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Chapter
9

Publish your website and next steps

Now you’ll take the final step — publishing your website! 

If the idea of putting your website out in the world for all makes you nervous, that’s to be expected. It’s natural to feel intimidated when putting yourself out there. But remind yourself how hard you’ve worked to get to this point. That’s exciting in itself and hopefully should tap down on any anxious feelings. 

Publish your website! You can do it

Before you hit publish on your website, there are still a few things you’ll want to check so your site's in its best form:

  • Review website copy for errors.

  • Test each of your services and buttons to check that they direct you where they should on your website.

  • Ask for feedback. This can mean sharing your website with trusted family and friends and sharing your goals with them. Ask for general feedback and how they think your website helps accomplish your goals.

  • Implement any changes from the feedback you feel are warranted (trust yourself!).

Now, comes the moment to publish your website! Are you ready? After publishing, cast a wide net and share it on your social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t super active on an account, you never know where potential clients may be lurking!

Use A/B testing to understand what’s working for you and what’s not

It may seem like you’re done with your website at this point. After all, your site is live and you’ve shared it, what else is there to do? You can track visitors using Google Analytics. You’ll be doing something called A/B testing. A/B tests help you compare different versions of your website so you can see what visitors gravitate towards. 

With A/B tests you can experiment with:

  • Website copy → As you know, language is extremely important! It has the power to attract and keep eyes on your webpage or push people away. While it’s impossible to win over everyone, testing out different website copies can help you learn what language your potential clients gravitate toward.

  • Calls to Action → Ultimately, you want people to contact you to learn about your services and hire you. Make it easy for them to do that. Alice Lemée’s website CTA buttons are a great example because they’re placed numerous times on her landing page and are inviting and low-stress (“Let’s Have a Chat”). Test out what works best on your website so people want to follow through on your CTAs.

  • Colors → Colors draw people in, but you don’t want to overdo it. But it can also be hard to tell what is too little or too much. A/B tests can help you strike the right balance.

  • Portfolio → Your portfolio is your chance to prove to potential clients that you can deliver what they need. Some freelancers link to their writing samples and include an image (remember, we’re visual creatures) and others post samples directly on their site (or a mix of those options). There’s no one right portfolio, but you can target yours with A/B tests to see what version entices clients best.    

  • Services→ Your services are instrumental in helping clients decide if they want to contact you. You put a lot of work into your service names and descriptions and A/B tests can help you determine if you need to tweak the wording or keep it as is.

To conduct A/B tests, you can use Google Analytics. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do so:

  1. Open your Google Optimize account.

  2. Select a container.

  3. Click “create experience”.

  4. Enter an experience name.

  5. The URL field is ignored here. Enter a placeholder URL that doesn’t exist on your website.

  6. Select A/B test.

  7. Click Create.

After running a few of these, Amy found that when she writes: “Essay Writing Stressing You Out?” on the button on her home page, she gets way more people reaching out than when she writes: “Learn More Today” or “Have a Call with Me”. So she sticks with the former.

B12 also offers additional services you can take advantage of to get more eyes on your website, including beefing up your site’s SEO. If you join B12’s paid annual plan, you can schedule a call with B12’s SEO specialist. You can also add contracts and email marketing with B12’s professional and advanced plans.   

As we draw to a close, remember that the point of a website isn’t so you can just say you have one. It’s to help you achieve whatever you desire with your business.

And your website is a living thing and so continue to make changes and updates to it so it continues to serve your business needs. A website moves your business forward and, we’ll be corny here for a second, your dreams too. 

Creating a website isn’t easy and neither is putting yourself out there, be proud of what you’ve accomplished

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge all your hard work with some key learnings you’ve absorbed and achievements you’ve accomplished:

  • Learned how to create SMART goals.

  • Identified your business SMART goals. 

  • Thought critically about your website and whether it’s helping to accomplish your business goals.

  • Analyzed other freelancers’ websites and drew inspiration from their approaches.

  • Learned how to write service descriptions.

  • Created your own services and their descriptions.

  • Learned why automating banking and invoicing is helpful.

  • Learned how B12 can help you with your banking and invoicing needs.

Well, can you believe it? We’ve reached the end of the playbook. Congratulate yourself on your commitment to yourself and your business! 

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