12 Ways to Promote Your New Website: Key Webinar Takeaways and Questions Answered
When you launch a brand new website, the designer and developer might be done, but the work of the marketer begins in earnest. Odds are good that regardless of what your top three or five goals for your new website are, driving more traffic is one of them. Whether you’ve launched your site already, or are just preparing to publish, you might be wondering “now what?”
In a recent webinar with digital marketing, design, and SEO firm eMagine, we discussed the 12 critical items on any website launch to do list. There are the things you can do to promote your site once it’s live, but it’s the prep work you do ahead of time that can make the biggest difference and determine whether your website makes a big splash.
Clearly, this subject struck a chord with the many marketer and project managers who attended, and we got a lot of questions there wasn’t enough time to answer during the webinar.
Website Auditing and Management Tools
A lot of attendees asked us to revisit some of the various applications recommended for anyone managing a website.
Google Analytics - The gold standard in tracking and understanding how visitors interact with your website. This robust application is available for free and can be linked to your website by adding an automatically generated snippet of code into the header of your pages. It’s absolutely essential for knowing what’s going on with your website.
Google Webmaster Tools - Catch errors, view search queries, submit sitemaps, and much more with this slightly more technical but still very straightforward toolkit from Google.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider - Scan pages, links, metadata, and more to find any website errors and get a full list of indexed content with this free tool.
Xenu Link Sleuth - Free tool for scanning your entire website for links to pages, images, and other resources to find any links that are broken.
Moz - All-in-one platform for website analytics, SEO management, robust reporting tool. It’s a paid solution, but offers another layer of insights on top of what’s available for free, and also has a great resource library for anyone who wants to learn more about inbound marketing and SEO.
GSiteCrawler - Fast and easy sitemap generator for your website.
Concerns About Going Mobile
Making your site mobile-friendly is no longer optional after Google’s latest update. Here are the top concerns from our attendees and our thoughts.
Making Your Site Responsive in One Go
There is no substitute for a truly responsive design. Yes, mobile-only websites are a possible short terms solution, but since Google is the world’s most used search engine, and the majority of your organic traffic visits surely come from Google, we would recommend going with with their recommendation and building a fully responsive website.
Letting Google Know You’ve Gone Mobile
If you’ve recently gone mobile, Google will surely pick up on the new breakpoints and meta viewport tags that you’ve added to your code the next time in crawl’s your website. That said, if you’d like to speed up the process, you can manually request that Google crawl your website sooner by logging into your Webmaster Tools account and resubmitting your sitemap.xml file. This resubmission will move up your crawl priority in Google’s regular crawl pattern.
Short Term Fixes
This is a tough one. What we’ve been recommending to our clients is to either reach out to their web development partner and request that their site be made responsive as soon as possible, or, consider building a mobile-only website for the short term. If you’re interested in pursuing the short term, “bandaid” option of a mobile-only website, there are many mobile website builders out there, like Mobify and MoFuse, that you may want to consider. Additionally, if you’re on the Wordpress CMS, there are a variety of free and paid mobile plugins like WPTouch at your disposal. We would caution, though, that if you do go the mobile-only website route, and you are not working with an SEO firm, that you ensure that all of the content you post to your website is completely unique from the content featured on your desktop site. If you do not make this content unique, you could be penalized by Google for having duplicate content.
Other Website Launch To-Dos
In Google Analytics, you can filter out IP addresses that you would want excluded from traffic reporting. This would likely include at least your company’s IP in order to not record internal traffic.
Updating Sitemap With Blog Posts
Uploading updated sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools can help ensure your content gets re-indexed regularly, and that new pages (think blog posts or articles) are indexed faster.
In Brief: 12 Ways to Ensure a Strong Launch
Perform a SEO audit
Map redirects to prevent future 404 errors
Perform deep technical audit
Publish content on a regular schedule
Public relations campaign
Promote on social media
Invest in digital advertising (AdWords, Remarketing, etc.)
Send email campaigns to customers, pipeline, partners
To get more details and the full list of things to do before and after launching your website, you can watch the webinar replay below, and check out our website project planning resources. Still have more questions? Feel free to reach out out on Twitter at @percussion, @aliciahalevp, or @aspiringkaro.
Karo was born in Poland, and learned to speak English by watching "Saved by the Bell" reruns during her first summer in the U.S., which has left her unable to go through life without occasionally breaking the fourth wall. As Percussion's content marketing manager, she oversees and creates content that drives website traffic, engages followers, and helps fill the marketing and sales funnel. She writes about content management, content marketing, SEO, social media and web design, and how to make it all less complicated.