MOVING FORWARDSteps to keep your website alive and how to build an online presence
1) 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 it faster and start improving your SEO rankings immediately. Here are some ways to consider getting the word out:
- Email Newsletters — Build or leverage your existing list of emails to let people know your new site has launched. Provide some ways the site might be useful to them and their business. I have clients that use Constant Contact and Mailchimp to send formatted emails.
- Social Media — Add a post on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, so friends, family and co-workers can help get the word out. You might be surprised how far one post can go when it’s shared and liked.
- Word of Mouth — This is still the most powerful referral tool. Share your excitement about the site launching with those around you. Get their opinion and see what they think of your online presence. They might also have some insights to share.
2) ASK FOR REVIEWS
Online reviews are more important than ever, particularly for a business being “googled” and found online. A shopper will look at reviews, almost immediately, and make a purchase decision. Here a some approaches for gathering feedback online:
- Google Reviews — these reviews are encourage and pop up when someone finds your site with an online search.
- Facebook Reviews — Facebook is a reputable place to find customer reviews. Ask customers to leave a review on your Facebook page and ask them to share it.
- Testimonials — Gather as many testimonials as possible through surveys conducted after a sale or through simply asking by email. The Google and Facebook reviews are also a good source for quotable material.
3) KEEP THINGS FRESH AND UPDATED!
Once your website launches or gets turned on, it requires attention in certain areas to keep it fresh. Here are some suggestions to engage new and repeat visitors:
- Change Images — We recommend changing or updating images 1-3 times per year. Keep your main image (the one that appears when you open the site’s homepage) fresh and new. Visitors will interpret these updates as you making the site more useful to them.
- Colors/Layout — Add a post on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, so friends, family and co-workers can help get the word out. You might be surprised how far one post can go when it’s shared and liked.
- Keep Information Updated — This is still the most powerful referral tool. Share your excitement about the site launching with those around you. Get their opinion and see what they think of your online presence. They might also have some insights to share.
4) POST NEW CONTENT
Growth is the difference between life and death for your website, so you need to build some processes that allow you to continually feed visitors new information. Here are some ideas:
- Blog — Surely there are some interesting things happening in your industry and life that you can write about, because websites with blogs drive more traffic to their sites than competitors. Google picks up blog posts before website pages, so blogging really helps if SEO is a priority. Also, leverage your social networks to get the word out.
- New Pages — Adding pages and updating existing content on your site is a good idea. Search engines are attracted to page updates and new pages on an existing site. These updates coupled with your image and graphic changes will help give your site the life it deserves.
- Updated Changes — Changes in policies, new industry regulations, pricing updates, new employees are examples of the types of things that need to be update regularly. Make updates and changes on the website part of any existing processes for sharing news and information.
5) PROTECT YOUR WEBSITE
More than half (>50%) of all web traffic is currently unwanted visitors — spammers, bots, malware and hackers. Make protecting your website a priority. It is important to have a basic understanding of how hacks occur, since websites are being hacked daily. Most of the time, a hacker or web spider finds a way in or entered through a hosting company’s firewall. Here are the ways to protect your site:
- Updates — WordPress, theme, plugins
- Anti-spam software
- Weekly website backups
- Visitor tracking and activity reports — Google Analytics