You Have a New Website, Now What?
Many business owners believe that a website is a one-off project, something that you give to a techie or a web designer to build. Then once it is launched, that is it you’re done! But this could not be further away from reality. Launching a new website is just the start of your digital marketing journey.
If you have used a professional to build your website, they would have some conversion tactics built-in, like a call to action (CTAs) and optimizing your pages for search engines.
This is the bare minimum though; As a business owner, you should build on this and have a strategy that keeps your website alive. A website is as good as an umbrella, it’s only good when you use it.
There are two main elements that you need here, to keep your website alive:
No.1: The Site’s Physical Health:
This means, security configuration, maintenance, updates, upgrades, active monitoring, and backups.
You always need a professional in your corner, to take care of your website’s health on an ongoing basis. Think of it as a preventive maintenance strategy that keeps your website performing at its best and gives you peace of mind.
Waiting for a crisis to strike, a hack, or malware infection isn’t the best strategy–especially for a business website. But sadly, many people look at professional maintenance plans solely as a cost they can avoid. In reality, a website care plan offers great protection for your business investment and reputation, it is like insurance.
Having your website down for unresolved technical issues or having it hacked has far-reaching consequences beyond the few dollars you invest in a monthly or annual professional maintenance plan.
Why should I invest in a professional website care plan if I’m using WordPress and it already has automatic updates, can’t I just do it myself?
If you are that person who can frequently change their own car’s oil and filter then by all means you can do the same thing with your website, but the truth is that most of us go to a professional to get the car serviced properly, website maintenance is the same.
Automatic updates aren’t always a good idea because you’re not only updating WordPress’s framework you also have your theme, as well as every single plugin that your website uses, this is part of its infrastructure and framework–not to mention updates to the programming language (PHP). The theme and plugins are made by different developers who do not test their products together in an identical environment like yours.
There are many chances where plugins conflict with each other or with a certain version/update of the theme that you are using. I have seen many botched auto-updates that brought a website down and left it exposed, visitors got a message that WordPress has an error. I do not have to tell you what something like that will do to your business’s reputation and the level of trust and authority that you’re trying to build with your audience.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have got the business owner who doesn’t have professional maintenance and doesn’t do any updates whatsoever automatically or else!
Over time technology moves forward, PHP, WordPress as well as your theme and plug-in developers, would have discovered problems or even security threats in their old code, the good ones issue a patch in the form of an update the moment the problem comes to their attention.
Leaving that old code on your website without that latest update opens your website to bad actors who can easily exploit this weakness and do harm! Either by involving your website in attacks against others, defacing it completely, posting propaganda, or holding it for ransom until you pay them!
Having a professional maintenance plan ensures that your website and business reputation are well protected and even in case of an unforeseen disaster, you still have your daily backups and a professional helping you to restore your website to its optimum condition, within n a few hours rather than days or weeks.
Now that we have covered the website health part, we can move to item number two:
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No.2: Performance and Growth
Before I go further, let me tell you about that big chunk of inquiries that our company receives, they have a common question:
Do you do SEO?
And my answer is usually yes and no!
If you, the business owner, are thinking that you will pay any third party a monthly retainer so that they would push your website’s ranking with Google up, without your involvement. This may not lead to the ROI or results that your business is looking for.
You need to have a better understanding of this process and what needs to be done to improve your site’s ranking and why you should be the one to lead that activity.
The best strategy here, is to start with, is organic SEO, based on the website’s activity that Google and other search engines will notice.
I know that this may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Showing that a website is not stale is easily achievable if you write and post on it first (not on social media) then share everywhere else, as you please. You don’t have to write long articles like this one.
Just share interesting stuff from your industry, something that you feel good about, and believe that sharing it with your readers/website visitors is beneficial to them.
Let us say you are an HVAC professional. And you have competition in the same–or a nearby city or town. Both you and your competitor have great-looking websites that have been professionally built. One of you did not touch their website after launching it.
The other one is sharing good tips almost weekly, things like: “how to choose the right furnace for your space”,” when is it the time to top up your air conditioning cooler”, “What are the benefits of periodic cleaning of your air duct system” etc.
Who would you think Google would love more?
And who do you think will have their website visitors more engaged, wanting to come back for the next trip? Or the next time they need an HVAC-related consult or service?
I will let you in on a little secret here: I’m not typing this article; I’m dictating my phone! I find it easier to share my ideas this way and it makes me avoid writer’s block, every time I think that writing is not for me!
If you can talk about your business, how you do stuff and what makes you special, if you have education tips for your community and prospective customers, then, you need to share them with the world, through your website! This is the best organic growth that you can do for your business.
The website that’s alive always wins.
Should we advertise on Google or social media or not?
If you’ve done your homework as mentioned above, and you believe your website is ready to receive that traffic and will convert it, then go on and do it!
If you haven’t completed what I mentioned here above, and your website isn’t yet ready to receive and convert such traffic it will be like inviting people for dinner when you have no chairs or food for them!
Wishing you and your business all the best.