Website launch tips
Congratulations! You’ve got a brand new website for your business and you are ready to show it off to new potential customers. Just having a website online however doesn’t necessarily mean that your site is going to be front and centre for potential customers, but with these new website launch tips you can give your website the best chance of being found online and starting to work for your business.
It’s important to keep in mind that a brand new website can take some time to gain traction and start showing up in well in search engine results. There are lots of different factors that determine search engine rankings, and many of these happen outside your website, and come from building trust and authority.
Set your Google Business Listing
A Google Business Listings is one of the best opportunities to increase your website visibility online. It makes your business more prominently show in search results, and also gets your business listed in Google Maps. It’s completely free, quick and easy to setup, and comes with some useful features that will help you connect to customers online.
Another big advantage of using Google Business Listings is that you can control the key business information customers can find online, such as contact information, opening hours and features. If you don’t own the listing, Google can pull this in from third parties or customer suggestions which isn’t ideal.
How to setup
- Go to the Google Business Listings website here.
- Click the manage now or signup button and sign in with a Google account (if you don’t have one you can create one by clicking ‘Create account’.
- Next you will be able to search for an existing business profile online, so look and see if your business already has an existing profile.
- If your business is found, you can claim your listing.
- If your business isn’t found, you will be prompted to create your business profile by adding in key details such as address, phone, website and business category, as well as information about your products and services. Provide as much accurate and relevant information as possible.
- You will then be prompted to verify your business to ensure that you are an official representative for the business. Verification methods can either be a phone call or a postcard with a code which is sent to your business address.
- Once verified, your Google Business Listing is visible online.
Other important info
- Your Google Business Listing isn’t just a static profile! You can post updates, respond to reviews, add FAQS, or even enable bookings or messaging with customers.
- Reviews can really help your business stand out from the competition. Think about how you can get positive reviews from existing or new customers. Use the option ‘Ask for reviews’ to get a unique review link you can give to customers.
- Your listing details can change overtime with suggestions from the public, or third-parties. It’s recommended to regularly check and review your business profile.
- Google have heaps of great support articles and resources about Google Business Listings you can find online here.
Update social profiles & directory listings
If you have an existing business, chances are you are already using social media and have some online directory listings online. If your business is brand new, you could be in the process of setting these up. Either way, it’s important to update any social profiles or directory listings for your business with your new website URL.
Most social platforms have a website field, or allow you to add text with your website URL. On the directory side, there are a huge amount of online business directories that allow you to list your business and website for free. It’s definitely worth claiming and updating any existing listings out there with your website URL. If you don’t have an existing listing, then it’s worth setting up listings at some of these sources. You’ll find hundreds of directories online, so it’s best to just setup listings for the larger, more reputable sites , as well as any industry specific sources.
How to update social media profiles
Go to any of the platforms you manage, and update your business profile with your website URL. Exactly how and where you can update this will vary by platform. If you’re having trouble finding how or where to update, Google or the platforms help / support information can usually point you in the right direction.
Social media accounts to consider
- Twitter / X
How to find or update business directory listings
If you’re already managing a listing for any of these or other sources, simply head to the platform and update your business profile details with your website URL.
If you want to create a new listing, these platforms should all have a signup / list your business link where you can add in your business details. Keep in mind that it’s best to sign up to the more established and legitimate directories, and only the ones which are relevant for your business.
Popular online directories
- Yellow Pages
- Local Search
- Local business directories
- Industry specific directories
Other important info
- If you’re setting up a new social profile, make sure it’s one your business is going to be active and responsive on. There isn’t much point in setting up a Instagram profile if you’re not going to be active on the platform.
- Use the same exact URL on all platforms wherever possible.
- Some platforms like Facebook let you add an action button. If getting people to your website is your main goal, you can use this option for a prominent link to your website. More info here
- If you are setting up a new directory page for your business be aware that this can often enable customers to review, leave messages or photos on your profile. As with any other online listing, it’s important to regularly monitor, update and respond.
- If your business has an existing history, chances are there are already online business directory listings out on the web. Use Google to search for your business name to find, claim and update these listings.
Regularly promote your website
It’s important to make your website one of the key bits of contact information that is going out to customers. Your website is your businesses home online, so it’s vital to include in any branded communication such as your email signatures, signage, business cards, letterheads.
