You did it, finally! All those weeks of searching to find the right web design company; weeks of contents and images, quality checks, and collaboration with your web designer have paid off. Whew! Congratulations on your new website.
That’s it, Nice done job?
Not specifically Ahem. There’s a little good news and a lot of all right news.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR STARTERS.
You have finished off one item that’s been languishing on your corporate checklist for a while now. Time to open up the bubbly, or at least make your bosses and/or shareholders happy!
…AND TO THE BAD NEWS:
It’s not all over here. This is just the beginning of it. The real work is ahead of you.
Irrespective of the nature of your business, whether it be B2B or B2C, your website must be an ever-changing, already evolving organ of your ongoing marketing campaign.
It’s now an integral part of the big business pie chart. It is a central showpiece that reflects the best aspects of your business for prospective customers and stakeholders alike.
And now it’s up and running. It’s out there.
“OKAY, WE GET IT. BUT WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?”
A lot. Believe it or not, running a proper business website is a full-time job. But all the rough stormy seas don’t have to be, provided you are going the right way. Here’s a helpful checklist to get you up to speed:
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1. WEBSITE CARE AND MAINTENANCE:
Like a new vehicle, the website requires proper care, maintenance and facilities to ensure smooth operation and continued results. As a bare minimum, we suggest a monthly website maintenance plan and a basic online marketing plan. As with tracking the research, you can learn more about what can be done to strengthen it.
For our web design and SEO clients in Lagos, we have a variety of web care and maintenance packages designed to suit all their needs.
2. MONTHLY REVIEW YOUR WEBSITE ANALYTICS:
You should be able to access your Google Analytics account. With this, at least a monthly check on your web stats is recommended. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics.
Feeling a little lost in there? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here are links to some useful blog posts:
3. SOCIAL MEDIA:
Run promotional campaigns for your new live website on all your social media accounts. If you are still planning to launch, you can use social media to taunt your audience and build up hype and enthusiasm about the imminent launch of your website. When the new site is up and running, use as many outlets as possible to update the customers and vendors.
4. USE YOUR MAILING LISTS TO PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE:
Using your existing email list, we recommend that you send an email newsletter to your customers announcing your new website. This works wonderfully well as an important PR method for brand promotion. You will be able to use it to illustrate the different aspects and features of your new website, such as enhanced navigation, simple online forms, white papers, the stockholder section, etc.
LET’S TAKE A SHORT TIME-OUT HERE:
It’s time to go for a quick tangent here. The next section will deal with PPC vs. SEO, two resources that are a source of constant doubt for website owners these days. Especially with the recent changes in Adwords, most people have a lot of questions about the subject:
“What does this mean to my company? “Do I need to do more than that? ”
And most critical of all:
“SHOULD I PAY-PER-CLICK (PPC) OR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)? ”
And it depends, as always, on your background. The easiest way to figure this out yourself is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this a redesign of the website or a brand new website with a new domain?
- How competitive is your business market?
- What’s your monthly marketing budget?
Your choice between PPC and SEO will depend to a large extent on how you answer the above-mentioned direct questions. Personally, if you have a budget, I’d suggest you are going to do both.
5. PAY PER CLICK (PPC)
If your website or company is brand new, it’s a good idea to use PPC. It may require a small amount of investment, but on the plus side, you will be free to set the target terms and get in front of your audience within a day or two.
If you have a competitive market, you will need to consider your budget, but there are a few choices open to you. If you have a flexible budget, Google Adwords will get you to the top of Google Search (SERPs). Content advertising can be useful to make your website available on other similar websites.
With recent improvements to Google Adwords, Google eliminated the ad sidebar and intensified competition for eyeballs. This has the potential to translate into higher cost per click.
Facebook advertising, on the other hand, will help, if done correctly, to get to a particular audience of common interests.
6. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Honestly, SEO is not expected to come out for discussion this late. Ideally, the website should have been optimized during the build and code phases. Getting the right keywords, the right content, and the right code in the right place will all help with your organic rankings.
But that’s definitely not the end of it.
Continuous optimization is the safest course of action after the website is up and running. The key here is to provide a strong content marketing strategy with ongoing social media. Of course, this isn’t free either. If you have any good writing skills, you can spend a weekend or two writing blog posts and queue up your social media feeds.
By the way, if you find that your new site isn’t indexed right away, don’t worry about it. It’s only normal, and as a result, high-ranking keywords will drop below the first list. A simple solution to this is to run AdWords campaigns for your top 10-20 keyword conversion.
Don’t worry, PPC and SEO will get you on the front page. To learn more about this, try the Exquisite team post. By the way, the website where it is written, SEOmoz, is a big source of SEO related material.