Getting your website noticed – post launch
It doesn’t matter if you’ve recently launched your site or it’s been live for a while, the purpose of this post is simple – to help you get some early traction and drive some more traffic to your site with easily actionable ideas.
We guarantee there will be at least one thing on this list that you are not doing – if there isn’t, drop us an email and we will identify something specific for you!
1. Don’t keep it in the family – tell everyone
Get everybody in your business to tell their friends, family and colleagues about your (new) online presence – do it verbally and back it up by email (it’s easier to click a link than type in a web address, particularly if you’ve got a unique name). Encourage them to share your website address with their family and friends.
The waterfall effect is very, very powerful.
2. Update all of your Email Signatures
Include your URL (web address), business name and what you do at the bottom of every email you send out – set up a signature in your email program.
Don’t forget if you use a smartphone (e.g. iPhone) remember to setup your signature there too.
3. Use your domain name
Use YOUR website domain name in your email address and stop using your free Yahoo, Gmail, Internet Provider or Apple account for your business. Promote your brand and business – not another company’s!
Using your brand (your domain name) in your email address shows your potential customers that you are established and professional. A generic email may portray inexperience – or even worse, may raise doubts as to your authenticity.
4. Send out a launch email
Tell people about you and your business. Make it look as professional as possible and include a link back to your site. If you are re-launching tell people what’s new – a particular section, products or services – or a blog.
Try Mailchimp, if you don’t have a free subscription already.
Old School – but not old hat
5. Get Some Stationery
Get new business cards printed and then give them to every person you lay your eyes on. Even in this digital world, business cards are a great way to get your details out there – every handshake should be an opportunity to offer a business card.
Don’t stress about having every single telephone/fax number or office address on the card – focus on your email address and URL and make sure they can be easily read. Make sure your business cards use the same branding/logo as your website. Moocards offer a quick and very flexible service for less than twenty pounds.
6. Go Local
Don’t ignore local opportunities. Take those business cards you ordered in step 5 and place them in relevant local settings. It’s not an ‘act of desperation’, it’s marketing common sense.
Planning a holiday or trip away somewhere? Why not take this idea one step further? Do a bit of research before you go and identify settings in the new location where you could place your business cards – it’ll be time well spent.
7. DIY PR
Tell your local newspaper about your launch. You never know they might be looking for a local business interest story that week and you fit the bill.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.
Attend some relevant events and spread the word.
Depending on your business, branded balloons can be a relatively cheap and simple way to market your new venture. Children love balloons (and I’m sure a few adults do too), so give them away at a local event and watch your brand floating above everyone’s heads.
9. Comment on online communities, blogs and forums (The original social media)
If you belong to industry blogs and forums, spend about 30 minutes per week commenting on other people’s posts. Make sure to link your website in your comment or in your email signature (as per no. 2 above) and ensure that your comments are in a tone appropriate for your business and not overly promotional. Google Groups can help you to find relevant groups or search for blogs or forums through a search engine.
You either love it or you hate it, but either way, social media makes it possible for small businesses and new brands to build and grow an audience organically, without expensive advertising.
If you are new to social media or already use it on a personal level, the first thing to do is to decide which social networks would be beneficial to your business.
Facebook is the one network that pretty much encompasses all industries and audiences – so this is a great place to start. Facebook is also great for ‘brand storytelling’ – as its unlimited characters allow you to engage in long conversations. Twitter, on the other hand, allows for short bursts of information and is the fastest way to get the information across.
Whichever social media platform you choose, make sure you create a separate business profile and distinguish it from your personal profile.
10. Tell Facebook
If you are using Facebook, make sure the business profile contains the URL of your website.
Take a screen shot of your website and post the image and the URL on your timeline.
Now start talking….
11. Do the Twitter Thing
If you are using Twitter, add your URL to your profile.
Then tweet about it a few times over the next few weeks, using different words and phrases.
Encourage your followers to retweet (RT) your update too.
12. Get Google-ing
Register as a Google Business and get listed – make sure your URL is on there too.
If you use Gmail, you’re also just a couple of clicks away from having a Google+ profile/page – so simply follow the instructions and get yourself on a new social media platform (more on this in a later lesson).
13. Other Social Media platforms & Websites
Make a list of all the other social media platforms and websites that you have a user profile on – these could include Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr etc.
Update your web address on your profile – make sure it’s visible.
Finally, post an update and tell your friends or followers about your business and website.
Create some excitement or buzz after your initial launch.
14. Develop a newsletter
Whilst it is not so valuable to tell your audience about every little change within your business, it is a good idea to send out monthly updates – perhaps this month’s top tips, or useful information about local events or changes within your industry – choose something that you feel would be of value to your audience.
Encouraging people to subscribe to a newsletter is a great way to compile a list of email addresses of like-minded people who may be interested in your product/service. Ask people to sign up to receive ‘special internet only offers’.
15. Email marketing
Collate a list of emails from previous and current customers/clients and the potential customers/clients who have subscribed to your newsletter.
The members of this list will have already given you permission to send them information about your products/services, so remember to use this to send them special offers, reminders of new services or links to your new blogs/articles.
But don’t overdo it! Bombarding people with a constant stream of repetitive emails is a surefire way to lose your audience.
Equally as important, but often overlooked, is keeping your email list up to date. Be proactive in adding new emails from new contacts and reconfirm that your current list still wants to receive your information from you. Always make the mechanism by which people can unsubscribe as painless as possible.
16. Run a Competition
Run a competition that requires an action on your website. Spread the word on email and social media and try to create a buzz.
Keep it Fresh
Start thinking about your next update. Keep your website content fresh from the beginning. The reason why you should keep your website fresh is mainly because Google loves it. Search engines like to see websites being updated and favours those that add new content regularly.
This isn’t as hard as it sounds…
17. Blogs and articles
A blog can help to tell your story, humanise your brand and build credibility and trust. It’s a way to touch on areas of interest to your audience and offer an insight into the personal side of your business. Try to avoid promotional content but instead try to answer your audience’s questions or needs. Blogs and articles qualify as new content and appeal to Google as you’re keeping things fresh.
Blogging is also a great way to support your social media initiatives. Sharing your blog posts on social media will in turn increase traffic to your website.
18. Rewrite or update existing pages
You don’t need to create new pages in order to keep your website fresh. Sometimes original pages can become outdated or you need to change details about your business or your products or you may simply want to write your content in a better way. Rewriting or updating an existing page will be seen by Google as new content.
A word of warning though – never substitute quantity for quality.
Homework – Actions Points
Do at least 5 of the above, and get that traffic coming!