEO. Google will still display your website without the meta tags but you will not have any control over what is displayed which is why we have added this to the checklist.
2 - SETUP AND CHECK LINKS WORK CORRECTLY
Check your website for dead links (links that don't go anywhere or to the wrong place) also ensure you have enough links for your customer to easily navigate your website or more importantly where you want them to be
3 - SETUP WEBSITE LOGO/ICON (FAVICON)
Favicon is the icon displayed on the top tab of your web browser and on other devices. This makes your website and business look more professional
4 - CREATE A CUSTOM 404 PAGE
404 Page is a page that displays when the user goes to a page on your website that does not exist, this also tells search engines that that page does not exist and is updated on the search engine accordingly. If the page is displayed on the search engine and if users keep clicking the dead links you could lose multiple leads.
5 - CREATE AND TEST YOUR FORMS
Contact forms or lead generating forms, or where the customer can contact you. It is important to ensure that the experience and interaction are simple for the user. Most importantly it must work so sending yourself or getting someone to test the form or message system is recommended.
6 - ACTIVATE SSL CERTIFICATE AND ENABLE HTTPS
SSL certificates help secure your website especially if you are collecting data, logins, or have e-commerce on your website, SSL certificates will encrypt the data so hackers can’t intercept and read the information sent to your server. Also, Google is pushing strongly for all websites to have SSL certificates which again could affect your SEO ranking
7 - Setup Website analytics
This helps you figure out how much your website is growing, what device your users are using, which referral website they’re coming from, and much, much more. This helps you decide on what to focus on for customer conversion, you can also set up conversion clicks and more to work with ads. Google Analytics and Facebook are free.
8 - Submit your site’s XML Sitemaps To Search Engines
Sitemaps help search engines find content on your website easier while if you set up the sitemap correctly the search engines will find the sitemap when they crawl through your page it’s recommended if you have a new website or have added more content such as extra pages this might help you get a better ranking sooner.
Icewolf does generate the XML sitemap on the navigation page. See below
9 - Setup an email sending service
If you want customers to communicate to you through your website, you’ll need to set up an email sending service. Most agencies use a free mail service on their own server hosting Cpanel which isn’t always reliable in our experience so we use a bulk email service for this. Losing emails can cost you customers and we minimise this risk as much as possible that’s why Icewolf supports clients with basic hosting with this service.
10 - Setup Legal Pages
Here is the boring part but very important to have and research, while we don’t give any legal advice in this area we do recommend that you consult with your lawyer on your business and the online solutions. This said minimise your risk of lawsuits and other liabilities.
These pages may include
- Terms and conditions
- Privacy statement
- Term of use (depending on your solution)
11 - Optimise your site performance
There are several products out there for this, the tricky part is fixing the issues you can be an expert with the best coding and still have a slow website. Having a slow server for example will slow performance, a server with high ping, your DNS hosting. Of course, coding and best practice does play a major part too along with image compression and much, much more.
12 - Ensure your website is secure
Website security is very important, always use strong passwords on the server and on your website this is very important especially on the server-side where most breaches happen. Ensure that people can not brute force your email or logins and use different passwords, we know that can be a pain but there are password storage apps you can use that are around $35 per/year subscription and well worth the money if you are managing a website and other business accounts.
13 - Regularly test your website again and again
This is a never-ending process to make sure your contact forms and call to action buttons are working. Check it out on different browsers and devices, it’s also important to note that going to your website through Facebook messenger can be a different experience, the same with Apple, Android and PC. You can never do enough testing but remember feedback from your clients is equally important make sure you ask them about their experience.
14 - Call to action buttons, get the user where you want them to go
You need to figure out what needs to happen for your customer to pay for your product or service. For example
- Click on your ad.
- Goto your website
- Click on a call to action button to contact you
- Fill out the contact form
- You contact and convert them to a paying customer
This is one way of what need to happen for you to get a paying customer, there is always more than one way normally but this gives you an idea on how to map it out. Analytics also plays a major part in improving customer experience and conversion.
15 - Scan website for SEO
There are many Search Engine Optimisation SEO website scanners out there, we’d recommend using a few to scan your website as there is no exact method to improve SEO so it is good to as much feedback as possible also, processes, and best practace is forever changing.
16 - Stop the spam
Bots, bad actors, hackers and aggressive sales people. This can be very annoying especially when you’re receiving emails, filling up your CRM with useless emails or hacked email it could damage your brand.
To remedy this we use google ReCaptcha plus filters and triggers to alert the user of a potential spammer or scammer.
17 - Analyze and backup your old website
Backups are important even if you’re starting from scratch you may need older content for research purposes or even a complete copy over.
18 - Identify your goals for the new design
Layout, page navigation, call to action button, how do you get a conversion? These are the questions you need to ask before you start building your website. This can save a lot of time and money from playing developers or loses of conversions.
19 - Pick primary, secondary, and a few lighter accent colours
Try to stick with 2 primary colors, the accent colors which are much lighter to be used in the background, on forms and other areas. Pro tip try not to use the darkest color #000000 for fonts or backgrounds.
20 - Ensure everything is displaying correctly, images, font, icons, etc
Doubling down on the check everything. Pay attention to detail even the smallest detail can be the deference between a sale. I’ve seen a lot of websites with the    for icons this happens when the font style sheet the designer used isn’t registering again there are a few reasons for this so you might need frontend programming experience to fix this. Icewolf has moved over to .svgs which we have found to be more reliable and makes the website faster.
21 - Get staff or friends to test the website.
The more people testing the better, you’ll find people do things different, different psychology and devices.
22 - Safely store your password
Doubling down on security again. Even if your website is secure by an expert, if a bad actor has your password all bets are off, don’t gamble with your business or livelihood by not taking this seriously. Use different passwords and the more complex the better, if you can’t remember them consider getting a password storage device. This is one of the cheapest solutions as far as security goes.
If you reuse passwords, if one of your accounts databases get hacked and all your accounts could be at risk, this happens a lot and I’m only accounting for the reported instances.
Hope our handy hints will assist you in building a successful business website however if you need professional advice and assistance please contact us. We would love to help you achieve your business goals!