Once your new website is live, there are steps you will need to take to help it stay working and get found by people searching for your products or services.

It’s important to understand that a new, (or updated) website won’t get listed on Google overnight, or at all,  just because its live. You need to work at promoting your website to help search engines to find it, and list it. This is called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short.

Complete the stages below to give your website the best chance of being found online as soon as possible;

Content

When someone searches Google for a product or service, Google will scan all listed sites to see which include the search terms within the text on any page, with the home page being the most important. Therefore, its important you check that your website includes any keywords you hope to be found for. Ideally, any important keywords relating to the services or products you offer should be included on the home page and then a dedicated sub-page within your website, (linked to from at least the home page).

Submit your business to Google

Submit your website to Google by clicking here . Once verified, this will provide your business with a local map result, contact details and the facility for your customers to leave reviews, which will encourage more customers to visit your website.

Social media

Social media has become an essential tool for promoting a business and a website. Create social media pages for your business on websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram . Remember to include a link to your website and keywords in your business description. Update your accounts frequently with interesting posts, offers and links to encourage others to like, follow and share your posts.

Get listed on other websites and directories

Google will consider how many other genuine and established websites or directories link to yours when ranking it in search results. Therefore, to stand a good chance of appearing in search results, you should work on getting your website listed on as many good quality websites and directories as possible.

These may be local free business or website directories such as Poole Business Finder or nationwide directories such as Yell.com . Just be cautious not to fall for any sales calls or emails tempting you to pay for services that you won’t actually need. Often, a simple free entry will do just as much good for your own website.

Also ensure your business and website is listed on any organisations you are a member of, including Trusted Trader, Checkatrade and other membership based groups.

The more places online that refer to your website, the better.

Printed media and signage

Include your website address on your signage, stationary and any other printed media. Getting people to go directly to your website by typing in your domain name can also be a big boost for improving your website results on Google.

Update

Google knows if a website hasn’t been updated in a while, and will assume your business is no longer active. Once you find your website is listed on Google, make sure you update the content as often as you can. Consider having a blog or new page so you can add new posts to keep your website content fresh.

Promoting and updating your website should be something you continue to do on a regular basis as often as you can. Even if you get to the top of Google; if you stop promoting and updating your website, after a while your website will start to fall off.

What else?

Aside from SEO, there are some further measures you should take to ensure it remains in working order;

  • Ask customers to leave positive reviews online using Google, (once you have verified your Google listing) or Facebook, (once you have created a Facebook page for your business). Displaying good reviews can have a great effect on getting new customers to visit your website and use your services. A potential customer may be suspicious of a website with no reviews at all.
  • Check your email frequently to make sure emails sent via your website are getting through to your inbox. Technical issues can cause email to stop working, and if unnoticed, you could go for weeks without getting any enquiries.
  • Make sure you know how back-ups of your website are made, and kept. This will vary depending on your hosting company. Some are automatic, others need to be done manually.
  • Check your website is working as often as possible so any issues can be resolved before having too much of an impact on your business, or it becomes too late to fix / restore from a backup.
  • Consider making your website SSL secure, if its not already. This will encrypt data sent via your website, and ensure the ‘Padlock’ icon is shown next to your website address, re-assuring people that your website is safe to use.
  • Consider ‘Paid For’ advertising on Google and Facebook to give your website more exposure. Sponsored advertising online allows you to pick the type of audience that may see your advert, eg; based on age, location and even interests. How much exposure your advert may get will depend on the daily or monthly budget you set. To advertise on Google, click here .