Let us take a quick look at the most common mistake and misconception about a new website. Don’t miss point 8. It’s the most important but I’d like you to read points 1-7 also. No quick scroll to 8. You’re gonna scroll aren’t you?
You expect immediate results, whether it be sales from the site , general inquiries and or traction by simply having your new website live to the world.
A new website is always looked at by major search engines with a modicum of caution. Rightly so. It will take time for search engines to scan your site and begin to list it. Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key when designing the site in terms of site speed, readability & usability is a must, yet unfortunately overlooked by many.
Most medium and large scale businesses will have secured a SEO analyst / team to ensure that they are always on point. Small businesses will struggle to afford such an endeavor / outlay. So what can be done to level the playing field and compete with the deep pockets of the bigger business?
- If you can afford it, secure your domain name for as many years as possible when first securing it. It’s a slight increase on your SEO score as search engines will read when the expiry date of your domain name will expire. If they see it is 10 years from now rather than one – there is a slight increase in trust. Of course, balance this with your budget.
- Ensure your software is always up to date. Whether you are using a WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or any other CMS platform, it is vital not only to the integrity and security of your site but will also have positive impacts on your ranking when you do so. See Care plans.
- While your site is being developed, begin to build up anticipation of it through your social media platforms. Instagram, Twitter & Facebook, if utilised correctly, will greatly help build a following.
- When you go live and from then on, set time aside daily or weekly to promote your business on Social Media. Promote your products and or projects, linking each to their relevant page / post / product on your website. Keep the traction going. This is a time sink but especially important for a new site. Some clients and bear in mind we are dealing with the small business here, have a part time student or social media savvy relative to take on this task.
- Paid keyword ads. Especially useful for a new website. Set a little funding aside to promote your website via Google ads. Give your site a boost, initially at least while your site is ranking up organically.
- Offline & Online ads with local papers. Again, if your budget can stretch, local traction is beneficial. Maybe talk nicely with the local paper editor and have a photo op / news piece published about your business in the local paper.
- Set up a mailing list. There are many options, though I still recommend Mailchimp, nearly every time. *Slight pause, while I re-think*. Edit. I recommend Mailchimp every time to be correct. Build up your mailing list and send email blasts to notify your followers of a new product, event, project. Ensure GDPR guidelines are adhered to.
- I’m on my soapbox for this one but it is a vital point. Do not let your site stagnate with old content. Keep it fresh in anyway you can. If you don’t have a new project or product to promote this week, maybe do a piece on your business, an interview with a happy customer, a survey on your products, a question ( you will be amazed by how many people like to answer questions online).
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson