Launched a new website, but now what?

Working with many clients, we have come across many questions, so to help out we have compiled a list of the top 10 questions

1. My website launched yesterday, why can’t I be found on Google?

Google can take from 3 days to 4 weeks (or more) to find or “index” your website.

Here are some things to check/ensure to be sure things are optimal for crawling/indexing:

Submit the site to Google – How to submit your site is as easy as following this link, and enter your website url – http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
Check server responses – Website pages should return a 200/OK responses. You can use tools like http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ to check the response.
Relevant Content – Just putting up a website isn’t enough these days. Make sure that your web pages have keywords and textual content within the pages that it can read. Pages that are made using Flash is like a stop sign on your site, these days many flash elements can be replaced with HTML 5. So use that and add content and text that spiders bots can read.
Get seen – Link building is a method of getting your links on other sites, but not just any site. Links should come from be quality/trusted/popular/reliable sites, and the more the better.
Verify your site – Get to know your site by signing up for a Google Webmaster Tools account. Your can help your site and yourself by discovering, locating and understanding problems as when or if they happen.
Provide a sitemap – This is a link pages the shows all the page on your site.
2. Now that we launched our website, how do I let the people know we are online?

People have the misconception that “if you build it… they will come”. In the movies maybe, but not on the internet. Now that you have your website online, you have the on-going task getting people to find you. In the beginning, creating social media pages, like on Twitter or Facebook are important to let know that you are online. Making announcement, and invite people to join into your pages. Engage with people, email campaigns, online articles forums and link building are all part of letting people know that your business now exist online.

3. Why is my website not on the first page for keywords relevant to my company?

This is common question for new website owners, and is something all new website must face, and that is time. Search Engines like Google want to provide their users with the most relevant information on keyword and keyword phrases. What determines which links and websites that are on the home page depend on a number of varying factors the following are just a few:

  • How old a website is – Newer websites have to build their domain authority score, and part of that is the age of their site
  • How many external links are going into the site and if the links are quality links
  • How many keywords relative to a search engine query is on the web page
  • How many pages a website has – Sites with more pages have a higher change to increase visibility
  • How many internal linking is on the site
  • The user of H1 tags and meta information
  • Good keyword rich content through out the site
  • Social media sharing
  • Alt tags on images

4. I have Google Analytic’s, why is my bounce rate so high?

User experience and user interface is one of the most misunderstood element for new website owners. Many people and companies make the mistake of creating a site just based on aesthetics, or just having a website regardless of aesthetics just to get online. In both cases, can be detrimental to the success or failure of a website.

Industry specific keywords need to be present on the page when creating an online campaign, or if the page is intended for a specified topic. Having the right amount of keywords can be tricky, too many can backfire and search engine results of you page can actually be eliminated from search engines results. Too little keyword density on the page and your page becomes insignificant.

5. Why is it important to have a social media pages like Facebook?

Many website owners create a social media page like Facebook page because “others are doing it”. While this is true, just creating a social media page without understanding why, would be like shooting into the dark towards a target in the hopes you hit it. The creation of social media pages serves a number of purposes.

Search Engine Ranking

Large search engines like Google and Bing, will actually rank you based on the presence or lack or presence in social media spaces like Facebook. Each one measures your ranking score slightly differently, but activity on your social media pages will impact your ranking score.

Customer Loyalty

Growing a customer base is important for most business owners, regardless of the type of website you own. Social media postings allow your customers to keep updated with your company an remind them of who you are in for future services or products. Keeping customers updated on your business events, insures that you are easily available to them.

7. Do I need to keep updating my site, can I just leave it alone and let the search engines find my site?

The idea of just building a website and then leaving it without any further engagement or updates is a HUGE mistake! As a business, most would like the business to grow, think of the website as an extension of your business. Let’s say you are a restaurant owner and you add a new section to the building to accommodate for the growing customer base. You would not just build it and not use it or let it just get dirty and grimy right? The same thing is true for websites, and as an extention of your business, you want to keep it fresh, clean and updated. As the reason for doing that online, is to allow the search engines to index more pages and more relevant information about your company.

8. Why do I need alt tags on my images?

Alt tags play and important role for search engine results. Search engines are essentially ran by machines and algorithms, they don’t read the messaging and keywords flattened into an image or picture. What they can read, are information about them. This information can be found in the name the image, the alt tags, and title of the image. These are the textual representation of an image, and this is what the search engines spiders use to read a picture.

9. What is a meta tag?

Meta tags are information that is not necessary seen by actual visitors on the site, however they are seen in the coding and is read by search engines. Meta information such as keywords, descriptions and titles are a few that are readily used. These includes information that is used by search engines to understand more about the page. Google no longer uses keyword meta information, however it is important that the keywords are still on the page because other search engines still use it. Keyword descriptions, for example can be read on the organic results as seen on Google. While many people think, that the most important search engine that they want to be on is Google which is true, however the presence of your website on other engines allow for Google to find your business more easily.

10. Why is User Interface and User Experience important?

User interface and user experience plays a crucial role in keeping customers on your website. It is one thing to drive traffic to the website, but it is a whole other to keep them interested. Layout, colors and professionalism helps brand you online. Content and messaging allows for the customers to find what they are looking for. Call to actions, colored sections and clear buttons entice users to interact with the site and increase your ultimate conversion rates. Providing a website that is device friendly will allow customers to access your business regardless of the browsing device that they are using, from large screen computers to small smart phone. Insuring that the website can accommodate for all browser sizes will provide the visibility and engagement to your business with a more positive and memorable experience.