Whether you’re starting a new business or you’ve been around for 20 years, when launching a new or updated website – don’t forget to promote it!
When it comes to creating a website, many businesses will focus almost exclusively on the design and development of their site. Combing through the site and making sure that every page is on brand, captivating, and informative. Once happy with the design and development of the site, it goes live, revealed to the world where it will get TONS of hits and bring in lots of business… RIGHT?
Unfortunately, just launching your website is not enough to fill up your inbox with leads or get your phone ringing off the hook with orders. To get traffic on your new site you have to promote and drive people to it!
So how do you promote your new website?
Here are a few key methods you can use right away to start spreading the word and generating traffic to your site.
Search Engine Marketing – PPC
Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is a great way to start generating near-instant traffic to your website. True, it will require an investment, but it will ensure you start appearing in people’s search results immediately. A well executed PPC campaign will create brand awareness and drive people to the exact content on your site that they are searching for.
Search Engine Marketing Campaigns for Site Launch
When it comes to setting up your PPC campaigns you have several goal-driven “bid” (click-purchasing algorithm) strategies to consider.
- Brand Awareness – If you are looking to get the word out about your business and brand, you may want to consider creating brand-focused ad copy and use impression based bid strategies. This is the best way to get your name in front of as many people as your budget will allow. Keep in mind that impression based campaigns may require a bit more budget than other bid strategies, but they will allow you to reach a larger audience.
- Lead Generation – Most businesses rely on their site generating leads if not taking sales directly. For these businesses, you need to create ads that connect with a user’s need and create actionable language to help them solve it. Link the ads to a targeted landing page with an embedded lead form and implement conversion tracking and conversion based bid strategies to measure the results and continually improve your ad performance.
- Sales Generation – If you have an e-commerce site or are selling services that lend themselves to direct online sales then you are focused on initiating an online buying experience with your audience. To do this, your ads need to connect your product or service with the customer’s needs and provide incentives for shopping with you and making an immediate purchase. This can be through language that promotes sales, benefits, or the unique features and styles of your products. Connecting your ads to product pages and integrating conversion and e-commerce tracking will help you understand your site’s performance as well as the buyer experience. Sales-focused ads should utilize a conversion-focused bid strategy.
Social Media is the best marketing medium for spreading the word about your organization and website. The best part is, you can start the social conversation on a professional AND personal level.
- Personal Network – Start generating buzz early by using your team’s personal social media accounts to start talking about your business and upcoming site launch. Keep the conversation going by using a branded hashtag within posts leading up to the big release. If you are selling a product or services, consider a sales-incentive or offer that is ONLY available through these personal account posts. This will help you gauge your effectiveness. You can even offer an internal prize or compensation to the team member who generates the most sales or leads.
- Professional Network – Prior to launching the site, create your business pages and social accounts and start building your professional network. Start connecting with similar or complementary businesses in your area or around the world. Contact those businesses and discuss ways that you could promote and benefit THEIR business. Create posts that mention or link directly to those businesses. Ask them if there is an opportunity for them to link back or mention your business once you launch. It may sound counter-intuitive but you will often find focusing on promoting their business is the best way to encourage them to promote yours.
- Sponsored Social Posts – Once your site is launched, consider sponsored social posts as a method for starting the conversation. Just like with your personal accounts, introduce branded hashtags to help you measure your exposure and consider a special launch offer. Follow the same content and content suggestions set out in the Search Engine Marketing section of this guide.
- Viral Content – The marketing term “viral” is often overused and misunderstood. Many people think this means they have to create a painful, funny, feel good, or annoying video in the hopes that people will share it. While this is certainly an example of “viral” content it isn’t the only type. Viral content is simply any content that is WORTH sharing. So if you can’t create a funny video, don’t sweat it. There is lots of content outside of that “funny” category. Consider creating a thorough how-to or DIY video, post a comprehensive guide on your site, give something away for FREE for a limited time. You will find that creating quality content with tangible or perceived worth is the best way to consistently encourage the “viral” spread of your website and business.
Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your business. Unfortunately, when you are just getting started you likely won’t have a list built up to market to. Fortunately, this isn’t the only way that you can promote your business through email.
- Personal Email Address – Look through your personal email address book and create a list of individuals that would be interested in your business or product. While you can certainly include Grandma and Uncle Stan in this list, try to focus on people that could/would use your business or support your organization – not just because they love you but because you can help them and they can help you. Prior to launch, send the assembled list a straightforward email announcing your business or service. Ask them to connect with you on your social media accounts and look for future updates. Send out one more email once your site is launched and ask them to join your email list so you can stop pestering them through your personal email and start pestering them through your professional email. DO NOT overuse this method of communication. Constantly spamming your connections with business emails through your personal email is a good way to get unfriended in real life.
- Sponsored Ads – Look for industry or service-related sites or business that have an existing email list and email marketing opportunities ( ad placements ). If you are a locally based service, look for professional business chambers or community groups that accept paid ads within their emails. Include specialized promotions in your ads and links to track performances for conversion and ROI measurements. Make sure any landing page that your email ads are linked to has an email signup form of your own to start growing your list.
- Paid Lists – This is a trick option… do not buy email lists. Buying a list may get you small gains but can do massive harm to your reputation. So do the right thing and build your email lists the right way, one email at a time.
We have actually covered the professional networks as recommendations under several sections above but there is actually quite a bit more that can be done to market your business and promote your website in professional networks.
- Business Chambers – Joining a local chamber is a great way to start connecting with local business and entrepreneurs in your community. You will often find that this group of often well-connected people is an awesome way to start the local word of mouth spread about you and your business. The added benefit of joining an area chamber is you almost always get an inbound link to your business – inbound links are one of the best ways to improve your non-paid search engine results.
- National Organizations / Foundations – Almost any business or organization will have a professional national organization that they can join. Joining credible organizations will often provide you with permission to use the organization’s logo on your site which can help install trust in your site visitors. Consider a membership level that will also provide you with a profile on the organization’s site and a link to your site. If your business is not a locally focused B2C service, consider advertising opportunities on the site or in their email.
- Social Media – We’ve covered social media a bit already, but it is an important marketing tool for any business or organization. Make sure that you have profiles created on the appropriate social media accounts and connect, follow, and engage with other businesses on those same profiles. Getting mentioned on a business whose goals are similarly aligned or complementary to yours will help you build brand awareness and followers of your own.
This is an oldie, but still a goody. Creating and distributing a press release is a good way to start getting media attention and exposure for your brand.
- Local Press – We recommend submitting your press release to local news agencies first. Even if you are not a locally focused business your story is more likely to be picked up by local stations than national news networks. Most local TV, radio, and newspapers have a direct contact or process for submitting your Press Release. Otherwise, enlisting the assistance of a professional PR firm with established local connections is always a good idea if your budget allows.
- National Press – Just like local stations, network broadcasters will typically have a contact or process for submitting your Press Release for consideration in their content programming.
- News Blast – There are a number of large press release services that can use to submit your Press Release to the masses of media and network companies. There is typically a cost to this service but the cost may be well worth for simplicity sake.
Public Relations (PR)
You may want to consider doing some PR to improve your chances of being picked up by local or even international news.
- Dedicated PR Firm – Consider adding a PR focused firm to your team of resources. You may have heard the phrase “it’s not what you know but who you know.” Well, this phrase really holds true in the PR world. Oftentimes a PR firm will have direct contacts with local, national, or even international news outlets that provide you more opportunities for your press releases to be read and covered. Without this type of connection, you are often left with submitting your press release into systems that get hundreds or even thousands of releases a day.
Are you looking to relaunch your website?
Fuzzy Duck is a small agency with big-time talent and we work with companies just like yours to launch and market their business online.