Launching a new website is always exciting, whether you’re using it as the launch point for a new business or you’re simply revitalizing a business that already exists. But it can also be stressful. Even with an amazingly polished, functional, beautiful, and informative website, the site will not be able to generate traffic entirely on its own. You’ll need to support the initial generation of traffic to your site no matter what. But what are the best ways to do this?
Announce the Site
First, you’ll want to formally announce the launch of the site, which will immediately spark an incoming stream of interested visitors learning about it for the first time. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Submit a press release. A press release is a short, written article that explains some newsworthy event; in this case, you’ll be explaining that you’ve launched the site (as well as why you launched it and how people can benefit from it). You’ll submit it to various news sites, who will accept it so long as it conforms with their standards. If you include a link, you’ll almost certainly get free traffic from the announcement.
- Send an announcement email. If you have a reliable email list, you can also send an email notifying people of the new site. It doesn’t have to be long or complex, so long as it’s targeted to potentially interested demographics.
- Broadcast on social media. Announce the new site on all your social media channels, since for the most part, this is a free marketing opportunity. If you don’t yet have social channels set up, now’s the time to get started.
- Publish a video. It’s also a good idea to launch with a video on YouTube or a similar platform. A one- or two-minute explainer video, explaining your business model and the perks of your new site, can be a tremendous traffic generator.
Practice Content Marketing and SEO
Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are two tightly interrelated inbound marketing strategies. With content marketing, you’ll develop well-written content on your site, which will function both as a way to attract visitors and as a way to encourage better user behavior (like conversions). With SEO, you’ll use a series of tactics to increase your website’s likelihood of ranking in search engines.
SEO has both onsite and offsite components. Onsite, you’ll need to ensure your site is technically functional and well-optimized for both bots and users. You’ll also need to provide plenty of well-written content—hence the synergy with content marketing. Offsite, you’ll need to build links pointing back to your site to build domain authority, which increases your ranking potential.
The only problem with SEO and content marketing is that these are long-term strategies. You won’t generate traffic immediately, but over time, these are two of the marketing strategies with the highest return on investment (ROI).
Social Media Marketing
Another good complement to SEO and content marketing is social media marketing. The idea here is to popularize your content through social channels, where you’ll have access to a practically unlimited audience. Social marketing is also free. Again, the problem is the time required to make the strategy work; ideally, you’ll build up an audience of followers (which takes time); the bigger your following is and the more engaged your followers are, the more valuable each of your posts will become. It often takes months, if not years, to get to this point.
Email marketing remains one of the highest-ROI marketing strategies because it doesn’t take much time or cost much money to execute. Start collecting email addresses from visitors, social followers, and people you know fit your target demographics, then make an effort to email them something valuable (like a piece of content or discount) at least once a week.
Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
Many of the strategies on this list are highly effective, but hindered because they take some time to develop. The perfect complement is PPC advertising, wherein you’ll pay for each click generated by your ads on platforms like Google and Facebook. It’s a lower-ROI strategy than, say, content marketing or SEO, but it starts working immediately. Together with more long-term plays, it could be exactly what you need to make your website successful.
Every marketing and advertising strategy has strengths and weaknesses, so there isn’t a surefire bet to guarantee your new site’s success. Instead, you’ll need to carefully balance these different strategies, and experiment to see what works best for your brand. If you can generate a bit of initial momentum and also pour effort into your long-term success, you should be able to support your site for years—assuming its core content is good enough to retain visitors.