I recently completed a website development for a small business owner and we had a funny conversation. It went something like this:

“I love the site, it’s so much better than what we had.”

Thanks! I’m really pleased with it, too.

“So, now what?”

Great, question. Now the real work begins…

Launching a new website is an exciting event for any business – small or large, but getting the word out and driving traffic to it can be a frustrating experience.  The whispering voice that tells us “If you build it, they will come” only works in Costner films of the 90’s. Promoting a new website takes time, energy, patience and consistency.  Whether you have limited resources or have budgeted for marketing, there are several ways you can spread the word about your new website.

Here are a handful of ideas for those with low budgets and limited resources needing quick results:

  1. Post a Press Release on the website itself (assure there’s a prominent link to the article on the homepage somewhere)
  2. Ask your employees to include a message about the new site in their voice mail message
  3. Ask your employees to update their e-mail signatures with a message and URL (e.g. Visit our NEW website – http://www.newwebsite.com)
  4. Send out a company wide e-mail (take it a step further by communicating internally the business objectives, vision of the project & credit team members who have dedicated time to the initiative)
  5. Post a Link to the press release on your Facebook page
  6. Tweet the news on Twitter
  7. Update the status on your company’s LinkedIn page
  8. Submit your company & website to directories (Google, Yahoo) and see how your local listings stack up: Getlisted.org

Have some time and a budget? Here are a handful of ideas for those looking for more strategic solutions:

  1. Submit a press release to a PR website (PRWEb.com is a good one)
  2. Reach out to your database of customers through E-mail Marketing (we love Mail Chimp) announcing the launch & its new features (and why exactly they should visit!)
  3. Design a creative handout. Provide these handouts where opportunity arrises (e.g. Tradeshows, client/vendor meetings, PR events) Moo.com has these nifty MiniCards – just the right size for a web address & very low cost
  4. Build a section on the website (e.g. www.yourbusiness.com/newfeatures) providing users with a tour of “What’s new?” Highlight key areas, provide FAQ’s & don’t forget feedback forms!
  5. Provide incentive to visit the site. If you’re launching an ecommerce website, provide things like coupons and free shipping deals in your announcements. If you’re offering a service, give something away in exchange for a user’s information (White Papers, Free Website Analysis, Trial Account, etc.) People like free stuff, and the more incentive you provide to visit your new website, the more viral activity will be generated
  6. If you have a corporate blog, make sure you have an article queued up before launch so you can publish it in parallel to the site going live. Be ready to monitor those comments!

Whatever path you choose, don’t underestimate the opportunity here.

What do you think?

Do you have any other tips for announcing your new website? Leave a comment below!

 

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