A product launch checklist unlike any other: this is what you need to do to make your website ready for the upcoming traffic.
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You’ve been developing your product for a while. You’ve watched how it changed from the idea, through prototype, to what you’d imagined it would be at the very beginning (or something else entirely). Now is the time to show it to the world.
But have you thought about optimizing your website’s performance before the product launch? What marketing strategies don’t cover, is how to prepare your website for visitors. And truth is that they will use different browser and devices to enter your website.
Plus, you need to be ready for more visitors than your page may be ready to handle. So how to successfully survive a spike in traffic caused by your product launch campaign? Let’s discuss it step by step.
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Product launch checklist - 6 things to remember
1. Decide where to direct visitors
First, decide where do you want the traffic to go to. Do you want to land visitors on your product’s website or maybe you have thought about creating a dedicated landing page for the big launch? It all depends on how you want to turn visitors into clients.
Let’s say you want to create a landing page to capture leads. Depending on the complexity of your desired landing page, you may want to outsource web development or build it in-house, e.g. using online tools like Unbounce or Leadpages.
The first solution pays off if you want to include customs solutions like WebGL animations. The latter is fine if you just need a template with forms and CTA buttons.
2. Optimize for different screen sizes and devices
You have to make sure that your website is optimized for traffic coming from different devices or browsers. Otherwise, people may bounce right away. If your website has been live for some time now and you have been gathering visitor data, you could use it to research your current audience.
Go to your Google Analytics account and enter the Audience tab. Find a Technology tab, where you will find exactly which devices or browser your visitors use and what screen sizes and resolutions you need to optimize for.
Otherwise, benchmark standard screen sizes and learn about responsive web design to adjust your website for a variety of visitors.
3. Have a lightweight version of your website
Another important factor on our product release checklist is the page load time. Studies proved that the longer a page takes to load, the higher the bounce rate is. For example, 40% of internet users bounce if it takes more than 3 seconds for a page to load. On mobile, even 90% of users will drop off after 5 seconds.
So how to reduce the page load time? First, make sure that files containing your app’s source code have the smallest size possible. Ask developers you work with to use webpack to bundle your assets and minimize them.
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They should also check if the HTTP requests are limited, loading the additional data in the background asynchronously, in order to view the page quicker. As media files take up the bulk of the data, optimize them for different screen sizes and compress, using .jpeg instead of .png formats.
You can also group your assets to reduce HTTP requests. If your website uses animations, double-check them for performance issues and bugs, as incorrectly displayed animations can harm your site’s user experience.
Lastly, some of the static components can be stored by the user’s browser after their visit. By enabling cache some of the content won’t load again during the next visit, reducing the page load time.
4. Prepare for traffic spikes during the launch
During a successful launch your website will have to face more traffic than usual. To prepare for this spike in traffic and prevent your website from crashing, ensure that your site’s infrastructure has proper adjustments.
Our developers recommend different approaches, depending on the tech stack you use. One of them is to set up external tools (e.g. Datadog) or use built-in metrics (e.g. AWS CloudWatch) to analyze traffic on your site and the use of your resources.
Looking at the collected data you might want to increase the size of your instances (vertical scaling) or increase the number of instances (horizontal scaling) to satisfy the increased traffic.
It might be the case that on the first day you want to deploy some on-demand features to your app faster. In such cases, kubernetes replica strategies together with tools like Istio could be lifesavers.
5. Set up the analytics to track your campaign
To properly track the success of your product launch campaign, use online tools like Google Analytics, Heap Analytics, Hotjar or Mixpanel to measure and analyze your performance. But first, ask yourself what metrics would you like to keep your eye on and set goals/events accordingly.
For example, you may want to see how many users click your CTA button, how many of them sign up to your product or subscribe to the email list. Based on that, you can calculate your conversion rates and Customer Acquisition Cost.
You can also see what’s the overall ROI of your product launch campaign. If you want to set events to track e.g. button clicks, scroll depth or forms sent using your Google Analytics account, a developer will need to match events with appropriate properties on your website.
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To speed up the process a little but, you may use Google Tag Manager and set events yourself. To maximize your ability to measure conversions, add Facebook Conversion Pixel and Google Adwords tracking codes to your website, too.
If you have more ideas for the copy, CTA buttons, etc., you may use Google Optimize to A/B test during your campaign. This way, you can immediately adjust your content based on real-time observations of your users’ actions.
6. Assign developers to quick fix during the launch
When the day comes, and the marketing crew is on board to talk to your potential customers via social media, live chat, etc., don’t forget to assign a developer, too. Their duty should be to spot risks to your website’s performance and quickly fix them to prevent your site from crashing.
What after completion of the product launch checklist? The next step
Now, as you have your website prepared for the launch, it’s time to master your marketing strategy and execute it. Do you need developers to prepare your product for the big launch? Let’s talk about your project.