So, you started a new website - now what? You may have paid a lot of money for it, and you want it to be seen, right? You wouldn't buy a luxury car and never take it out of your garage, so don't do the same with your website. You have to market your new website after launching it to get the best results.
1. How to market your website
The first thing you will want to do after launching your website is install Google Analytics or some other analytics code so you can determine the traffic you are getting to your website. This guide should help you, but if you are uncomfortable with going into the code of your site then find a web development company that can help you.
2. Get social
You will want to create and set up social media pages so that others can easily find your business. If you don't have social media accounts setup your customers could either think you are closed or won't be able to find you at all. So create social media accounts for at least some of the major networks:
Depending on your industry, there may be niche social networks that you would want to join. For some networks, you will want to be more active than others. For example, a B2B website should be most active on LinkedIn, whereas a local restaurant will want to be posting more on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Don't overwhelm yourself trying to develop a presence across all the social networks. Choose two, and focus on them. If you see your audience developing on another network, make sure that you've mastered the first two before you hop on a new one.
3. Setup your business listings
Next, you'll want to set up or claim your business listings. This is necessary, as Google looks at these to determine if your business is legitimate. Keep your name, address, and phone number consistent across every business listing. These are referred to as "citations," so you want to get as many citations or mentions of your business name, address, number and website on as many reputable listings as you can.
This list of top citation sources in your city can help to get you started with setting up your business listings. Once you have completed those, make sure to claim your listings or submit your citations to all of the sites in your industry.
Check out the benefits of claiming your directory listings for more information on the topic.
4. Get reviews
Once you have these listings set up, you will want to start to get reviews. Ask your best customers if they wouldn't mind leaving a review on your Yelp, Facebook, or Google+ page.
It is especially important to get reviews for your Google+ page, because these help your business website to rank higher in the local search pack. (It is not, however, the main deciding factor for rankings, as there are about 200 ranking factors that come into play.) Local search packs come in different sizes for different searches. Here are some examples of what they look like:
And for dentists:
If you noticed, the top ranking shows how many stars for their reviews. You must have at least 5 reviews for that to show, which gives an advantage to "starred" businesses, as those stars tend to stand out among the rest.
Also, make sure to complete all the information about your business so your customers can easily see your address, number, and your hours of operation. Submit high-resolution photos so they can see what your business looks like, and remember this is another ranking factor by Google. To get ahead of the competition, you will want to get 360-degree images of your facility so customers can take a virtual tour of your business.
5. Start a blog
There are many benefits of blogging for your business. The main ones are this:
- Showcases you as an authority or expert in your industry.
- Gives your website more unique content for search engines to find.
- Brings you traffic organically.
- Builds trust and loyalty with your customers.
Make sure that you are not copying and pasting any content from other sites. Google frowns upon this, and even created an algorithm called Panda that is updated almost daily and fights this issue. Your website can be penalized for having duplicate content or "thin" content; that is, if you only have a few pages on your website and little original content.
6. Get ranking in search engines
If you get overwhelmed with any of the above information, then look for a marketing agency that offers these services to help you out.
If you decide to do it yourself and you still aren't really seeing any traffic to your website or rankings going to the first page, then you will want to hire an SEO company. Were you burned from a previous SEO agency? If so, then you'll want to read why you can trust SEO agencies again.
SEO basically consists of on-page and off-page factors to help you to rank higher in Google and the other search engines. An SEO company can help to analyze your site and fix any issues, and then optimize it the best for search engines as well as humans. So look for an SEO and web design company as they specialize in optimizing websites for search engines.
These companies can also set up ranking and analytics reports so you know how your keywords are doing, if your traffic is increasing, and where it is coming from. Without knowing these, you can't really judge how a marketing campaign is doing.
All of these things can take a lot of time. A brand-new website may take some time until it is indexed by search engines. New domains can also be "sandboxed" by Google, meaning it may take a few months until you start seeing any rankings at all. Even for an established website, it typically takes 4-6 months to start seeing results from an SEO campaign, or even longer if you are in a very competitive market.
7. Get instant results with Google AdWords
If you can't wait for the organic traffic to come, then you can pay for traffic to your website. The best way to do this is to use Google's Pay-Per-Click program. This allows you to show up on the top and right-hand side of search results.
Depending on your industry, pricing for clicks can be expensive, but if just one of your ads turns into a sale it, should pay for all of the rest. Using PPC is a great way to see how your website is performing, and after a few weeks of letting campaigns run you can see which are doing better. Then spend more money on those, and pause campaigns that aren't bringing back as many conversions.
Market Launch Checklist Recap
Let's go over the key takeaways of what you should do with your new website.
So don't get discouraged if you don't see your site ranking on the first page of Google after a few weeks. In order to be safe with Google, you can't be too aggressive with marketing your website or you have the potential to be penalized. Just do everything naturally, as described above, and in due time you will start to see the fruit of marketing your new website!