I am learning stuff like this at school, but the general strategic plan would be to advertise yourself (spend about 100 dollars or what ever) and make sure your project is going to held up against the competition. Posting stuff on forums, adding your site on Google, come up with good meta-tags and more will help you increase the popularity as well. Make sure you advertise your site on a lot of sites as well. When your site URL pops up on more then 10 websites, your rank on Google will start to rise.
For the rest, I advise you to ask a marketing consultant.
there are a few things you would do in order to make your site popular, if by launch you mean gain hits then would you would do is
first, add keywords in the meta data of your pages and descriptions
second, go to wc3's site and validate your xhtml and css and fix the errors that come up.
third use urlrewrite if your not using it
search engines look for all these things because it makes your site easier to index or something like that, go to a book store and get an SEO book or look for googles seo manual, they have provided the techniques u need to use on your site to get more hits. there are about a thousand of them :)
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