What To Do When Your New Website Goes Live - Season 3, Episode 6 Of The Digital Prosperity Podcast
Launching a new website is often a painful process. It can often take longer than you expect and anticipate and once you have finally pushed the button and put the brand new shiny website live, it’s quite exciting and you want to shout and tell the world about it. But there are some really important steps to think about when the website goes live in terms of ensuring a good continuity, making sure you’re well set up and also looking beyond the website to how you get the most out of the investment of time and money that you’ve made.
Search Engine Optimisation
So let’s start with search engine optimisation. One of the things that can happen when you move from an old website onto a new website is some of the page URLs can change. So where you might have had yourdomain.com/aboutus, your new website could be “/about-us” as the page address.
So you might have lots of subtle changes in the page URLs and that can be extremely confusing to the search engines. It can mean that Google might believe that the “about us” page that you used to have is now gone and the “about-us” page is a brand new page when actually it’s the same page. It’s a continuation.
The other problem with changing the URLs is that if there is somewhere – someone has put a link to a specific page on your website, if that link changes, if the URL changes, then that link is now broken. Therefore you lose any of the SEO value from that link because your website is boosted in the search engines by having other websites link to you. If those links are broken, you lose the value that you’ve got from those links and it also means if anyone clicks on the link, they’re going to go to a broken page that doesn’t work. So it’s a poor user experience.
So one important thing to talk to your website company about is, “Are they doing 301 redirects to update all of the old URLs to the new URLs?” Which will minimise any disruption in the Google search rankings and it also means that any links are still maintained and people won’t get broken links and they will always end up on the right pages.
If your previous website had any SEO work done on it (people had been working on meta titles, meta descriptions, page headlines, etc.) you will want to check with your website design company that work is actually being copied over or carried over onto the new site. One of the things that I see quite often is people have a new website and their old website was quite high up in Google and they invest in a new website and just assume that it will stay there and the website actually drops off when it goes live.
You need to be checking that any search engine optimisation work has been transferred over.
Google Analytics & PPC
From an updating perspective, you want to make sure that you’ve got access to the website. One of the biggest reasons for people changing a website is because it gets out-of-date and they can’t update it any longer.
So it’s important that your new website is on a content management system that gives you access to it and allows you to be able to edit, manage, change and update it and you want to make sure that you’ve got access to it as early as possible and check that you can do everything that you might want to do with the website for yourself and are shown how to do it and have the access to do it and have the resources and the training and the backup to do it.
From a branding perspective, the new website might be using new images, new colour schemes, new messages and it might be relevant to look through all of your other marketing materials, the business cards, your advertising, your brochures and revamp them all, so that they tie in and fit with the new website. It’s really important that all of your marketing looks and feels consistent, creates a sense of permanence and gives people confidence in your business and in your brand.
When you’re launching a new website is the perfect time to review all of your marketing, not just the website itself.
Announce The New Website
From a “singing and dancing about the new website” perspective, you want to look to social media to announce the new website on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, any other platforms that you’re using. Consider email as well if you have a database of customers and prospects. Highlight any new features that they can use or new pages that they might want to look at, perhaps a new blog or a new “resources” section.
Let People Know About It!
Add the new website perhaps to your email footers. So as you’re sending internal, external emails to clients, customers, make sure there’s a link to the new website. You might want to have a little note in the footer that says, “Check out our new website,” or something similar.
Now finally – and I guess this is the nub of it all really, a website is not a marketing strategy in itself. Your website is just a tool. It’s just a single piece of the puzzle and revamping the website doesn’t transform your business’s marketing. You need to have a whole marketing system around it.
So as a small business, just building a website and then leaving it and expecting the new website to produce results for you, just because you’ve redesigned it, is no different than reprinting a load of brochures and thinking they’re going to give you results, if you just leave them sitting in the cupboard. You need to have a full system for marketing around the website.
At JDR Group, that’s what we do. We run search engine optimisation marketing programs, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, display advertising and more traditional outbound campaigns. We work with sales CRM systems to track leads all the way through. So we do all those individual things, but we’ve put together an entire system to use all of those different elements together in an effective way to grow your business consistently, reliably and predictably and in a very measurable way.
You can find out more at our website, www.jdrgroup.co.uk or by downloading our free guide on how to get clients and customers coming to you and it describes that system and how it works and how you can implement it in your business.