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If you build it, will they come? How to market your website after launch

Rachel Wilkie

Website Marketing StrategyYou finally reached the point where months of work come to fruition: website go-live. The big question for most companies is: what’s next? In most cases, new website traffic does not just happen overnight. It takes strategy and work to attract new website visitors that will convert. Luckily, one of the best times to invest in promoting your website is right after re-design or launch. This is because usually you have added new and updated information that is useful to your target audience.  Many full-strategy plans encompass your specific business needs; however there are a few basics that we recommend:

1.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You may have heard this before… but what is the point of having a new, amazing website if no one can find you? Optimizing your website for search engines is imperative to driving traffic to your website.  This is something you can work on during the development stage and continue building on a monthly basis. You will be amazed to find out how many new customers are searching for your business or solution but end up finding a competitor on Google Search.  SEO is not optional anymore, plan for it and just do it.

2. Public Relations

For many companies, a website launch is a big deal.  Tell people about it. Make sure that you (or your PR company) issues press releases to PR distribution sites, online industry publications and related news websites.  Find an angle on your launch that people care about, is there some new ground breaking feature that will help your customers, or have you added an expert to your team? Use the release to differentiate yourself from your competitors and help you stand out.

Another way to spread the word is to post information on blogging sites or linkedin groups. This will not only help boast your SEO, it will also enable your potential customers to ask questions and engage with your brand.

3. Online Marketing – E Newsletters

There is an infinite number of ways to advertise online, but for now, start with the basics. Let your current and existing customers know about the re-design. Email them with information on what has changed with the website and where they can find both new and old information. For example, redirect them to the new location of a client login or let them know you have expanded your services.  This is a great way to reconnect with old customers and help maintain that existing relationship.

You can also leverage email marketing to reach out to new potential customers. One option is to reach out to an online industry publication and find out what options there are for email blasts to their subscriber lists. You can also find companies that sell opt-in email addresses for your target audience.

4. Social Media

When in the process of building your new website, consider the many social networking tools as part of your overall web strategy. Ideally, you would like to start building out your chosen profiles in tandem with your website. This way you can start marketing to your potential customers even before your website is live. Drum up excitement the week before by talking about added features or information.

As part of your social media strategy, consider your market, audience, and most importantly, your business objectives. You must have some way to measure achievement. Will it be website referrals, downloads, top of mind awareness? Part of success is assessing your goals against the tangible results; social media is not an exception.