How to avoid launching your new website to crickets
Building and launching a new website is an exciting process. If you’re anything like me, when you’re working on your website you’re engaged and excited about your business, knowing that you’re actively investing in its growth.
The day the new website goes live is a big deal! Weeks of hard work are finally being revealed to the world, and you’re ready and waiting to respond to the flood of enquiries that are surely going to come pouring in.
In reality though, this is rarely the case. Unless you already have a large, engaged following elsewhere (social media, for example), it’s unlikely that the world will be as excited about your new website launch as you are.
Many website owners get disheartened from the lack of immediate interest in their new baby, and the website falls to the wayside and gets forgotten about. And this, my friends, is a big mistake.
If you want your investment to start working for you, YOU need to put in a bit of post-launch work. I’ve put together some pointers on what you can do in the four weeks after your new website launch, to generate some initial traffic and to get the ball rolling.
And if you’re the disheartened website owner who launched their website five months ago to crickets, and then completely neglected it, the good news is you can STILL follow this four-week new website launch roadmap at a time when you’re ready to give your website a boost.
Let’s dive in.
The week of the launch: Create a buzz
Whether or not you have a large following on social media, now is the perfect opportunity to start posting.
A few days before your website goes live, generate intrigue and interest by sharing snippets of website copy, stories or challenges you faced while working on the website project, or a sneak peak of any new branding.
After your new website is launched, now is the time to share screenshots, before and after images, or small videoclips of your site in action. Make sure to have a link in your social media profiles to your website, to make it easy for people to check it out.
Shout about your new website all over social media – you’ve worked hard on this and your enthusiasm should create a buzz and get others excited too. Bonus points if you tag your web designer in these posts!
Second week after launch: Build backlinks
Backlinks are links across the internet that point back to your website. The best backlinks are from websites that are relevant to your business, and have a lot of traffic themselves. A really good backlink strategy is key to winning the SEO game, but don’t worry too much about this for now.
Spend this week listing your new website on online business directories and local business listings. Some popular online business directories (in the UK) are Yell, UK Small Business Directory and Scoot.
If there’s the opportunity to create a little profile of your business on these directory sites, make sure to do so. Include up to date images, your business address, and consistent logos and branding across the internet.
And of course the most important thing to do is to include the link to your website in each listing or business profile!
And while we’re on the subject, make sure you have an up to date Google Business Profile (which should include a link to your website).
Another great way of building backlinks is to reach out to relevant websites and offer to write a guest blog post for them. For example, if you’re a freelance dietitian based in the UK, you could reach out to the British Dietetic Association and ask if they would like you to write an article for them on your area of expertise.
Make sure to include a small author bio at the end of your article, with that all important link back to your website.
Guest posting takes a little more time and effort, but if you like the sound of this strategy, just concentrate on sending out some emails to relevant organisations this week, to set up some opportunities for the future.
Third week after launch: Add value
So your website has been live for three weeks, it’s time for a content update!
I’m serious! If you want to kick off your search engine optimisation, then you need to start regularly adding to, and updating, your website content as early as possible. Write and publish a few blog posts on your website, and make sure you’re sharing something that your website visitors will find interesting or helpful.
I go on about the benefits of blogging all the time, but in short, search engines love dynamic sites that are updated frequently, and website visitors will see you as an expert in your field if you have a series of well written, relevant articles.
Fourth week after launch: Analyse and improve
Four weeks of analytics data is just enough to start seeing some valuable insights. (You do have website analytics set up, right?)
The data should answer a few key questions:
Where is your website traffic coming from?
Here you can start to pinpoint which of your strategies over the last few weeks have worked well. You may see some hits from the directory sites you listed yourself on, and possibly quite a lot of hits from social media.
If your website is brand new, rather than a redesign, it’s unlikely you’ll see much organic traffic from search engines at this point. But if you are getting a few hits from Google, what are the search terms people are using to find you?
Which pages are people visiting the most?
This is almost certainly going to be your homepage, as this will be the URL that you’ve listed all over the internet. But pay attention to the other pages people have looked at. Are visitors completely ignoring your services pages? Is there a blog post that seems to be generating a lot of interest?
How long are people spending on your website?
You should be able to see the average time spent on your site by each visitor. Are people sticking around to explore, or bouncing away immediately?
Use the answers to the questions above to:
- Make improvements to your site (eg. better internal linking)
- Change (or stick with) a certain strategy for driving traffic
- Direct the topic of your blog posts
After the first month, you should stick to an ongoing website strategy plan to maximise traffic flow and lead generation. Don’t just abandon your website and expect it to pull in new clients without any effort at all on your part.
Even the best website in the world needs a little TLC to maximise your return on investment. Your website shouldn’t be a static thing – it should grow and evolve alongside your business. Schedule some time into each week to dedicate to your website strategy, and view it as time spent on marketing.
It’ll be worth it, I promise!