Hi, I’m so excited we have reached this milestone. You have worked so hard and I’m so happy with how great your site has turned out!
I wanted to give you some direction from here. Please read the following next steps and let me know if you have any questions.
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1. Spread the Word!
When your website goes live, the most important thing to do initially is drive traffic to it. This will help google index it faster and start improving your SEO rankings immediately. Here are some ways to consider getting the word out:
- Finish filling in all the content in your SEO plugin Yoast SEO.
• Email Newsletter – if you have a newsletter or email list, be sure to let them know that the new site has launched and even more importantly, what they can expect to find on the site and why they should visit it. MailChimp is what I use and highly recommend.
• Social Media – use your network of Facebook friends, family or co-workers to get the word out. You’d be surprised how far one post can go when it’s shared and liked. Also, if you’re active on Linked In, Instagram or other socials, share away!!
• Word of Mouth – word of mouth is still the most powerful referral. If you’re as excited as we are when your site launches, tell those around you! Get their opinion and see what they think about your new online presence. That’s valuable feedback that may come in handy when considering changes and additions to the site moving forward.
2. Ask for Reviews!
Online reviews are more important than ever. Particularly for businesses being googled and found online, a user will look at reviews almost immediately. There are many different ways and platforms on ways to get reviews, but here are some we recommend:
• Google Review – this is highly recommended as Google reviews are generally what will pop up when somebody finds your site with an online search. You can either have your customers google your business, then leave a review OR you can use this site to generate a direct link. It’s super handy.
• Facebook Reviews – FB reviews are also great and are now a more reputable spot for customer reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask for your customers to leave a review on your Facebook page and have them share it. Or get their permission for you to share it.
• Testimonials for Website – after your website is live, we recommend gathering as many testimonials as possible to post on the website. Even if you don’t currently have any on the site, if you can gather 5-10 good, personalized reviews (usually gathered via email or off of Google or Facebook) we can eventually set up a testimonials page. Users will often look for reviews ON the site as well as on other outlets before making a purchase, calling or emailing. I recommend putting the best ones on the site. I highly recommend making it as easy as possible for people to leave reviews for you and your clients’ sites. I recently stumbled across this Google Review Tool which gives you the option to create a direct link.
3. Keep Things Fresh & Updated!
After your website has been live for awhile, we recommend doing some things to keep it fresh. Particularly if you have a site with repeat or recurring visitors.
Here are some suggestions:
• Change Out Images – we recommend changing out or updating images 1-3 times a year. If your website has a main image right when you open the front page, it’s important to keep that fresh and new. For the user, it looks like you’re taking the time to update your site and therefore making it more valuable for them.
• Colors/Layout – if your site has been sitting for more than a year or so, it’s strongly recommended that you do something to spice it up. Whether it’s making some cosmetic changes to the action colors or menu bar, or even just adjusting or adding some new graphics/images. Keeping your site fresh is a GREAT way to keep people coming back.
• Keep Your Information Updated – if information, staff, hours or services change for your business, be sure to change the website too! There’s nothing worse than having wrong information on a website.
4. Build Site Content!
A website is viewed by Google as being “alive” or “dead.” An “alive” site is driving traffic, getting new and existing users, being updated, posting new blogs and content. If your site is “dead” – e.i. not being managed, updated or taken care of – it can impact your SEO ranking dramatically.
Here are some options on how to build your website content:
• Blog – blogging sounds a bit overrated and useless to a lot of people and I can understand that, but the facts are the facts – websites with blogs generally drive 30-40% more traffic to their sites than their competitors. Google will often pick up blog posts before picking up major website pages.
If you can contribute good, lasting content that is well thought out and valuable to your customers, you will drive more traffic. Don’t be afraid to use social media and use your network to get the word out. It’s worth having someone maintain a solid website blog to drive your traffic and grow your online presence.
• New Pages – it’s generally good practice to not only update your images and graphics, but also your content! If you have more services to add to your site, do it! Google LOVES seeing that a site is being built on to. You can also repeat the steps above by reposting your site to your social media outlets and saying that you have updated images, content, new blog post, etc.
• Updated Content – if things in your industry change or your services change, be sure to update your site accordingly. Even adjusting content by a few words can show Google that your site is being worked on and is again…”alive”.
5. Protect Your Website!
Well, I don’t want to give you bad news but did you know that your site is vulnerable to malware and hacks. It is costly to clean a site that has been hacked.
Over 50% of all web traffic is currently spammers, bots, malware, and hackers. The fact is that sites are getting hacked left and right these days. And most of the time, for no reason more than a hacker thousands of miles away just happening to find a way in or a web spider that got through a hosting companies firewall, etc. If your site isn’t protected and secured, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a breach.
I have installed a security Plug-In called WordFence. It will be sending you emails about anyone logging into your account or any updates that need to be done on your site to keep it most secure. There is not a guarantee this will be enough to keep it from being hacked but it is one of the best ways to protect against it.
It is important to have an off-site back up of your site. This will help you in the recovery process if you face an attack.
This might be a lot for you to keep up with so I have created a maintenance plan you might be interested in learning more about. Learn more here.