Your shiny new website is now live, congratulations! Surely, it’s just a matter of time before hordes of eager would-be buyers will be hammering down your digital door?
If only you could put your feet up and conserve your energy for dealing with the influx of new business. In reality, you need to put all your post-website-launch positive energy into promoting your new site.
To help you maximise your impact, we’ve compiled a website launch checklist and some top tips for ongoing website success.
Promoting your new website: a website launch checklist
1. Add or update the link to your email signature. Your website address should feature in the email signature of everyone in the company. If it’s a new URL, update it. If you don’t have an email signature, even a basic text signature is a starting point. Ideally, though, it’ll be nicely designed and on-brand. For the first few months after the website launch, it’s even worth adding a call to action to your signature: “explore our new website”, for example.
3. Update your company literature, promotional material and signage. From your invoice letterhead to the livery on a company van. Make sure your website address is included in any new marketing material you generate, as a matter of course. It’s surprising how often this is still overlooked.
4. Add or update the link on all of your online directory listings. That means your Google My Business listing, Bing Places for Business, Yell.com listing and any other local or industry-based listings. Google My Business is the first and most important, but they’re all places where potential clients might find you and some of them may add a little SEO juice.
5. Publicise your new website launch on the company social media. Ideally, you’ll have planned ahead for this, and created a chain of posts leading up to the new website launch day. Some companies find running a competition generates interest and shares. Others might focus each post on a new feature or an improved page or enhanced usability. Make it about the benefit to the visitor as much as about the excitement of your new site. Run your website launch awareness campaign across all the social channels you’re active on – but a simple announcement on any which you don’t plan to use regularly would suffice. Don’t be afraid to tell the story, to reveal how your old site didn’t give customers the best experience. And make sure you monitor your social channels for comments and shares, so that you can react and engage. You’re not broadcasting, you’re conversing.
6. Email your current clients and past clients. Personalise the message so it’s relevant to them. Lead with the benefits – what it means for them – and how it helps you to help them.
Top tips for promoting your website on an ongoing basis
Imagine, for a moment, that you and a competitor launch a website on the same day, targeting the same geographic audience, and achieve comparable search engine ranking results. Let’s say that, after a few months, both you and your competitor appear on page one of Google for your three most important key phrases.
Which company will continue to rank well – and rank well for further keywords and phrases – if one company does nothing more with their website, while the other keeps a close eye on it, adds to it, and continues to promote it?
Three things in particular will reap the greatest rewards:
1. Maintaining your website so that it’s always at peak performance.
2. Adding to and enhancing the content on the site.
3. Driving new visitors to interact with it.
Maintaining your website
Before doing any promotion you need to make sure that the basics are taken care of.
Making sure all CMS updates are applied, that plug-ins are up to date, that your links are working… website maintenance matters. Fortunately, it’s a responsibility that’s easy to hand over to your website developers.
Working on your SEO (search engine optimisation)
SEO is an ever-evolving field. What helped you rank well five years ago may have little influence on search engine rankings next week, let alone next year.
As well as all the behind-the-scenes ranking factors your website build takes into account (keyword research and usage, site structure, page load speed, page titles, headers and subheadings, naming conventions for images, alt tags, meta data and more), you’ll want to think about link-building and content.
Ongoing website optimisation, link-building and content creation are all areas Fifteen Three can help with, directly and through our close network of social media specialists and content creators.
But whether you handle it in-house or outsource the job, it’s time well spent.
Videos, expert articles, blogs, newsletters and social media updates all work to engage and built trust with your visitors and give the search engines more information about your company’s expertise and product or service range. This affects the way your site is ranked and gives you the opportunity to target different keywords and phrases. All of which should help your organic reach.
At the same time, by having an interesting, useful social media presence, you drive more visitors to your site. Balance outright promotion (a new offer, a new product, a new article on your blog/news page of the website) with helpful or entertaining posts that will resonate with your audience.
Plan an email newsletter to go out once every month or two. A few subjects with interesting opening paragraphs, featuring links to read the full story, can generate a lot of targeted web traffic and acts as an ongoing reminder that you’re there, ready to help. We work with some lovely marketeers who know how to get the best out of email marketing.
Plan a PPC (pay-per-click, or paid ads) campaign using Google AdWords or Facebook Ads Manager. This can be put in place to coincide with the new website launch, but may be equally powerful at particular times of the year or for certain promotions. You’ll want dedicated landing pages on the website, up-to-date keyword research and lots of testing to make a success of a Google or Facebook advertising campaign.
Keep a close eye on your website analytics. These will provide valuable insight into how your website visitors behave, what they interact with, and what they might want more of.