If you’ve got any external marketing running, it’s also a great opportunity to always highlight your website wherever possible – it’s there 24/7 to tell potential customers about your business and prompt them to enquire online.
How to setup
- Update your email signature to include your website URL.
- Update any relevant branded communication to include the website URL. Think printed materials like business cards, letterheads, brochures, signage, with compliments slips, invoices & receipts.
- Update any digital and traditional marketing channels to use and feature your website URL. Examples could be:
- TV ads
- Radio ads
- Outdoor ads (billboards, posters, vehicle wraps)
- Print ads (magazine, newspaper, catalogues)
- Window display & signs
- Social media ads
- Email marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Other important info
- Focus on branded messages that regularly go out to customers first, these are the easy wins that you can update once and ensure you’re continuously promoting your website.
- Setup any regular communications or marketing to prominently feature your website. Your website is the home for your business online, so highlighting it and telling people why they should visit should be a key part of your strategy (eg see examples of work, learn more about services or get a free online quote).
- For printed materials it might not always be practical to replace existing materials to include your website, but prioritise adding it next time you have to update artwork.
Focus on building links from other websites
Google and other search engines use links from other websites (backlinks) as a vote of trust. While there are hundreds of different factors that determine where you site shows up in search engine results, these backlinks from other sites are one of the most biggest factors, so it’s important to think about how you can build links from other relevant websites.
Building backlinks takes time and effort, so this is something that you should consider and integrate with your overall marketing strategy.
How to setup
Links you can add yourself
- Consider what online sources are available that allow you to add a link to your website. These could any of the following:
- Social media accounts
- Business directories
- Forums & online communities
- These links aren’t likely to make a huge impact with Google and other search engines, but ca still be a good starting point for building some quick and easy links from other websites.
- Don’t setup new social media profiles purely so you can include a link, if you’re not going to be active on the platform then it’s better to not have a profile.
- There are lots of low quality business directories. Prioritise directories that are:
- Australian specific
- Industry specific
- Good quality & well designed
- Free or low cost
- For business listings, it’s best if you set these up yourself. Many online directories will require verification from the business owner, but it’s also preferred so you have control and access to the listings for any future updates.
- Make sure your business name, address, phone and other key contact details are listed exactly the same on all sources.
- Some ideas to get you started:
- Industry specific examples:
Links you can ask for
- You can reach out to owners of existing websites and ask them to link back to your website. Most website owners aren’t going to just do this without a good reason, so it’s important to give them a genuinely good reason that will help their website and audience.
- This could be:
- You’ve got an existing relationship (business affiliation, sponsorship, involved in an event together)
- You’ve got great content or a resource on your website that is relevant to their audience
- You can provide content or expertise for their website, which can include a link back to your site
- They have mentioned your business online, but not included a link
- This method takes a lot of time and effort, and can have a low success rate. Try for any easy wins first, and then focus on creating good quality content, and then promoting that content to relevant websites and sources to encourage links from other websites.
Organic link building
- By creating good quality content, other users and websites can find your content and link to it organically, without you needing to prompt them.
- This is one of the best methods of building links, but it is important to create great quality content or resources that people will naturally want to link to and promote.
- Some ideas of what this could look like:
- Blog articles or guides to something specific to your business, industry, products or services. Think about what the top questions are that people could be searching for online, and your content would be useful.
- Infographics that are interesting and shareable.
- Data, research on insights you have created and own
- Important news or updates that are highly topical
Buying links from other websites
- There are many services where you can simply buy links from other websites online.
- This isn’t best practice and not recommended. Google classifies this as link spam which is attempting to manipulate search results. This could easily lead to your website being penalised in search results.
- The quality of these services can vary wildly. Steer clear of any services which make big promises and large number of low-quality links, they are more likely to be problematic long term.
- Some websites are focused more on ‘blogger outreach’, but these can still be questionable and it’s much better to focus on best practices and long term strategy of naturally building links over time.
Other important info
- Link building is a huge topic, which is constantly changing and evolving. There is lots of information online, here are a few good articles to get started:
- Focus on best practices and good quality content, and be patient as it will take time to see improvements and get traction in building links.