Okay, so your new website is complete! Time to sit back and wait for the millions of people to start pouring in, right? No. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, though we all wish it were. No matter how good of a job the designers did, there’s still a lot more that needs to be done by you, the site owner, that can help dramatically. I plan on keeping this particular post as a “living article” because things on the internet change so often. Because of this, you may want to Bookmark this page.
- Get an analytics / webmaster tools account for your web site. There are many of these available, but we recommend using Google Analytics. It’s free and pretty much the industry standard these days. Over time, it will not only show you how many impressions your site gets, but also, how many unique visitors, how many clicks, time spent on site, keywords used to find your site, and so much more.
- You may choose to create analytics / webmaster tools accounts for Bing as well. While not as important, they would still be a good idea since Google isn’t the only search engine people use. Getting set up with these top three will also insure that your website will be known by them and they will start to “crawl” and index your site sooner.
Get “Place” Listed
- If you have a physical location where clients / customers can come, get signed-up with Google Places. Once you create and verify your account, Google will list your business in their Google Maps. Once again, it’s a good idea to do the same thing with both Yahoo and Bing. In addition to these three “Places”, it’s a good idea to take a hold of your Yelp Listing. You can sign up for a Yelp Business Account for free. If you’re not familiar with Yelp already, it’s something of a social site where customers can rate and write reviews about your business. Having a Yelp account helps you manage your online presence and legitimize your business. Lastly, sign up for a free or paid account with phone / placed directories like Local.com, yellowpages.com, HotFrog.com, and SuperMedia.com. They are all directory listing services that specialize in hyper-local.
Take advantage of Social Networks
- There are a ton of social networks out there now, so it would be a full-time job to try to manage them all, but a few that would be a good idea to use. The important ones are Facebook Pages, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.
- Now that the big ones are out-of-the-way, depending on your business type and amount of available time, you might also create a YouTube Channel and post videos, or create accounts on Reddit, Digg, or StumbleUpon.
Get Your Website Listed in Web Directories
- Depending on the type of business you’re in, there may be directories specifically about your business type. For example, there are a number of web directories that are specifically for web designers and web development. When we launched our site, we went through and started hunting down the ones that we thought looked like good directories for us to be listed in and submitted our site information. Some of these you’ll notice are pay only, while others may request a link back to their directory and some do not require anything at all. Simply list your information. It will be up to you to determine which way you want to proceed.
Start a blog
- Search Engines, especially Google, love new content. Try working it into your schedule to post one new blog a week if possible. If you do not have time do to it that often, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. It will be better to have fewer, better written blog pages, than a bunch of poorly written, meaningless posts. When writing, make sure you fact-check, and spell-check your articles. There’s a great online resource at FirstSiteGuide.com to help you get started on your journey.
Make Good Use of Keywords and Keyword Phrases
- When writing a new page or blog, think about the keywords you’d like that page to be found under. What’s the page really about? What are users likely to type into a search engine to find this particular page? Once you know (or think you know), make good use of that keyword or keyword phrase. Work it in multiple times throughout the page. The most important place will be in the Page Title, but then you’ll want to work it in again in the first paragraph or so. Overall, your keyword to total words in the article ratio should be about 3 to 5%, but don’t go over that or search engines will think that you’re spamming them and it actually might do more damage than good.
Provide “Check In”
- Millions of people are “checking-in” at places they may be visiting. Depending on your business type and your demographic, it may make sense to have a “check-in” at your location. Typically, good places to have check-ins are the same places where people might go to meet-up. Places like Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Houses, Gyms, even retail shopping places would all be good places to get involved with these types of social networking services. The main ones to get involved with are currently foursquare and FaceBook Places.
Get Incoming Links to Your Website
- The more links that point to your website, the more Page Rank, you acquire and that raises your possibility of coming up earlier for “Organic Search Results”. Although, like anything, it’s never quite that easy. Because of so many people abusing this, it’s been refined over time and now makes up less of your total Page Rank Score. It is still important however and what’s even more important is that they come from relevant sites or at the least, articles on sites that are relevant to your industry. For example, if your site is about widgets, then getting a link from a site about the history of the world, isn’t going to be that relevant and therefore, not really give you any value from the link. If you find forums about widgets, however, that would be a great place to obtain a link from as that will help tell Search Engines that your site is an authority on Widgets.
- A great way to get incoming links are to comment in forums, message boards, or blogs that are on the subject that is relatable to your industry. That doesn’t mean just to write your name and leave your domain name. Instead, actually contribute something to the conversation. Be helpful and answer someone’s question about something, then it doesn’t seem “spammy” when you append your name and your domain name to the end of the message.
Advertise. Yes, Advertise
- Just like any new brick and mortar store, websites need advertising. I’m sure you’ve heard the story of some website or app that didn’t advertise and it just went crazy from the get-go. Don’t count on that. That’s a one in a million (or more) thing and is really not likely to happen. Instead, have an advertising or marketing budget for your website. There are plenty to choose from, but one of the most popular online is the PPC program Google AdWords. Depending on your demographic however, you may want to advertise in the newspaper, the radio, television, magazines, billboards, the sides of buses or whatever. You know your market (or hopefully you do) and you should know the places that they would likely want to see your message.
Get Your Domain Name Printed on Everything
- Whether it’s your business cards, brochures, fliers, boxes, bags, delivery truck, or whatever, print your domain name on it. Sounds simple enough, but many people forget to do this. It’s your job to get your domain name out there in any way possible.