// Guest post by contributor Karlie Plowman
You’ve just officially launched your very first or newly created website – YAY! This is a really exciting time for you and you’re keen to show off your creation and start selling your products/services or sharing words of wisdom to the entire world, right? Sure, I get this, but have you worked out exactly how people are going to find your website, one of gazillions on the ‘world wide web’ and know you exist? Are you expecting your website to just plonk itself on the number one page of Google search results? Wanting your website to just go viral all on it’s own?
I certainly hope you have thought of all these questions and you’ve put in place everything you need to for your website success, but if you haven’t quite thought about any of this and are starting to panic – RELAX – I’ve got you covered!
From things like social media marketing, to Google Adwords, to offline adverting and promotion ideas, I give you some ideal advice on how to help your new website be found online once you’ve officially launched it. Let’s start…
GOOGLE ANALYTICS & WEBMASTER TOOLS
To ensure your website is tracking the way you need and want it to, especially if you’re targeting a certain crowd, you need to get familiar with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools and become besties.
Google Analytics monitors your traffic and website statistics and allows you to:
- understand who exactly is visiting your site
- where they’re coming from
- what devices they’re using
- their location
- how long they stay on your page for
- how quickly they ‘bounce’ off your website, and SO MUCH MORE.
If you only do ONE thing after launching your website then this is the one thing you HAVE to get cosy with and learn how to use it properly if you want your website to perform.
Google Webmaster Tools/Google Search Console monitors your website’s SEO more closely than Google Analytics does and provides information such as:
- Submit and check a sitemap.
- Check and set the crawl rate, and view statistics about when Googlebot accesses a particular site.
- Write and check a robots.txt file to help discover pages that are blocked in robots.txt accidentally.
- List internal and external pages that link to the site.
- Get a list of links which Googlebot had difficulty crawling, including the error that Googlebot received when accessing the URLs in question.
- See what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings. (Previously named ‘Search Queries’; rebranded May 20, 2015 to ‘Search Analytics’ with extended filter possibilities for devices, search types and date periods).
- Set a preferred domain (e.g. prefer example.com over www.example.com or vice versa), which determines how the site URL is displayed in SERPs.
And much more. Its’ free to sign up too – yippee!
By paying for an Ad on Google you can be assured that your will appear on the top of Google search result pages or on the right sidebar – maximum exposure is guaranteed. You choose the budget, you choose how it looks, you choose who it targets. As Google explains: Be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for the things you offer. And only pay when they click to visit your website or call.
I highly recommend using Google Adwords for brand new websites to get traffic happening fast and to create exposure of your brand.
YOU ONLY PAY FOR RESULTS!
No visit, no fee
Signing up for Google AdWords is free. You only pay when someone clicks your ad to visit your website, or calls you. In other words, when your advertising is working.
Start with any budget
How much you invest is up to you. Just begin with a daily budget that you’re comfortable with, then adjust as you go. Many businesses get off to a good start with a budget of at least $5 a day.
Here’s an example of what results you could get and what information is provided by using Google Adwords:
MONITOR YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS
A good ranking in search engines is important to any site. Good ranking equals more traffic and increased levels of popularity. More traffic equals more money. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor whether or not your SEO efforts are bringing good results.
If you don’t want to buy software (i.e. spend money) the best way of monitoring your keywords is Manually checking;
- Just input a keyword in Google Search and take note of the position of your website. Important: Do not click on your listing because if you do, Google will remember it and next time you will see your website on a higher position. However, you will be the only person to witness that change; everybody else will see it on the actual position. This is because Google Search tries to predict what you will likely click on and, thus, previously visited sites bubble up to the top.
CHECK YOUR SITE’S SPEED
Google recently announced that your website’s loading time is a game player in how your website is ranked – the faster is loads the more points you get from Google; if it’s slow to load then you’re penalized. Why? Because users HATE waiting and the longer they have to wait the likeliness of them leaving your site without even seeing the home page is very high.
How do you check your sites speed? Check out Yslow – it checks your web pages to see issues and suggests things you can do to make your site faster.
UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS & PAID FACEBOOK ADVERTISING
I don’t think I need to tell you how important social media is for driving traffic to your website and creating brand exposure, but I often see Facebook pages that neglect to advertise their websites display their web domains on the home pages of their social media platforms. Some quick tips:
- Make sure you add a link to your website on every social media platform you use and literally click on the link to make sure it goes to your site (check the link isn’t broken)
- PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE and PROMOTE some more that you have a new website on all your social media platforms; update your status, create a graphic to upload to your pages that includes a picture of your website and a link to it, ask your friends to check it out – WHATEVER you want – just make people aware your new site exists
Paid Facebook Advertisements – OK so some people are of the opinion you shouldn’t have to pay for advertising on Facebook considering Facebook is free to use and there are ways to advertise on it without having to pay – I get it and I do it myself – but here’s why I think you definitely should consider paying for a Facebook Ad to drive traffic to your website:
- You can specifically target the audience you want your Ad to reach and not waste your time on your Ad being seen by people who just won’t care. Quality vs Quantity! Facebook even provides advice based on your Insights on who you should be targeting for premium results – how good is that!
- You get to choose how much you pay for your Ad. You can spend as little as $5 if you want – but keep in mind that you will more than likely see better results with a bigger budget; but the moral of the story is YOU’RE IN CHARGE of how much you pay and how you want to spend your money.
- Facebook Ads exposes you to a much larger audience that goes beyond your friends list or number of page likes – your Ad will reach people you don’t even know exist and that can easily turn into a new business relationship or sale
GET YOUR CONTENT ON GOOGLE
You can directly submit your website’s content to Google themselves – click on the link below to find out how to do this whether you have a website, app, a business, a shop, digital content, local information or media.
Karlie is my resident SEO expert and you can read all her articles here. Dive in – she has a great skill in explaining super confusing stuff in simple terms.