I Have Made My Website: What’s Next?
During the construction of your website we have been focusing on design, layout and technical issues and not focusing on web marketing. It won’t take you long to realise that web marketing is as bigger job, if not bigger, than actually making a website. It is also an area in which a lot of money is changing hands at present, and probably this trend will continue into the future. So what is next?
1. Links, Links, Links
You need to immediately find inbound links to your site. The first place to start is with directory websites such as the Yellow Pages or Finda. Do not delay in this task. Getting inbound links from other websites greatly advantages you in two ways: firstly you start getting traffic from the link as soon as it is live, secondly search engines will have more conduits into your site and therefore will find your site easily and index it more quickly. More importantly though each inbound link into your website will be viewed as a vote of confidence by Google and the other major search engines. The more votes of confidence that Google collects on your site the higher it will move you up the search results pages. It’s worth mentioning two Google resources at this point: the Google Toolbar and the Google website for Webmasters. The Google Toolbar has an important tool on it that measures the current page’s Page Rank. Page Rank it is a patented Google technology that ranks pages according to Google’s own special algorithm. The Toolbar will show you the rank of any page from one to 10, 10 being the best. Even large websites that have good traffic find it difficult to get a high page rank. If your site has a page rank of five, that would be very good. The Google website for Webmasters is an interesting place to find out what Google recommends in terms of linking and optimisation. It’s a good place to start and offers an excellent orientation to the world of search.
2. On Page Optimisation
You should be careful not to remove critical keywords or keyword phrases from your website. Your homepage in particular should repeat your most important keywords a number of times. The WordPress content management system has special, page by page title, description and keywords fields for you to complete. You will find these fields underneath the WYSIWYG editor. The three that start with “Meta” are the ones to focus on. Meta means “information about information”. these three fields gives you the opportunity to feed information to search engines directly.
3. Build E-mail Lists
E-mail marketing is cheap and fast. You will need to study up on issues of compliance regarding the Spam act, but if you can satisfy these requirements, e-mail can add real value to your bottom line. There is no need to hesitate, you can simply start collecting e-mail addresses and sorting them into groups immediately in your desktop mail client. Once you get over a couple of hundred e-mail addresses you will need a more robust e-mail marketing solution (than sending e-mail from your desktop) as most ISPs control large volumes of outbound e-mail. This could include a third-party websites such as icontact.com.
4. Accelerate with Google Ads
You may wish to consider a Google Adwords campaign. It is going to take some time to get the search engine position that you want – more than 9 months and probably more than 12 months. If you are not working on linking as described above that your website will never really perform very well on search engines. If you need immediate traffic to your site from Google then you may consider running a Google ad campaign for the first 3 to 6 months after your website goes live.
5. Social Networking
There is still a lot to understand about social networking and how it can be used to market websites. Although there are some spectacular examples of social networking creating massive traffic to a website, in most cases there is an enormous amount of time invested in building an audience before networking would produce any money. Many businesses for example have a Facebook page and use it to interact with their customers but converting this interaction into sales is tricky and can even contravene the user policies of the social networking site. So while it might be good to start to understand more about Facebook and Twitter there is a lot more water to go under the bridge before they become everyday marketing tools.