Websites are a marathon, not a sprint

20.09.21 | Tagged as: Insight

If you’ve just got yourself a brand new shiny website, congratulations.

Having a website is a great investment for your business.

It’s well worth remembering that this is just the first step, a hugely significant one nonetheless, but the journey’s only just begun.

We get a lot of calls from businesses who can’t understand why their website isn’t generating them any money.

The primary reason for this is because having launched their site, it then remains untouched.

Unfortunately this approach just won’t work.

Launching your website is only the first step

Before you launched your website, you were able to generate business via:

  • Word of mouth.
  • Marketing materials, e.g. directory listings, business cards, flyers.

Once you’ve launched your website, the above methods are even more effective.

For instance, you can now add your web address to your flyers and people can take a look at your website, which if it’s been designed and developed correctly will build trust with your audience, making it more likely to convert them into a loyal, paying customer.

However, the ultimate goal of a website is to generate organic / free traffic.

How do we do this?

Generating free traffic

If this is your very first website, then you will need to wait for Google to crawl and index your site.

Essentially Google does the following:

  • Crawls the internet and at some point discovers your website.
  • Understands what it is that your business does and then indexes your most relevant content.
  • Lists you as a result under the appropriate search terms that your audience will be searching for in Google.

For example, if you’re a plumber in Reading, then you’ll want ‘plumber in Reading’ scattered throughout your content.

You may also want to try and capture some traffic for ‘plumber in Berkshire’.

Good news / bad news

Now, the good news is that Google will index you fairly quickly.

The bad news is that you’re going to be a long way down the rankings.

So far down in fact, that initially you will generate no free traffic to your website.

That aside, it is exciting to see your business listed on Google.

And, if you search for your business name, you should appear top of the list.

Competition is fierce

Getting your site indexed is a good start, however, the competition for a phrase like ‘Plumber in Reading’ will be fierce.

Therefore, it will be a good idea to get as niche as possible.

So it will be a good idea to create some additional content and try and capture some traffic for say ‘wetroom specialists in Reading, Berkshire’.

This search phrase is longer, more niche and will likely have less competition.

Boost your rankings

In order to climb the rankings, you’ll want to have an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy in place.

This will include:

  • Capturing the lay of the land as it is today. It’s important to be able to have a benchmark to measure your efforts against.
  • Setting expectations as to what you would like to achieve.
  • Laying out a plan as to how you will achieve this.
  • Executing the plan.
  • Monitoring the plan and it’s success.
  • Feeding this information back into your ongoing efforts.

You’ll want to decide whether you are going to manage this in-house or whether you are going to hire a third-party to do this for you.

Either way, you’re going to need to monitor your ROI (Return On Investment).

The time or money you put in needs to be reflected in your results.

If it isn’t benefitting you, then it’s time to stop and reassess.

Fresh Content

Creating new content is an essential part of any SEO strategy.

Your content needs to be relevant, informative and industry specific, and before you publish anything, ask yourself would you read what you about to publish?

Without fresh content it will be impossible to climb the Google rankings.

Now if you’re doing this in-house, remember that it requires a sustained effort, so a good strategy is to set aside a couple of hours at the same time each week.

It also helps to share the content creation out if there is more than one of you in the business.

Is it worth investing in some advertising?

If you have a budget for marketing and can’t / don’t want to wait for the free traffic to start rolling in, then you may consided investing in some Google Ads.

Just to be completely transparent, Google isn’t the only place where you can place ads.

There’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter etc

However Google is undoubtedly a good place to start.

Essentially you set up ads to capture traffic that is of interest to your business and these are displayed in a prominent position in Google.

Everytime someone clicks on one of these ads, then a certain amount of your budget is used.

The more competitive the search term for the ad, the more expensive each click is.

Beware the website refresh

At some point, your shiny new website becomes old.

It will need to be refreshed in terms of how it looks and perhaps needs some new functionality, however your data is still very valuable.

You’ll want to keep all of it.

If you are going to get rid of some less relevant content then ensure you redirect those urls / addresses to pages that actually exist.

People may have it bookmarked and Google will want to know what’s happened to that content when it next crawls your site.

Enjoy the marathon, and know very few will stay the course

In summary, launching your website is a vital and exciting day for your business.

Don’t let your initial enthusiasm wane when your business isn’t ranking highly in Google searches.

With some time and effort your website will start generating free traffic for you.

It’s not particularly complicated, but it does require discipline.

And remember, you always have the option of paying for some advertising in the interim.

As you see your rankings rise, you will receive more enquiries or sell more products, and that is the ultimate goal of a website.

If you would like us to design and develop a stunning website for you and then manage your SEO strategy, then we’d be delighted to help.

Please give us a call on 0118 957 6290 or fill in the form below.

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