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MOVING FORWARD

1 – SPREAD THE NEWS

Now that your website is live and available for anyone to look at, the most important thing to do initially is to start driving traffic to your site. This will help to get it indexed in Google and the other search engines and start you on the road to those all important SEO rankings. Here are a few ideas for getting some visitors to your website:

  • Social Media – use your network on Facebook, your followers on Instagram or your business connections on LinkedIn. Reach out to friends, family, co-workers and anyone else in your network, and ask them to take a look at your new website. You might be surprised at how far one post can go!
  • eMail – Whether you have a dedicated eMail marketing list of all of your customers or just an address book in Outlook or GMail which comprises of a handful of contacts, you have another network of contacts that you can get your website viewed by. Send them an eMail out asking their opinion of your new website, give them a 10% voucher, offer them a free report, give them a reason to take you up on your offer – get creative!
  • Word of Mouth – Word of mouth is still a great way to get some initial traffic looking at your website. Ask you friends and family, if you attend network meetings tell everyone about your new site, if you’re meeting customers or clients be sure to let them know that your new site is now live.

The key thing in all of this, is that you drive some traffic to the new site. If you think that by designing a great looking site and just putting it live that Google is going to put you in position 1 and the traffic is going to roll in, you’re very wrong. This first step is crucial and can give you some great feedback on your website and even promote new services to existing customers as well as showcasing how your business is moving forward and a leader in its field.

2 – ASK FOR REVIEWS

Online reviews are now vitally important to every business and can make a real difference to the amount of traffic that a website gets. More and more customers are Googling a company or finding them on social media and then looking for reviews of the business before they will even look into doing business with them. There are massive amounts of sites which reviews can be left on but here are the main ones that are a great starting point and also carry the most weight from both a customer and SEO point of view:

  • Google Reviews – We’d recommend trying to get Google reviews 1st. Google reviews are the ones which show up on a Google search and Google reviews also seem to carry a fair bit of weight in SEO rankings. Simply ask a customer to Google your business and as long as your site has had a Google My Business page setup, they will find you and be able to leave a review. As a note, NEVER be tempted to try and leave one for yourself or to even allow anyone to leave you one using your internet connection. It has been known for Google to penalise owners who have had reviews left from the same IP address as that of a computer which accesses the businesses Google page.
  • Facebook Reviews – Facebook reviews are also great and becoming more and more popular. There is also evidence that the reviews on FB are carrying some weight in SEO too. Why not ask some of your customers to leave a review on Facebook and then ask them to share it for you.
  • Website Testimonials – Website testimonials not only look great but give visitors to your website confidence in you and what you are offering. You can have a dedicated testimonials page, have various customer reviews dotted around the site in strategic places or a combination of both. Whichever way you have decided to showcase what your best customers have had to say, it’s always good to keep updating them with your latest ones. This not only keep your website fresh, but also shows regular visitors that you have new customers who are as happy as the older ones.

WE’D LOVE A REVIEW TOO

If you’ve had a truly awesome experience working with us then we’d love for you to share that with the world. If you’ve not, then please give us a shout and tell us why, we’d equally love to make it awesome!

3 – FRESHEN UP & KEEP THINGS UP TO DATE

Once your website has been live for a bit, you need to do things to keep it fresh and up to date. This is important for a number of reasons including keeping regular visitors interested and making sure that information on your website is current. Here are a few pointers to get you going:

  • Up to date information – If things change in your business you need to make sure that your website reflects this. We’ve all been on websites where the information is months or even years out of date, services aren’t relevant anymore or staff positions within the company have changed but never been updated. Make sure your website is a true reflection of the business TODAY!
  • Change images – Keep your site interesting and relevant by changing some of the images. At Christmas why not have some Christmas related imagery, or have fresh images which showcase your latest product or service. Whatever the reason you should make sure to be changing and updating images a couple of times a year as a minimum. For visitors this shows that your website is current and up to date and that you are on the ball as a company.
  • Change colours and layout – Once your website has been online for a year, it might be time to look at the layout a little bit or changing some of the colours to make them more current. We aren’t taking about a full website rebuild here, more tweak some of the accent colours, maybe change the layout of the pages but keep the content the same, add in some new services or products in a new style of page etc. Whatever it is, the same thing is important as in the other points here, keep it current, update it often, give your website some TLC.

