So you've carefully crafted an optimized website redesign and you're ready to launch. You've heeded the message that your website is the most important marketing and sales asset in your business's playbook; that 81% of consumers are going to your website before they make a purchase; that over 60% of the buyer's journey takes place on your website without a sales rep; that consumers are looking for authentic, valuable content on a business's website that can be easily and entertainingly consumed. Basically, you've made the most important investment you'll make this year. You've redesigned your website based on valuable data, competitive research and customer feedback.
But what happens when you launch your site and you aren't getting any more traffic? What happens when you launch your site and user engagement actually decreases?
Before you hit launch on your beautiful new site, you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE a promotion plan and a data collection/optimization plan in place. If you've been following the engine-building process known as Growth Driven Design (GDD), then you know this is one of the last steps towards building, not only a better website, but a website optimized for continuous improvement.
We've got you covered. In this post we'll cover the essentials you'll need to implement a traffic surging promotion plan as well as the data you'll need to collect to make quick work of making minor improvements to your new site to keep it fully optimized. Just make sure you've run all of the tests to make sure it can handle the traffic!
How to Flood Your Site With Traffic
Step 1: Promote the heck out of your new site
Let's face it. When you launch your site you want as many people to see it as you can get there. It's not just because you want to show it off to the world, but also because your new site is optimized to get more conversions, and the more people you can get there sooner, the more data you have to validate the iterations you made when you redesigned it. So promotion is key. How else are your customers and your target audience going to know that you just one-upped your competition unless you tell them to see it for themselves. Here are 8 ways to promote the heck out of your site and get traffic fast. Set these up before and during the first month of your redesign launch to get the most use out of the variable marketing spread.
You probably already have customers, and have been collecting contacts through your CRM to send new offers, deals and delight your evangelists. If you're new to email marketing, the idea is that you grow a contact list through free offers, forms on landing pages, and referrals. With this list, you segment your audience into distinct buyer personas that match your ideal buyers and, through email, send them valuable content to keep them engaged with your business.
This is the creme de la creme of promotional content to push towards your segmented audiences. Deliver a newsletter, an invitation, and even better, a special offer to these contacts, urging them to visit your updated website. Give them the space to write reviews, comments or suggestions. Use this opportunity to start a dialogue with your customers and contacts, giving them stake and buy-in in your business's growth.
There are 1 billon people on Facebook and Twitter separately. And that number isn't going anywhere. Facebook's business feature allows you to not only promote your brand to your audience, but to buy ads that reach more people, giving you higher lead generation and conversions. When it comes to promoting your new sight, post updates, get your audience excited, give your follower's the same buy-in that I mentioned above. Let them voice their opinion and test out your new sight. There's no better test for your sight than someone outside of your brand.
*As a bonus, consider buying ad space on social media platforms that aren't as popular as Facebook or Twitter. Ads on sites like Pinterest or Tumblr will give you a narrower reach, but will cost you less ad spend and give you the potential to reach a more niche audience.
60% of people that enter your website do so through a search engine. So if your SEO strategy isn't competitive and you're not making it to the top of Google searches relevant to your products and solutions, then you're missing out on more than half of your traffic opportunity. I know this is on the backside of promotion, but SEO is a critical part of your launch strategy. You should have keywords, headings that match the intent of your content, and internal as well as external links throughout your sites main pages, blogs and your social platform. Use tools like Google Adwords, Keywords Everywhere and customer surveys to better understand what people are searching for around your solution and tap into networks beyond your contact lists.
Pay-Per-Click and Retargeting Ads
PPC ads will get you to the top of a Google Search through a bidding system. Using tools like Google Adwords you can find that balance between traffic and cost to find the right long-tail keyword to plug in for your brand. Even if the keyword is only reaching 50 people per month, if it's a few cents per click, you are increasing your chance of engagement, click-through-rate and ultimately time on your website for far less expensive than any other strategy will cost you with time and labor.
Retargeted ads are a genius way to re-engage visitors that abandoned shopping carts, leaked through your sales funnel or even just glanced at your website. The "creepy factor" of following someone around the internet has been debunked. In fact, the percentage of conversions actually increase the more times someone sees your ad on other websites. Use retargeted ads with your new website and promote the update to get Internet users excited about your growth.
