Congratulations, Your Website Is Complete. Now What?
Finally, you have done it! All those weeks of research to find the right web design company; weeks spent preparing content and photos; days of quality checking and coordination with your web designer, all that effort has finally paid off. Whew! Congratulations on your new website.
So, that’s it, right? Job well done?
Ahem, not exactly. There’s one bit of good news and a whole lot of okay news.
For starters, the Good news….
You have finished off one item that has been languishing on your corporate agenda checklist for a while now. Time to open the bubbly, or at least make your bosses and/or shareholders happy!
…and on to the Bad news:
It’s not all over. In fact, this is just the beginning. The real work lies ahead of you.
Doesn’t matter the nature of your business, be it B2B or B2C, your website has to be an ever-changing, constantly evolving organ within your on-going marketing campaign.
It is now an integral part of that big business pie chart. A central showpiece that reflects the best aspects of your business to prospective customers and stakeholders alike.
And now, it is up and running. It is out there.
“Okay, we get it. But what do we do about it?”
Plenty, in fact. Believe it or not, running a proper business website is a full time task. But it needn’t be all rough stormy seas, provided you go about it the right way. Here is a helpful checklist to get you up to speed:
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1. Monthly Review Your Website Analytics.
You should have access to your Google Analytics account. With this, we recommend at least a monthly check on your web stats. Go to http://www.google.com/analytics.
Feeling a bit lost over there? Fear not, we have you covered. Here are links to some helpful blog posts:
2. Website Care and Maintenance:
Just like a new car, your website needs proper care, maintenance, and servicing to ensure smooth performance and continued results. As a bare minimum, we recommend monthly website maintenance and a simple online marketing plan. As with monitoring your analytics, you can learn more about what can be done to improve it.
For our web design and SEO clients in Houston, we have a range of website care and maintenance packages designed to take care of all their requirements. Sign up for a website care plan now.
3. Use your mailing lists to promote your website:
Using your current email list, we recommend sending an email newsletter to your customers announcing your new website. This works admirably well as an effective PR tool for brand promotion. Maybe you can use it to highlight the various aspects and features of your new website, like improved navigation, convenient online forms, white papers, stockholder section, etc.
4. Social Media:
Run promotional campaigns for your newly live website on all your social media profiles. If you are still preparing to launch, you can use social media to tease your audience and build up hype and excitement regarding your impending website launch. Once the new site is live, use as many channels as possible to notify your customers and vendors.
Let’s take a short time-out here:
Now it is time to go on a brief tangent here. The next section will deal with PPC vs. SEO, two tools which are a source of constant doubt for website owners these days. Especially with the recent changes in Adwords, most people have a slew of questions on the topic:
“What does this mean for my company?” “Do I need to do more?”
And most importantly:
“Should I do Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?”
And, as always, it depends on your context. The best way to figure it out yourself is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this a website redesign or a brand new website with a new domain?
- How competitive is your market?
- What is your monthly marketing budget?
Your choice between PPC and SEO will be largely dependent on how you answer the above direct questions. Personally, if you have the budget, I’d say do both.
Now back to it.
5. Pay Per Click (PPC)
If your website or business is brand new, using PPC is a good option. It may involve a somewhat sizeable investment but on the plus side, you will be free to determine the targeted terms and get in front of your desired audience within a day or two.
If you have a competitive market, you’ll need to consider your budget but there are a few options available to you. If you have a flexible budget, Google Adwords can get you to the top of Google searches (SERPs). Content ads can be useful in getting visibility to your website on other relevant websites.
With the recent Google Adwords changes, the sidebar for ads has been removed, and the competition for eyeballs have increased. This has the potential to translate into higher cost-per-clicks.
Facebook ads on the other hand, if done right, can help get to a specific demographic with similar interests.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Honestly, SEO should not come up for discussion this late. In an ideal scenario, your website should have been optimized during the build and code phases. Having the right keywords, the right content, and the right code in the right place will all help your organic rankings.
But, that is certainly not the end.
Continuous optimization is the best course of action after your website goes live. Having a consistent content marketing campaign with ongoing social media is the key here. Of course, this is not free either. If you have some decent writing skills, you can spend a weekend or two writing some blog posts and queuing up your social media feeds.
Incidentally, if you find that your new site is not being indexed right away, don’t worry. It’s only natural, and high-ranking keywords may drop below the first page as a result. A quick solution to this is to run campaigns in AdWords for your top 10-20 converting keywords.
Done correctly, PPC and SEO can get you on the front page. To learn more on this, try this article by the team at Enquisite. Incidentally, the website where it is published, SEOmoz, is a great source of SEO related content.
If you are in the Houston region and need any assistance with your website design, maintenance or SEO, we can help you. Besides those services, we also offer a range content marketing solutions, including:
- Branding and Logo Design
- Content calendars
- Articles and blog posts
- Campaigns and regular posts on the right social media feeds