You have now received your brand new, shiny looking website from your website designer/developer, re-launched, and are ready to receive your first online customers. It may be tempting to sit back and watch to see what happens, but now the real effort needs to go into keeping your website alive. You may even have received some basic training on updating and writing content for your website from your designer/developer.
You are now responsible for maintaining your newly relaunched website and making it appear engaging and interesting for your visitors each time they come to your site. Search engine bots will also be crawling through your site looking for keyword phrases and identifying fresh original published content to help it rank for search queries. You might have a blog which you have committed to writing once a week or promoting yourself on various social media networks.
Here are a few things for you to work on to keep your website alive and relevant to your customers in the month following your website launch.
Write fresh content
Both visitors and search engines want to see fresh content published on your website it gives them a good reason to return. Writing fresh content requires you to add or update existing web pages and publish new blog posts regularly. You can update your website two or three times a week, or two or three times a month, just so long as you publish something that is relevant to your business.
Create strong links
In your web pages, search engines crawl through scanning for keywords and links to either other websites or other pages within your own website. The keyword links you use have a strong bearing on your search success rate. To rank highly on search engines you need to use a variety of competitive keywords on each web page as internal links. Also, linking out to other websites which are popular and relevant to your subject demonstrates to search engines that you are a credible and reliable source of information. Just be careful that you don’t go overboard, create strong links, but link in moderation.
Monitor keyword usage
How do you know if you are using the right keywords? Using Google Analytics and Google Webmasters Tools will help you analyse your traffic. Google Analytics will show you what happens if someone clicks on one of your keywords and tracks their arrival on your website, and Google Webmaster Tools analyses the most popular keywords that people are searching for. By combining this information together, you can apply this to your website content. Use the popular keywords and write content that you know that people are searching for that is relevant to your business.
Analyse the bounce rate
After your website has been live for at least a month, you should login to your Google Analytics account and see some of the traffic that has been looking at your website. You may be able to see some early trends. The bounce rate refers to people leaving your website immediately on opening. Look and see if you are retaining any visitors. Look past the overall bounce rate and drill down into individual web pages. Start by looking at the pages which have the highest bounce rates and look critically at the keywords. Is the content too dry and boring? Is the text too heavy in tone? Remedy what you need to, to bring the bounce rate down. Some bounce rate traffic may account for a number of search engines scanning your website, so it can’t be avoided entirely.
Have you got a comment box on your website? If you have the functionality for visitors to leave a comment and you find people leaving comments, respond promptly, leave a thoughtful reply, delete any spam. If you don’t engage and moderate comments which visitors post, it sends the wrong message to potential customers. You want to be perceived as trustworthy, open and friendly. Your website represents you and your business, so make it meaningful and show your appreciation.
Share your content
To make the content on your website more likable and shareable on social media, you need to build a persona that is relevant and appropriate to your followers. It is not enough to just passively have relevant social media icons on each of your posts/articles. You need actively share/post content that you know your visitors would relate to. Don’t write a meaningful and clear title that makes sense to your existing customers, but may be ambiguous to new customers. When writing your content, try to cater for everyone i.e. newcomers who have never heard of you before, and your long-time readers who keep coming back for more.
Your website makeover has been quite the journey and has involved many different stages – it really is worth spending the time to make your website successful. Your business will prosper over time.
Take a look at the other articles in the ‘Website Makeover – A Five Part Plan’ series:
Part 1: The Website Audit
Part 2: Setting Your Goals
Part 3: Choosing A Professional
Part 4: Defining The Scope
Part 5: After The Relaunch