Whether you are ready to launch your EngagementHQ for the first time or you are about to go live with a new project, there are certain steps up you need to consider for a smooth lift-off.
Launching your site
Pressing that launch button and going live is an exciting time. Ideally you have spent a good amount of time planning your consultations, now its time to execute your strategy. Here is a checklist for your site launch:
- Think about SEO. Read this article for a SEO specific checklist.
- Publish your tools within your project(s). Most tools need to be published at the tool level.
- Publish your project(s). After publishing your tools, you also need to publish the project the tool is activated in.
- Design your homepage. It is critical that you pay attention to your landing page (homepage). Make sure that it looks good and makes sense. Ensure that all images you use are high in quality but low in file size.
- Do one of these two.
- Press your 'launch site' button (left image below). This button can be found in the top right-hand corner. Pressing it will make your site accessible. That means search engine will pick it up, your registration is open and the initial site block is removed.
- Remove the site block manually (right image below). In some cases, for different reasons, this button may have been clicked earlier and you have most likely re-applied the site block manually. If so, simply remove the site block in your site settings.
If you'd like us to peer review your site before your initial go live (and we recommend this), you can book in a complementary review. We will review the site and let you know if anything has been missed or could be tweaked. Click here to book
Publishing a new project
Whenever you launch a new project or consultation, there are two checklists we recommend you consider. One is technical in nature, the other is more about best practice. Consult both for the best possible result.
Use this checklist to ensure that your visitors have a good experience. That means making sure everything works as you expect and is visibly pleasing. The below are best done in chronological order:
- Set your visibility if the project is not supposed to be 'public'
- Publish all your tools
- Check all your links work
- Make sure your videos are playing
- Visit the site from a smart phone to experience the site on a mobile device
- Put yourself (and colleagues) in the shoes of a participant and explore the project as if you were a participant. This includes looking at your tools
- Link to your project from your hub or other related projects through a widget
- In the last step, publish your project and start promoting it.
Making sure that your project is looking good and working as expected is one thing. Maximising your engagement by following the below best practice advise is just as important.
- included call to action? Your project title and parts of the description should have a call to action.
- kept the project description short and sharp? Use the project description to introduce the project and encourage your visitors to get involved. Keep it as short as you can. If the text is long, use the truncate description option.
- used imagery and colours? Include emotive imagery and video, particularly of people, and more particularly faces, is striking.
- kept text in plain English? Do not use compound sentences or jargon. Leave the Thesaurus on the bookshelf.
- enabled engagement tools? You are working on EngagementHQ. Make sure you use the tools that are provided to engage with your community. Don't publish projects without any engagement tools enabled.
- disabled empty widgets? If a widget is empty, remove it.
- invited your community? Nobody will engage if nobody knows the project exists. Use all channels available to you to drive traffic. In particular, make use of the newsletter function and send a quick email to your database.
- NOT overloaded the page? All of the above is important, but don't overdo it either. White space is important too.
Often EHQ admins want to give colleagues or other stakeholders a sneak peek before going live. To do this, you don't necessarily need to provide admin accounts to everyone. You could also publish the project, ask your stakeholders to register on your site and then give them exclusive access through the project visibility.