4 – BUILD NEW CONTENT

Two things to think about here – Google sees your website all of the time & Google wants to show it’s users who are searching for xyz, the most relevant result to them.

Imagine a library with millions of books. Some have never been updated for years, some get updated maybe once every 2-3 years, others are having new pages added on an almost weekly basis, with current themes and topics. The books which are getting updated frequently with high quality new content also have a lot of people taking about them, showing their friends pages in them and generally using those books. The popular ones that are getting all of the attention are the ones that the head librarian is recommending to people if they ask for a specific book.

Now lets think about Google as the head librarian in a huge library of websites. Which websites do you think Google will recommend to it’s customers?

Now, how can you make sure that your website is one of the ones that Google is going to be recommending above others? How can you make sure that your site is more relevant than your competitors?

You need to make sure that you deliver fresh, new, relevant content, that your customers are going to like and want to interact with in a style which is true to your company but also resonates with your customers and potential customers. Always keep in mind that quality is much better than quantity and applies more than ever in SEO. Here’s a few ideas to get you going:

  • Blogging – You may of heard of blogging. Everyone is writing a blog and you may not see any value in it, but the facts and figures show that websites with active blogs drive 35-40% more traffic to them than those websites without blogs! We usually install a plugin called Yoast on the majority of websites and if you’re serious about blogging we’d recommend taking a look at their website and understanding a little of what it can do. In a nutshell it allows you to easily optimise individual pages and blog posts for particular keywords for SEO. If you can provide relevant, well written content in your blog posts, which is optimised for SEO using Yoast, then you will drive more traffic to your website. Each post can then be pushed out on your various social media channels to create interest and maximise impact. Quality and consistency is key in your blogging. Putting out 1 or 2 blogs every few months won’t cut it, to engage fully with your customers and potential customers you need to be updating on a regular basis.
  • New web pages – It’s good practice to get into the habit of updating not only your images, content and blog but also to add in new pages. If you offer new services or a range of new products, make a new page to show this. Google loves to see new pages and content being added to a site and rewards websites which do this well by ranking them above others who aren’t doing this.
  • Updating content – Update your existing content by making sure to keep on top of your products and services. If there is a new feature or an updated method in your industry and it’s relevant to your business, then update your content accordingly. As you may be realising, there is a common thread here – update often with good quality content and you’ll be rewarded.

5 – PROTECT YOUR WEBSITE

Over half of all internet traffic is now automated, and a lot of it is malicious – hackers, bots, spammers and malware. You need to make sure that your website is as safe as it can be for you and your visitors.

By regularly updating the software that runs your website, keeping tabs on any potential security breaches and by backing up on a weekly basis, you can make sure you minimise any potential risks and be ready to rectify an issues as soon as they happen and with as little impact as possible to you, your business and your customers.

We encourage ALL of our customers to make sure they have a read through our security guide as it’s a fact that more and more websites are getting hacked, it’s not just the big name companies which are targets anymore. Most hacks are now done more to prove a point that someone can bypass the security of a website or to show that they have found a ‘hole’ in the existing security of a plugin, but the effects can still be detrimental to businesses. Imagine someone changing your homepage message to something completely inappropriate or writing blog posts which looked like they were written by a member of your staff, which then got eMailed out or shared on social media, to all of your customers!

If your site isn’t kept up to date and secured, then it really is only a matter of time before someone does gain access to it. PLEASE spend 10 minutes and read through the guide we have put together.

For full details on completing these important tasks, take a look at our full website security guide here.

  • The Brewhouse, Dissington Hall, Dalton, Newcastle, NE18 0AD

WEB DESIGN & SEO SPECIALISTS

"Registered Provider for the North East Business Support Fund"

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