This is by far one of the most commonly asked questions we receive from our clients… and for good reason! You’ve just invested big in your business so now it’s time to get that fancy new website to work.
More traffic! More leads! More new business!
It should just happen, right?
Even though your website is looking good, does anyone know it’s out there?
The truth is, without active marketing and promotion you may find that you do not receive that burst of new traffic you were hoping for.
To help you get started, we’ve created an essential checklist of 19 items you can do right now, FOR FREE, to start driving traffic to your website.
Directories & Links
1) Google My Business Profile
This is one of the most important profiles you should set up for your business.
Google My Business will help give your company visibility in the search results faster than just about any other tactic. Plus it helps you show up in Google’s local search results (i.e. the map with the pins).
Once you have your profile setup, be sure to ask past and future customers to provide a review.
Yelp is a directory/review website best known for helping consumers make informed decisions.
If your business is selling a product or service to the general public, it’s worth getting your free listing (and website link).
3) Trip Advisor (if relevant)
If your business is operating in the tourism industry, a Trip Advisor listing is a must have.
Be sure to collect positive reviews to get the most out of this directory service.
4) Bing Places for Business
These days, Bing is a bit of an after thought, but that doesn’t mean you should count it out.
Just like on Google, you can claim a free local business listing.
5) Social Media Platforms
Social Media platforms are a great tool to connect and share with your current and future customers.
Claim your free business or personal listing on each platform to get started.
Note: Only join networks you actively plan on using. As an example, if you don’t tweet or know what a tweet is, you probably don’t need Twitter. Think about your target customer and what networks they use. Is your product or service ‘follow worthy’?
6) Relevant Industry Directories
Search Google for business directories related to your field or industry. You will likely come across both free and paid options. This may also include joining associations or your local Chamber of Commerce.
Each time you get a link on these websites you improve your websites search engine optimization (SEO) and create a new opportunity to be found.
7) Website Links
Ask industry colleagues and partners for links from their website back to yours.
Even better, ask them to include the link on a specific keyword related to your business.
Example: We might ask for a link on the keywords ‘website design’ rather than just the business name Pixel Perfect. This is important because it gives Google another way of referencing what keywords are most relevant about your business.
Marketing & Promotion
8) Start Blogging
Leveraging your website’s blog (or news) section is one of the most important things you can do to improve your website ranking.
Google wants to see fresh, relevant content being added to your website regularly. In fact, this is a key metric used to rank your website.
Not sure what to post about?
Think about the common questions you receive from current and potential customers. Write a blog post answering each question.
You can also share about industry related news, tips, community involvement, achievements, team members, and more.
Posting frequency can really depend on how competitive the online space is for your business. For new websites, we recommend at least two posts per week to get things moving.
9) Start Sharing
Leverage your network on social media and share your website and blog posts.
Even if you don’t think your direct network will be interested, they might know someone who is. The key is to stay top of mind.
With Pixel Perfect, we see a spike in traffic every time we share a new post. You can get the same results by being consistent and creating valuable content.
10) Ask for Reviews
Many of the business listings we spoke about in the previous section (i.e. Google My Business, Facebook, etc.) have areas where past customers can share a review.
Positive reviews tell visitors and Google whether your business is credible and worth visiting.
11) Update Marketing Collateral
If you have existing brochures, business cards, flyers, etc. be sure to update them with your website address. If you’ve recently revamped your website, call attention to it.
12) Create or Update Your Email Signature
If you’re frequently sending business emails, you should include a link to your website in the signature. This makes it easy for people to access your website or reference it later to share with a colleague.
13) Answer Relevant Questions on Quora
Quora is a community powered Q&A website. Create a free profile and search for questions relevant to your business. If a question is unanswered (or lacking a good answer), spend a few minutes and share your knowledge on the subject. If you have previously written a blog post about the same topic, share a link back to your website.
14) Share Your Services on Kijiji or Craigslist
Kijiji and Craigslist are free online classified websites. If you’re selling a product or service to a local market, we encourage you to take a look.
It’s not appropriate for all businesses, but if you’re looking to generate some additional free exposure this might be a good place to start.
15) Connect with Influencers
Reaching an influencer can be the Holy Grail of marketing and promotion. Think about individuals that can influence large groups of people and try to get them to share your information.
To start out, think about people involved in your local chamber of commerce, associations, or well known business leaders.
It could even include building strategic alliances with other businesses that complement your product or service.
If you’re looking to gain visibility on a larger scale, research and find individuals with a large online following (i.e. Social Media, YouTube, Bloggers, etc.). These people are more difficult to reach, but if you have a killer product or service you may be able to convince them to share it with their audience.
16) Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service that lets you track the number of visitors (and their behaviour) on your website. It’s a must have for any business as it helps provide a way to track the performance of your website and allows you to make informed decisions when it’s time to make adjustments.
This is something that you will likely need your web designer to help you set up. There is a little bit of code that needs to go on ever page of your website.
Note: Installing Google Analytics will not increase website traffic, but it will give you a way of analyzing and optimizing your website on-going.
17) Setup Google Search Console
Another great service from Google, the Search Console will give you additional insights about your website and inform you about it’s performance. It will check for page errors, issues with how Google is crawling your website, and more. If your domain name is brand new, it’s also is a quick way of telling Google you exist!
18) Submit A Sitemap
Once you have setup Google Search Console, you will want to submit a website sitemap. This informs Google of your website and all it’s pages. Google requires a special type of file called XML for this to work. Your website may or may not have this built in already – it really depends on the website designer who built your website.
You can check by visiting your website and adding /sitemap.xml to the end. Eg. www.mywebsite.com/sitemap.xml
If you don’t have one, you can also manually create one by using a free tool like https://www.xml-sitemaps.com
19) Install an SSL Certificate
An SSL Certificate is the the little green lock you see in the web address bar, typically when you’re shopping online or doing online banking.
SSL encrypts the data being sent through the internet, from the computer browser to the remote servers. This is especially important for websites that sell products online as it will safely transmit credit card details without the worry of data being stolen.
Even if you’re not collecting credit cards online, SSL is quickly becoming the new standard for all websites. In fact, since 2014 Google has made it known that it gives bonus search engine optimization (SEO) points for having this. It’s a ‘win win’ for both you and your website visitor. Extra SEO credit and a safer web experience.
How many of these items have you done?
Now that you have knowledge about what to do after your new website goes live, are you going to take action?
Some of these items require a little bit of work. The key is to do one at a time. Look at the list and pick out the items you can do right away. Knock them off the list first.
Items such as blogging will take a little time and effort, but we promise it will be worth it.
Have something that should be added to this list? Let us know.
If there is something you believe should be on this list, we want to hear from you! Send us a message and let us know how we can make this post even better.