When launching a new website, it's vital you generate excitement and buzz surrounding it, or else it'll likely to get lost "out there." Optimizing your site to engage new users can be exciting, but if you're unsure how to do so, it can be a little intimidating, too.
Here are 10 easier-than-expected steps to drive visitors to your site and help them have a great experience once they're there:
- Do your research. Research the top blogs in your field and develop relationships with the bloggers who are in the best position to help get your site noticed. A popular blogger who links to your site can do wonders for you and your business.
- Keep content current. Your content should look like its been updated within the week, even if you only change a few words or link to a recent informational post on a blog or content aggregator.
- Know SEO. Become intimately familiar with back links and search engine optimization (SEO), and make sure your site is indexed on Google. There's more to SEO than dropping keywords into your content and posting a press release that links to your URL several times. Consider taking a highly regarded SEO seminar or hiring an SEO professional.
- Be proactive. Consider using a company like Reputation.com to monitor and manage your online reputation doing so can improve your Google search results and help manage ratings and reviews. A good reputation management company will create and promote positive content about your business that will help drive new customers to your site.
- Show some spunk. Include a few items of personal interest to humanize the website creator.
- Don't go overboard. Delete gimmicks or gratuitous technology or distracting graphics that have no relevance to the website.
- Don't underestimate the value of a first impression. Do not promote a site that is not well-developed. Bad first impressions will affect later positioning in search engines.
- Add video to your site. StacksAndStacks.com found visitors were 144 percent more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video of it, and in December 2009, retailer Ice.com found that viewers who viewed video converted (went from visitors to buyers) at a 400 percent increase over those who didn't. As many as 183 million U.S. Internet users watched online video in October 2012, Forbes.com reported; of the 37 billion-plus pieces of video content they viewed, 11 billion were video ads.
- Be real and responsive. Use a real name of a real person at your company and current contact information. Don't force people interested in reaching out to you to fill in some anonymous form enable them to connect with you via phone, email, Facebook and Twitter, and make sure someone is assigned to respond. Responses should be prompt, helpful and engaging. If you must set up an auto-notification to acknowledge receipt of an inquiry, make sure there is personal follow-up.
- Keep navigation simple. Create intuitive and obvious navigation and enable multiple topical entry points (links). No visitor should have to look twice to find out more about you, your products and services or pricing.