Launching a new website is a significant business achievement. If you've done it right, your content is compelling, your call-to-actions are enticing, and your blog is buzzing... Now what?
As far as you're concerned, your new website is a well-oiled marketing machine, ready to compel visitors to buy your products or engage your services. So you leave things alone.
And nothing happens.
There's no flood of visitors. There are no compliments on the super-cool design you paid a lot of money to develop. And people are still just calling you instead of using your online forms.
Unfortunately this is a familiar scenario for many businesses.
Putting a new website up is like listing your business in the yellowpages. It won't matter how big your typeface is if you're under the wrong category--nobody is going to be able to find you. What you need to do is put your business in context.
It's about Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Effective search engine marketing seeks to establish a relationship between your business and the keywords that describe it. In doing so, you give search engines the proper roadmap for indexing content on your site.
You also need to pay attention to the traffic you're driving to the site. For example, you probably wouldn't advertise men's golf polos in a fashion magazine targeted at women. Similarly, giving little to no thought about what types of searches your audience is performing may result in the wrong people coming to the wrong pages of your site.
As a first step, good search engine marketers will examine your website to ensure your content is consistent with the best practices for page relevance in search. In other words, is your page really saying what you think it's saying to search engines? There are 5 primary factors to consider when doing this:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Keyword density
For more information about each of these factors and how to implement them effectively, check out this post about these important SEO factors by our rockstar copywriter, Jack Armstrong.
Building Silos of Information
The next big step is to make sure your external references (aka links and citations) are enticing enough to draw visitors to your website. External references like Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local act as silos of information for your business. In these areas, you can at least list your business name, physical address, and phone number, but often you can also upload a logo, pictures, store hours, and even encourage customers to give you a review.
Each of these references has different values to the relevance and ranking of your site, but identifying the important ones and claiming them as soon as your new website is online will be important to its success. Google+ Local is probably one of the most important, and we've even written some general guidelines on how to optimize your Google Places listing.
Once you have these silos established, don't forget to encourage your customers to write you a review whenever possible (on Google or Yelp, for example). Positive reviews help build your credibility in the eyes of search engines and customers. And if you ever get a bad review, be sure to respond to it.
Search engine marketing is not an exact science and the formula will be different for each business. But following these well-established guidelines will help to contextualize your business in an increasingly digital world.
If you're not sure of what your next steps should be, contact Avelient. Our search engine experts can help establish a plan for your website and put it in the proper place for increased visibility in search for customers and prospects.