Top 5 Website Pre-launch Must-dos

Here are my top five things I wish my solopreneur clients knew before starting up a website:

Number 5: Content Content Content

Don’t have a name or title for your website yet? Then I suggest you nail this one down before you do anything else. If you have something already, make sure you have at least one main tagline. I think having 2-3 other taglines is even better. Try writing your mission statement first, then extract or derive taglines from your mission statement.

This is my digital media mission statement:

“Mark wades through the ocean of digital minutia for you so that you can focus on your passion.”

Need some motivation? Check out these taglines:

  • Think Different – Apple
  • The Breakfast of Champions – Wheaties
  • Just Do It – Nike
  • Build the world’s next great thing – Atlassian
  • The World Needs That Special Gift That Only You Have – Marie Forleo
  • Music For Everyone – Spotify
  • I get inspired when I provide you a solution – mark l chaves (derived from my mission statement)

annette natocho of natocho art & design by mark l chaves using bokeh technique

Number 4: Use professional looking photographs and images.

This could be shoved into number 5, but images are so important they deserve their own spot. I can’t say this enough to my clients, “Hire a photographer to take a few fun portraits of you loving life.”

A private photo shoot is worth the investment. Find out if your photographer has stock images you can purchase or go online to the many stock vendors to get high quality images that match your content and attract your readers.

Tip: If your photographer doesn’t know what ’bokeh’ is, you might want to find another photographer.

Number 3: SEO – Learn effective ways to express your cool content.

There is no denying that SEO is important. If you are passionate about your content, educate yourself on SEO so that you can effectively express and share your content in the digital ecosystem. These are my two go-to SEO resources 1) Google Webmaster Guidelines and 2) CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.

Number 2: Get all your socials in order.

Pick out the social media outlets your readers and clients are active on and create handles (account names) on them that reflect your brand (or domain name—see below). Grow your followers. Learn posting best practices and best posting times.

Number 1: Create your custom domain and email address.

This one drives me a little batty because if this isn’t done upfront it holds up website and branding development. There are several more reasons why this is important (e.g. free accounts are discouraged by MailChimp). If you want to look legit, this is a must do.

Heads-up, not all domain name and email providers are created equal. Go with the most reputable ones so your email and website (your two most vital digital media tools) don’t get blacklisted. There are several domain blacklists out there. Here is one domain blacklist It’s a good thing if you are NOT on this list.

This article is based on a Quora reply by mark l chaves.

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