So you have your lovely sparkly new website. You are super proud of it and can’t wait to see your potential audience checking it out.
Naturally you want to give it the best start possible in terms of ranking in the search engines so to get you started I have created this list of 8 ways to promote a new website.
If an SEO plugin isn’t already in place the first step is to install one. If you use WordPress then my recommendations would be either All in One SEO or Yoast. You then need to work through each page of the website – and any blog posts if you have them – and add a page title, description and keywords in the SEO plugin. This might seem like a lot of work but it’s going to have a huge impact not only on how well you rank in the search engines but also on how your listings actually appear.
A well written description is almost like a mini advert for the page/post and more likely to entice people to click through. You can see on this search result for a blog post on my Pet Hooligans’ site that the keyword is in both the title and in the description. This helps with SEO and tells the online searcher that they have found exactly what they are looking for – making it more likely they will click through and read your offering.
2 Webmaster Tools
You want the search engines to know all about your site and to come and crawl it with their ‘spiders’. Only once they have done this will you start appearing in the search engines.
You therefore need to go to Google and Bing webmaster tools and add the url of your website. You will have to show that you own the site and you can either do this through signing in through your hosting company or alternatively add the code they give you to either All in One SEO or Yoast. Once you have signed in they will ask you to submit a site map and again the two plugins just mentioned will give you a sitemap address.
It’s also important to monitor your listings in webmaster tools going forward as it will give you information such as any 404 errors appearing (urls which are no longer there), whether spam has been added to your site or if any areas of the site can’t be reached.
If you are going to make the most of your site you are going to need to know what people are reading on it and where you are finding your audience, i.e. are they arriving at the site through search keywords, direct links or social media.
The easiest way to monitor this is to set up either Google Analytics or Clicky Stats on the site. This is quick and easy to do and definitely worth the small amount of time it will take you. Don’t forget to monitor your stats going forward – it can be quite motivating to see that traffic rise.
4 Social Media
It’s vital to share your blog posts, services and products across social media to start a flow of traffic. You don’t have to set up all the profiles at once but at least start with two out of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin. The more you can do the better but don’t overwhelm yourself too quickly, better to share content to 2 profiles consistently than inconsistently to a greater number. If you want a walkthrough of social media you might want to grab my Kindle book, The Joy of Social Media.
Start from the beginning and set up a mailing list as soon as possible – that way you can keep in touch with potential clients and send traffic back to your website via your newsletter.
You can start a mailing list for free if you opt for Mailchimp and it’s really far easier than you expect it to be, and super valuable. You will usually find that your conversion rate via a newsletter is much higher than from people arriving cold on your website. If you want to know how to set it all up, plus get subscribers onto your list, then grab my course Rock Your Newsletter.
Maybe you have already decided that you are going to be blogging – if so, that’s fab! If not you might want to reconsider as blogging is one of the best ways to start you ranking in the search engines.
Need more reasons to blog? Read my post 5 Reasons You Need a Blog to Promote Your Business.
7 Share Bar or Buttons
Include a share button or bar on every page and blog post so that visitors can easily share your content. There are lots of free and paid plugins out there that easily allow you to do this, my favourite is Social Warfare.
8 Grab Your Listings
One final piece of work is to grab your business listing on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. That way you can ensure they have the right information about you, plus it will help you get found – this is even more important if local traffic is important to you. Head to those links and get set up.
You are only just starting your journey with your website, but by following these pointers you are giving yourself the best chance possible to get off to a flying start. Bon voyage.