LeAnn Wilson McGuire Writing her Right Brain column

Right Brain

So you’ve got a shiny new website. Now what? You have to get the word out and show it off. There are tons of ways to draw visitors to your new site. We’ve selected five key components you need to consider for an effective site launch.

  1. PAID ADVERTISING

If your new site has a game-changing feature like e-commerce, it’s worth an investment to get this message in front of the right people. This should be treated like any other advertising campaign – your message is about the new feature (in this case, buying online). You and your agency should develop a media strategy, determining budget, medium and target audience based on the significance of the new website feature. It may be a full-blown, multichannel campaign or a simple email series. The creative should focus on the new feature and its benefits while reflecting the look of the new site.

  1. EMAIL

If your new website re-vamp didn’t include a pivotal new tool for users, you may not need to spend a lot of money on your site launch. Save your expensive print ads and paid e-blasts to advertise your product or service – especially if your budget is tight. Think about ROI. Those paid channels are valuable resources that should be used to promote things that make you money. To announce your new site, stick to “owned” media channels, like your email database. You don’t have to pay for access to these audiences, because they’re already yours.

Schedule an email or a series of emails that introduce your new website. The trick here is to make them care. Some might be curious enough to give the new site a look simply because it’s new. Most, however, will want to know how it will benefit them. List the features they should know about and why they should care. For example, maybe a restaurant’s new site saves users time by allowing them to check the wait time and make reservations online.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

Your social media following, like your email database, is a powerful, owned media channel. Social media is probably one of the best channels you have to communicate with your people – that’s your brand’s loyal followers, prospective customers, interested parties, employees and even competitors. While your social presence should be much more than just announcements and promotions (seriously, if it’s not, we need to talk), this should be one of the first places you go when you do have something exciting to reveal.

Your website is a big deal. Let it take over your social channels for a while. Update your cover photos and come up with a series of posts (yes, that means more than one) that introduce and link to your new site. Think screenshots, GIFs, or even video tutorials. Your social channels should be so covered in website links, words and visuals that no one who visits your page can miss it.

  1. LISTINGS

If your company is listed ANYWHERE, you need to check your links. Whether it’s just your Google My Business page, or you’re a venue with listings on every wedding site from The Knot to Offbeat Bride, you probably have links that are now outdated or even defective. If you’ve adopted a new URL this is especially important. Otherwise, you can double check your listings and look for ways to improve the links you’ve provided. For example, now that your new site has a whole page dedicated to weddings, you can edit those listings that linked to your homepage and now send them directly to the weddings page.

  1. PAY-PER-CLICK

If you already have a comprehensive pay-per-click strategy, our advice here will echo the above: Check your links and update them with new URLs or with more precise destinations. If your pay-per-click efforts are minimal – or even nonexistent – it’s time to kick it into gear. Now that you have a brand new, easy-to-navigate, beautiful website that your users will love, you have to drive them there. Your pay-per-click campaigns (Google Search, programmatic display and/or paid social media) can be one of the biggest drivers to your website and one of the most effective tools you have as a digital marketer.

Your new website is an invaluable tool – and a good excuse to create some buzz. So take advantage of the excitement and get in front of your customers, focusing on the benefits the new site gives them. Then, come up with a plan to increase your web traffic and let your new site work its magic.