Your new website is live, what next?
Once you have launched a new website it is always worth asking yourself a quick question.
What does the website need to achieve for the project to be successful? Your answer could be:
a) It needs to be an effective point of reference where you will be driving visitors to the website either by handing out business cards at networking events using it as a point of reference in tenders.
b) In addition to being a point of reference, I am expecting the website to generate it’s own targeted leads over time.
If your answer is a) I would still strongly recommend carrying out the quick checks outlined below, however the other points are less essential. If the answer is b), I have prepared some tips below that will get you on the right track.
- Provide a final test on all forms and contact details. It is essential that you report any issues that you find ASAP.
- Scan over the website for any final issues. Although it is likely that the website content has been reviewed on several occasions by this stage, it is always recommended to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over everything.
- Check that your key services are all covered within the content and menu structure on the page.
Raising the Profile of your website:
1. Set yourself realistic targets for keywords
The likelihood is that if you start tracking the lead generation performance of your website, there is a good chance that your choice of targeted keywords will evolve over time. However, to get you up and running it is important to select some sensible options. I have provided a quick example below to help you through the process:
In this scenario, we are aiming to promote the restaurant area of a local pub website in Brecon, Mid Wales.
I have selected three examples for keywords below, please note that I have tried to second guess what people will search for and have chosen a suitably small geographical area to allow the website to become competitive over time (providing I follow the additional steps below).
- Pub Meals in Brecon
- Bar meals in Brecon
- Local pub Brecon
Once you have selected your keywords, it is important to look through your website to ensure that they are being referenced within the content. For example, If your heading reads “Welcome to the premier tavern in Wales”, you may want to adjust the wording to align with your keywords: “Receive a warm welcome and a hearty bar meal at Brecon’s most popular traditional pub.”
As your website rankings start to improve you can then become more adventurous with keyword selection (e.g. swapping “Brecon” for “Mid Wales” to cover a larger geographical area). Keep in mind that the more targeted your keyword selection, the better the odds you will have to appear on page 1 of google. However on the flip side there is a greater chance that there will be very few or no searches for that keyword every month. There is always a degree of trial and error when selecting keywords and that is why I highly recommend using data to drive your decision making as outlined in point 6 below.
2. Add regular content that is related to your service offering
Regularly updated, informative content remains the most effective means of driving traffic to your website. The best way to achieve this is to add a news and/or events section that will automatically archive content. This ensures that all recent content appears at the top of the page and can also be showcased on your website homepage for additional impact.
3. Tag and categorise news stories
Another benefit with adding news and events is that you can tag them according to your requirements. Not only is this extremely helpful for the viewer (they can quickly see other similar news articles at the click of a button), it also allows you to highlight keywords that you are targeting for your website e.g. “Pub Meals in Brecon”. It is essential that the tags you choose for your article strongly align with the content and article title.
4. Connect social media accounts
If you are active on twitter, Facebook or other forms of social media, you can link back to the website when you post regular content. Many businesses now successfully focus their campaigns around social media providing their main source of traffic to their website.
Their is also the option to then post to the website first (allowing you to push the news story to Facebook).
5. Beg, borrow and steal as many inbound links as possible
Inbound links (direct links from other websites to your own) are a very effective way of demonstrating to search engines that your website is strongly networked. In the vast majority of cases this is likely to have a positive effect. Inbound links often vary in quality and as a result the impact can be mixed. However as an initial starting point it is important to try and get links directed to your website whether that is via directory listings or websites specific to your industry sector.
6. Track the performance
Once your website is live you will be able to use Google Analytics/Squarespace Metrics to regularly review trends in: traffic, search terms, popular pages and demographics. Simply ask us for assistance with this point and we will be happy to get you up and running.
7. Be patient
Always the most difficult of steps as you have generally picked up a lot of momentum when a website is launched and you will want to ‘kick on’ with the next steps and start tracking visitors as the pour into the new website. The above tips will help to speed up the timeline, however what the website achieves over the first 3 to 6 months is largely out of your hands.
There are many factors that contribute to the positioning of a website including the heritage of your website, the scale of the re-design and activity of your competitors. I will say that if you follow the above points this will go a long way to getting a sharp return on your investment.
Here are some helpful tools for tracking and reviewing keywords:
Google Adwords provide a planner and although it is aimed at selecting pay per click (PPC) keywords for their customers, it can also prove useful for checking keyword popularity for organic searches.
Wordtracker allows up to 3 searches at a time. You can upgrade to unlimited searches via a paid plan.