This is our fifth and final post in a series covering the process of building the new Far Reach website from start to finish. Check out the previous posts:
All Too Often, We’re Part of Conversations Like This
Client: “Our new website from <other web company> isn’t seeing the results we expected. It’s been 6 months.”
Us: “Let’s take a look at the expectations and goals you laid out.”
Client: “We didn’t set any.”
Us: “Oh, OK. Well, what marketing tactics did you implement to drive traffic to your new site?”
Client: “We posted it on Facebook. We thought once it went live we’d be rolling in leads.”
Us: “Let’s talk about marketing.”
What Good is a New Website Without Visitors?
Once your website goes live, you might be tempted to think, “Glad that’s done. Now I can forget about it for a while.”
Don’t think that. Please.
Marketing your new website starts long before it goes live—and continues long after.
No website is magical.
We knew it would take the right marketing strategy—a little marketing magic—to drive traffic to our new website. Only then could we meet our new website’s goals. (See our post on planning your website.)
Here are a few examples of the marketing tactics we used to drive traffic to our new website. You may find them helpful as you plan the launch of your own new website.
Posting your website link on each social media site once isn’t marketing. You have to outline a strategy to share the content on your new website on an ongoing basis.
A blog is the most effective way to continually generate new content to share. Other good, sharable content includes landing pages and case studies.
Go ahead. Get creative. When we launched our new site, each employee got to choose his or her favorite feature. We highlighted several of them across social media to give a personal touch to the new site.
If you use email marketing, you have an existing list of contacts who want to hear from you.
If you don’t do email marketing, why not?
You can use a series of emails to walk your subscribers through various sections of your new website. Then continue your momentum with additional emails that extend beyond the “new website” theme.
To start spreading the word about the new Far Reach website, we sent a “sneak peek” email to our most loyal subscribers two days before announcing the site to the rest of the world. It was a small gesture to make our subscribers feel special—because they are.
Social media and email marketing help you drive your existing network back to your website.
But how do new potential customers find your site? Of course, it depends.
An effective strategy we often recommend is pay-per-click advertising combined with search engine optimization (SEO).
Online advertising offers a lot of options:
- Pay-per-click vs. pay-per-impression
- Text ads vs. display ads
- Demographic targeting vs. behavioral targeting vs. keyword targeting vs. retargeting
- Google vs. Bing/Yahoo! vs. other ad platforms
- And so much more
All ads should lead users to your website—preferably an optimized landing page. After all, what good is new traffic if they spend 3 seconds on the site, bounce, and never come back again?
You can narrow in on who you want to reach and where. To get visitors back to our website after they leave, we use retargeting pay-per-click advertising.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you want visitors to find your website through search engines, you have to play by Google’s rules. Optimizing your site for search helps you rank higher and gain organic traffic.
SEO is interwoven in every step of the web development process:
- Planning – Decide which SEO tactics to implement.
- Content Strategy & Design – Determine keyword phrases to optimize for, and write SEO-friendly content.
- Development – Structure the code for search engines and include appropriate markup.
- Quality Assurance Testing – Review for any errors or items that may potentially harm SEO.
Which Marketing Tactics Are Working?
You need to know:
- Which tactics are successful
- Which tactics need tweaking (we said tweaking, not twerking, Miley)
- Which tactics just aren’t working
You also need to determine—based on your website goals—what success looks like. Is it the:
- Number of visitors?
- Pages per visit?
- Time on site?
- Bounce rate?
- A combination of some or all of the above?
Each site will be different, but you have to understand the metrics that matter for you.
We use Google Analytics on our website, as well as all of our clients’ websites. Basic Google Analytics installation helps us understand a lot about a site’s visitors and their behavior. And we can go beyond the basics to track goals, conversions, events, demographics, and so much more.
Knowing and understanding how visitors get to your site and what they do once they get there helps you adjust and optimize your marketing strategy.
Now you have a glimpse into the work we put into our new website—and all websites we develop.
To recap the process:
Go forth and put this to work for you!