The What, Why, and How of a UX Audit
March 23, 2022 |
October 8, 2021
You’ve done it. After many meetings and brainstorming sessions, time spent registering a domain name and finding a web hosting company, and hours of research, analysis, wireframing, content development, graphic design, development, quality assurance, and testing, you’ve finally launched a new website for your business.
Great! Now what?
You didn’t create this website to just take up a little space on the internet. You had a vision for it as a place to tell the world about your brand, develop some trust and confidence among your target audience, and hopefully create some new business relationships, right?
But, that will never happen if people never find it. So, what do you do from here?
Here are a few of our top suggestions.
We’re betting that you already have a core group of people invested in you or your business. Start here.
Give your friends, family, and current customers a call, shoot them an email, or message them on social media. No matter the channel, tell them about your new website and encourage them to visit and share within their networks.
Statistically, word of mouth is responsible for 13% of global sales. In fact, it’s said that word of mouth is 5 times more powerful than paid advertising, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you to begin with this core group.
There’s an infamous saying in sales, “People buy from people they know, like, and trust.” We promise you that, even if you’re just starting your business, you have influence. Leverage that influence to create an onramp for your brand.
If you’re launching a new site for an existing brand, lean into the people who already love you. Add a message to your email signature, change your business cards, post an update on your social media accounts, heck, have a launch party, just don’t overlook the people closest to you and your business.
Now would also be a good time to plug adding email marketing to your existing marketing strategy. Email marketing is a form of marketing that involves (you guessed it) email. You can keep customers whose email address you have aware of new products, services, events, or business updates through email marketing. Because it’s a “warm” audience, email marketing is often a great way to re-engage existing customers or help people already interested in your brand make their way further down the marketing funnel. Here is a helpful article about getting started with email marketing.
Once you’ve gotten the word out about your new website to the people you know, it’s time to start inviting others into the conversation. This can be done in several ways that primarily fall into two buckets: inbound and outbound marketing. We’ll chat about outbound in another section, but we’ll begin with optimizing your website for inbound marketing.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is essentially improving the traffic to a website from search engines over time. SEO can be very complicated, but let’s start with some of the basic steps you’ll want to take with your new website. Side note: if you’re using a reliable agency, many of these items will be covered in your scope of work for a new website design.
A few SEO items we recommend when launching a new website include:
Content marketing includes creating and promoting useful content that includes specific terms you’d like your website to rank for. Content marketing on your website should include a strategic approach that helps you attract and engage your audience and, ultimately, lead them to do business with you.
Building a good content strategy for your website starts with knowing yourself. It may help to take some time and answer the following questions.
Next, your content strategy should focus on your customers. Knowing the answers to the following questions will help you define your audience and better create content for them at every stage of the sales funnel.
After you better understand yourself and your target audience, you’ll want to start planning your content, which begins with a process called keyword research. Don’t skip this important step. Your content’s keyword research is inherently tied to your SEO. With effective keyword research, you create better search engine optimization and vice versa. The majority of people today find you via a search engine and a targeted search query.
For instance, when we are in a new city and want to go to a restaurant, we don’t typically go down the visitor’s center and grab a pamphlet of restaurants in the area. Instead, we grab our phone or computer and search for things like “Mexican restaurant near me” or “best coffee in XYZ city.”
The power of doing keyword research is that it helps you better understand your target market and how they are searching for your product or services. There are a lot of useful free tools online to help with this and some even better paid tools. Whichever you choose, keyword research should provide you with specific search data that can help you answer questions like:
Once you’ve determined some of the keywords you’d like to target and the right topics to tackle, you can create a content calendar to keep yourself accountable and plan your next steps. We mentioned it before, but when planning out your content, make sure you create content that appeals to every step of your audience’s journey from initial awareness to post-sale brand advocacy. Lastly, don’t ignore the various types of content options at your disposal. Experiment with written, audio/video, and visual content. Including a diverse mix of content types helps you appeal to every member of your audience at every stage.
Like content types, identify and utilize the various distribution channels where your audience spends their time. For example, Instagram can be a great place to share visual content and develop your brand’s identity, whereas LinkedIn may be best to share long-form, detailed content that showcases your brand’s unique value proposition.
The last piece of advice we’d recommend for being found on search engines applies primarily to businesses that have a presence with a local audience. Most search engines offer you the opportunity to create a free business listing with their service. For instance, Google MyBusiness provides a way to show your business’s contact information, service offering, reviews, and location, among other things. If you are a local business, don’t overlook this incredible way to share your website with customers searching for products and services like yours near them.
Here are a few strategies to optimize your business listing profile.
While the SEO techniques above will help you to get to the top of search engine results pages, it is a long-term strategy that can often take months to see results.
For more immediate online exposure, it’s smart to start promoting your website via pay-per-click (PPC) advertising methods. There are a number of ways you can advertise your new site, but we’d recommend starting with Google—easily the most popular search engine—and the social media channels that your audience currently uses.
Though mastering digital advertising can take some time and plenty of trial and error, an optimized PPC campaign can provide your business with a great return on investment. There are plenty of great resources out there to help you become more proficient in digital advertising. Here are a couple we’ve written and recommend.
Our last piece of advice is to keep on top of your website and its functionality. The digital world changes fast, and websites are far from a “Set it and forget it” solution for your business. Google alone makes approximately 5-600 changes to its algorithm every year. Most of these are extremely minor and won’t make any difference to your business, but now and then, they make a major update that can dramatically change how your website performs. Here’s a list of the major changes they’ve made over just the last couple of years. For websites using outdated information architecture or media, the last couple of years have caused noticeable shifts in how often they appear in search results and advertisements.
Your website’s content and structure fall into the category of “owned” media which means your business or brand controls it. Like a car, washing machine, or other things we own, we have to keep them regularly maintained and sometimes replace them entirely to keep them operating at their best. The benefit is that, with regular maintenance and updates, these things can provide us with a ton of value. The same is true for your website.
Whether this is your first foray into creating a website or you’re an experienced pro, we understand that taking the next step after launching a website can be intimidating. When you partner with PHOS Creative, you don’t just get the help of one person. You get an entire team of people with various strengths in advertising, SEO, website design, and web development. Trust in the team at PHOS to help guide you through the transition from launching a website to creating a brand that your customers love and trust.