*For a bonus paid ad, try creating a video experience ad and pushing it on Youtube. Youtube ads have replaced traditional tv ads because they allow direct access to the sponsored products through CTAs and clickable banners. In your ad, give the billions of Youtube video watchers a reason to visit your site and make sure that your new branding/advertisement reflects the new design of your website.
Guest Posting and Forum Posting
Start writing blog posts for other sites and posting answers on user-generated forums. Generating valuable content for industry leading websites is a great way to hijack visitors and redirect them towards your website. When you're writing guest blogs don't go heavy on referencing your brand or linking back to supporting content on your site, instead, play it genuine. Write something that people will want to read about, something that solves visitors' problems and in your author bio include your business name and a link to your website. This works for SEO, brand awareness and for industry authority.
*Google Local Business
If your business gets a lot of local business, make sure that you register your website with Google's Local Business. Local Business will highlight your website first in Google when someone searches for a solution related to yours. It also will highlight features of your website, so your redesign is at the forefront.
Step 2: Get All The Data and Use It
As traffic starts to flow into your new website, you should be paying close attention to metrics like bounce rate, traffic sources, conversion rates, userflow and the total of traffic you receive in a week.
If you're a B2B company with a team of 11-25, you should be close to the average of 269 visitors per week. If you're a B2C company of about the same size, you're looking at 685 visitors per week.
If you're not reaching these numbers, don't worry. It just means that you need to go back to the promotion phase and really think through what strategies are working and which aren't. Using the data tools below you can discover where your traffic is coming from, how long they stay on your site, and which keywords are maximizing value in your SEO strategy. All of which will help you increase your promotional strategy and improve your website even further.
Metrics and Tests
When it comes to the metrics that matter for your site, there are a few tools worth your while that ca get you optimized and growing with every iteration. Here are a few:
Before you move into Analytics tools (you know that's where we're headed), first, have you connected your new website to the Google Search Console? If not, do that right now. Google Search Console is your keyword performance and Google crawl partner in SEO. On any given day Google will search and find updated content on the Internet and will crawl the page with algorithms analyzing keywords, context, design optimization, authority and outbound links all to rank the page for SEO search superiority. But Google may not have crawled your new site yet if you haven't connected it, thereby delaying the improvements to your SEO strategy. Link your web pages in the Search Console and prompt Google to crawl your site pronto.
Heatmaps show you where visitors spend most of their time hovering on your website, and conversely where your content isn't getting any interactions. That could mean anything from showing you that your dashboard is missing an element all the way to the effectiveness of the color and position of your CTAs. Using tools like HotJar you can get access to these valuable insights, insights that sometimes would be unexplainable in surveys and written feedback.
With tools like Optimizely you can create, control and run A/B tests on your website. From image size, CTA color, Title Content, or Hero Banner video length, you can create variable tests that run on percentages of your visitors to see what yields higher click-through rates and conversions.
Userflow studies your visitors' journey around your website to identify funnel leaks and broken content. With your goals in mind, studying Google Analytics UserFlow reports can allow you to discover the items on your website that are slowing you down and over performing to give you a better idea of what works and what doesn't. That means studying how long a visitor stays on a page, what personas react to which content best, and where you have the highest bounce rate.
If you have a high bounce rate here are some tips to improve your page performance:
- Make you content immediately enticing and easily consumable.
- Reduce the loading time of your site (80% of people leave if a site doesn't load in under 3 seconds). If you are having a problem with load time, check and optimize your images as they are most always the culprit.
- Make your landing pages more visually appealing.
- Crate an exit-intent popup window. These will target visitors that are about to abandon your site and will prompt a pop-up that offers content from campaigns targeted at the visitors' identified persona.
Google Analytics is the most powerful tool out there. With it you can break down each and every piece of your website, customize dashboards and tests and fully optimize every nominal option you have. That being said, with great power comes great complexity. If you want to grow your greatest asset for you business (your website), then you need to start familiarizing yourself with Google Analytics (the proficient just call it GA). It can be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it and customize your dashboards you will start understanding just how far your website can grow. If you want to get start with "GA" we offer a short, free course on how to use it and what tools within it you can start using right away, you can find that below.