You’ve just launched a brand new website for your business, and you can’t wait to meet all your new customers! The problem? You’re not getting any traffic, because a bunch of older websites are dominating the search results. How the heck do you get a new website noticed?
We’ve put together six tips that you can use right away to earn more traffic and amp up your business growth.
The Challenge with New Business Websites
No matter how much work you put into your website before launch, how much time you spent making it look just right – the first year can feel super disappointing. That’s because none of the things you might have expected are guaranteed.
- Your site might not show up on Google for weeks
- You might not appear in searches for your own business name
- You probably won’t see much traffic, which means you also won’t see many leads or sales.
Why? Your sparkly new site doesn’t yet have any authority. As websites age they become more trustworthy in the eyes of search engines. This happens through hundreds of ranking factors, such as domain age, technical specs, link quality (when trustworthy websites have links to yours), content quality, and usability.
If you don’t know how to do your website’s maintenance and optimizations, what are you supposed to do?! That’s actually why we launched Anvil’s fully managed website solutions, because we agree that you shouldn’t have to learn to be a website wizard on top of running your business.
BUT if you love discovering new skills and are ready to learn how to get your new website noticed, let’s get started!
How to Get A New Website Noticed
1. Get it Indexed (Quickly!)
One of the biggest disappointments of all is when you launch your new website and immediately Google it, only to find that it doesn’t exist. What gives?
Well, in order to show up in search results you first have to get noticed by the search engine. It has to send ‘spiders’ out across the World Wide Web (aka the ‘www’ before your site name) to crawl your website’s sitemap, learn what you’re all about, and index your site. You can read all about crawling and indexing from Google itself.
The point is that Google doesn’t just index websites the moment they show up. It might not even happen for weeks. Google is busy, and you’re just one of almost two billion websites out there.
Rather than wait, you can request indexing directly from Google. You’ll need to connect your website to Google Search Console – you may need a web developer’s help with the verification process, which involves adding a piece of code into your website.
From there, you can use the URL inspection tool from the left-hand menu to demand Google’s attention. Copy and paste the URL of your website into the bar at the top. If it says ‘URL is not on Google’, click ‘request indexing’.
You can do this any time you publish new content like projects or blog posts, to get it indexed quickly! Different search engines like Bing have their own methods to request indexing.
Anvil websites are built on WordPress, with sitemaps generated by Yoast SEO and Google indexing automatically included in the launch process.
2. Learn About SEO
Once your website is discovered, the next hurdle is rising up the rankings. Unless your business has a unique name, you might be pretty far away from page one.
Search engine optimization is an important way to get a new website noticed – you’re literally optimizing your website to make the search engines like you.
Here are six ways to get a basic understanding of SEO and keep your site optimized.
- Read our article about how to increase search traffic, full of starter SEO tips!
- Bookmark this guide to Google’s 200+ ranking factors
- Keep your site secure, up-to-date, and free from technical errors (all included with Anvil’s monthly subscription)
- Regularly check your website on different devices, speed test it, and check error logs to make sure it’s delivering a fast, smooth user experience (guess what, we do that for you too!)
- Read beginner guides to SEO from the experts – we recommend The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz, SEO Basics by Ahrefs, and What Is SEO? by SEMRush
- If you have a little more time, check out our list of FREE online courses in SEO and Google Analytics
3. Publish Awesome Content
SEO principles like search intent, keywords, technical standards, and on-page optimizations will change as search engines update their algorithms. You’ll be just fine as long as you keep creating great content.
Write about topics that your customers are actually searching. Offer helpful, valuable insights. Be sure that your grammar is on point, and that your tone suits your audience. Grab our total website content checklist if you want a thorough rundown of content boxes to tick.
No idea where to even start with content? Don’t sweat it! Grab 20 Blog Content Ideas for Small Business.
4. Tap Into Social Media and Influencers
Social media can help get your new website noticed in more ways than one.
Your customers are among the 3.5 billion people using social media for an average of three hours each day (Oberlo). If they’re already hanging out on social platforms, why wouldn’t you want to be there with them?
- Start by figuring out which social networks your customers use most, so you can identify the best social media platforms for your business – you don’t need to be everywhere!
- Add your business website to each social media profile, like your ‘About’ area on Facebook or as the link in your Instagram bio
- Share useful content that your customers would care about, such as industry expert tips or resources
- Build trust by asking questions and responding to comments
- Learn about the hashtags your customers use, and incorporate them into your posts
- Start working your website content into the mix, such as sharing blog posts, case studies, pricing, services, company story, or ‘how it works’ pages; be sure to maintain a healthy balance of non-brand content so you’re not just talking about yourself (which is pretty anti-social)
A great way to quickly boost your reach and earn a bunch of targeted website traffic from social media is to partner with an influencer.
We’re not talking major celebrities here – most industries have affordable influencers or micro-influencers who your customers already trust. These people have a smaller but much more strongly engaged niche following that values their opinions on products and services.
5. Test Affordable Ad Campaigns
I know what you’re thinking – “you want me to spend MORE money?!”
But there are affordable ad platforms out there. And while you’re waiting for search engines to acknowledge your existence, a smart ad campaign will bring in website traffic right away.
Google unsurprisingly offers a wide variety of ad types that can work well on a small budget (for most industries). There are Search Ads, which you see at the top of most Google Searches, Display Ads, which have an image and appear in a banner or sidebar, and Maps Ads for brick-and-mortar businesses.
If your audience is on Facebook or Instagram, their ads are also among the most affordable.
This WordStream article shares other types of cost-effective ads for small business. Hootsuite has an introductory guide to getting the most out of your social media ad budget.
If you’re running ad campaigns, you should also be watching performance and making adjustments. Or better yet, get an Anvil expert to manage your SEO and ads for you!
At the start of this article I said that websites earn search engines’ trust through various factors, one of which is quality links. Getting a link on an older, more trustworthy website is a fantastic way to get your website noticed.
Obviously you want to make sure the site is relevant to your audience, otherwise the people who click it will be disappointed and won’t turn into leads. But a link on a well-established and higher-ranking website tells Google that you’ve got the nod of approval.
There are lots of quick-win places where it’s easy to add links:
- Review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor
- Business directories like Better Business Bureau, your local chamber of commerce
- Location-based listings like Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps, YellowPages
- Social media platforms.
If you have more time, you can consider more advanced link-building.
One popular method is to hunt down articles relating to your business, like a ‘best of’, ‘top 10’, or other roundup, and ask the owner to include you. Some businesses find it useful to participate in forums like reddit, HARO, or Quora, answering questions in threads about their niche.
Others get traffic boosts from either content syndication (publishing your existing articles on publishing sites like LinkedIn or Medium), or from creating original content for big media sites that take guest contributors. These are all solid ways to earn links, but they do take a lot of effort.
Getting that first wave of traffic to a new website can feel impossible, but it’s definitely not. You’re not alone out there – reach out to us if you want to chat about a new site with fully managed digital strategy services.