You've launched your website. Now do this.
Building and launching a website are a little like labor and delivery.
You’ve grown (built) this beautiful thing and then, once the last stroke of digital pen has had its way, you hit publish, and it's in the world.
Now you want to rest.
But, much like the birth of a baby, the website launch is just the beginning.
And listen, I commend you on getting your site created. I think you should take some time to pause and celebrate the milestone. That was a big deal.
And this next step, it's so easy.
Here's what you're going to do:
You will go to a friend or a family member’s house, or meet up somewhere, and you're going to let them know you have a new website. Ask them if they want to pull it up on their computer or mobile and check it out.
Next, you watch.
You don’t say anything. You don’t explain anything. You don’t direct them in any way. Remove any looks of expectation and desire for compliments.
You simply watch them use your website.
This person looking through your site is probably your friend, and they’ll want to be nice (most likely). So you’re going to learn the most through watching them rather than asking for honest feedback.
Pay attention to the following, among other things:
- Did they get puzzled when they came across a content area of your site?
- Did they stop scrolling midway through a page and not realize that there was still content?
- What areas were they interested in clicking first?
- Are there content areas they ignored altogether?
- Do they outright ask you what you mean by (fill-in-the-blank)?
Now that you’ve watched them use your site, and they’ve amply gushed over your new digital baby, you can now ask this one very important question:
- After taking a look at our website, can you tell me what we do?
Write down the feedback while it's fresh.
Write down what you've learned so you don't forget, but you don't necessarily need to make immediate changes.
You may need to go back and tighten up the opening headline or tagline on your homepage.
It could mean that you just need to add a little more context to a subscribe button. Simple.
When we launched our website, I had my mom go through our site. I watched her. I saw, for example, that she didn’t understand the testimonial on our homepage was a testimonial.
So you know what we did?
We bumped down the testimonial content block to nearly the end of the page and created an image with a quotation in the background of the image that would give someone the cue, “Ah, this is a testimonial.”
It didn't require major changes. It was little tweaks to make the web pages as readable, scannable, and readily understandable as possible.
So what would you add to this? Anything you’d watch for or ask when you have someone take your website for a test run the first time?
To victories big and small!
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