Here are some tips and recommendations on what to do with your new website.
Spread the Word
When your website goes live, the most important thing to do initially is drive traffic to it. This will help Google index the site faster and start improving your SEO rankings immediately. Here are some ways to consider getting the word out:
If you have a newsletter or email list, be sure to let them know that the new site has launched and even more importantly, how it can help their business or add value to them. Mailchimp is what I use and recommend.
Leverage your network of Facebook friends, family and coworkers to get the word out. You’ll be surprised how far one post can go when it’s shared and liked. Also, if you’re active on Linkedin, Alignable, Instagram or other social media platforms, be sure to post there as well.
Word of Mouth
It’s still the most powerful referral method. If you’re as excited as I am when your site launches, tell those around you! Get their opinion and see what they think about your new online presence. That’s valuable feedback that may come in handy when considering changes and additions to the site moving forward.
Ask for Reviews
Online reviews are more important than ever. For businesses being searched for and found online, a user will look at reviews almost immediately. There are many different ways and platforms on ways to get reviews, but here are some we recommend:
Google My Business Reviews
Highly recommended and generally what will show up when somebody finds your site with an organic internet search. You can either have your customers Google your business, then leave a review OR you can use this site to generate a direct link you can provide to them.
Facebook is now considered a more reputable spot for customer reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave a review on your Facebook page and have them share it, or get their permission for you to share it.
Gather as many testimonials as possible, and post them on your site. Users will often look for reviews ON your site as well as on Google, Yelp or other platforms before making a purchase, calling or emailing. I recommend using only the best ones, of course.
Keep Things Fresh
After your website has been live for awhile, we recommend doing some things to keep it fresh. Particularly if you have a site with repeat or recurring visitors. Here are some suggestions:
Change Out Images
Update your images 1-3 times a year. If your website has a hero image when you open the front page, it’s important to keep that fresh and new. For the user, it looks like you’re taking the time to update your site and making it more valuable for them.
If your site has been sitting for more than a year or so, I recommended that you do something to spice it up. Whether it’s making some cosmetic changes to the accent colors or menu bar, or even just adjusting or adding some new graphics/images. Keeping your site fresh is a great way to keep people coming back.
Keep Basic Information Updated
If information, staff, hours or services change for your business, be sure to change the website, too! There’s nothing worse than having innacurate information on a website.
Build Site Content
A website is viewed by Google as being “alive” or “dead.” A live site drives traffic, engages new and existing users, is updated, and features new blog posts and other content. If your site is “dead”, or not being managed, updated or taken care of, it can impact your SEO ranking dramatically. Here’s some options on how to build your website content:
Not fake news: websites with blogs generally drive 30-40% more traffic than competitors. Google will often pick up blog posts before picking up major website pages. If you can contribute valuable content to your customers, you will drive more traffic. Don’t be afraid to use social media and use your network to get the word out. It’s worth having someone maintain a solid website blog to drive your traffic and grow your online presence.
It’s generally good practice to not only update your images and graphics, but also your content. If you have more services to add to your site, do it! Google loves seeing that a site is growing. You can also repeat the steps above by reposting your site to your social media outlets and mentioning that updated content is available.
If things in your industry change or your services change, be sure to update your site accordingly. Even adjusting content by a few words can show Google that your site is being maintained and is “alive!”
Protect Your Website
Over 50% of all web traffic consists of spammers, bots, malware and hackers. If you haven’t already joined with me in protecting your website, I recommend it. Sites are getting hacked left and right these days and most of the time, for no reason more than a hacker thousands of miles away just happening to find a way in or a web spider that got through a hosting company’s firewall, etc. If your site isn’t protected and secured, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a breach. Our maintenance plans let you (and me) sleep better at night knowing that your site is protected.
Don’t forget to arrange for a backup plan. Some hosting companies include periodic site backup as a part of their hosting plans. Check with them to make sure you’re protected with the ability to restore your site to a previous state if it becomes compromised.