You have just paid a designer for a shiny new website so now you can take a break and expect the enquiries/sales to come flooding in. Unfortunately unless you are a targeting an incredibly niche market, this is rarely the case.
Imagine your website is a small shop on a back street off the main shopping high street and no one knows about it. How are you going to get people to your shop and get some footfall going? By telling people about it of course! Be it with marketing like sandwich boards or print ads in the local press or A boards pointing to your side street where your shop is, you are going to want to point people in your shop direction. Well think of your website in the same terms. You need to tell people about your website in order to succeed.
A new website competes with other sites that have been around for years, potentially decades but there are a few things that you can do to make sure you end up higher in the listings, make sure Google lists you in their index as soon as possible and you end up with a search engine friendly website…
Here are some general tips to help track your website and enable your site to be listed quicker in the main search engines.
- Install Google Analytics
- Add your website to Google Webmaster Tools
- Link Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools
- Create a robots.txt file and upload it to the root directory of your site (Easitill does this for you on "Go Live" but go to www.yourwebsite.co.uk/robots.txt to check if you have one).
- Create a sitemap.xml file submit this to Google Webmaster Tool (Easitill does this for you on "Go Live" but go to www.yourwebsite.co.uk/sitemap.xml to check if you have one).
Many of the leading search engines count the amount and quality of your inbound links as a major factor so here are some tips.
- Create a ‘related links’ page on your website so you can link to reputable sites and even more importantly they link back to you. (think suppliers, local business directories, partners, industry associations not competitors)
- Add a Google My Business page
- Use Moz’s Open Site Explorer, and add your main competitors websites, view their “Inbound Links” from “Only External” sources to see their related links. Contact any reputable companies and request the opportunity to exchange links.
- Over time, the search engines will crawl your site and add you to their listing but you may be able to speed this process up by manually entering the URL for your site at these popular search engines..
- Add your website link to your business cards, flyers, stationery, emails, forum signature and any social media platforms.
The above recommendations will give your new website a kick start to being found on the internet. It can be time-consuming trawling the internet looking for appropriate places to link back to your website but I can assure you that it’s well worth the effort. You should invest at least a couple of hours from when your website launches to make it a happy, healthy search engine friendly site ready to take on the competition. Good luck!