Getting customers when launching a new product or a new brand is always a tough thing to do. The same is true when you’re launching a new website. You’re available to the entire world, but how is anyone going to find you? Unless you’re coming up with a completely revolutionary idea, chances are you’re going to have a lot of competition right from the start. Luckily, there are ways to increase your visibility to reach more and more people.
Update, Change, and Adapt.
The internet is a lot like fashion in the sense that things bloom to life and die very quickly. Memes are a fantastic example of just how fast something can grow and then be forgotten. So, what’s the key to getting that same growth and not being thrown to the wayside?
For starters, listen to your members. Your website isn’t going to be perfect and you’re going to make mistakes. Maybe you’ve got a polls section when you just don’t need one or you’re in need of better group discussion pages. Whatever the issue, you need to be willing to change and adapt based on their needs. That’s not to say you have to just keep changing the site because Bob said to, but just be open to them. Listen to what people are saying and, if you find yourself agreeing, find a way to make it happen!
Keeping your site fresh for both new and old members alike is a key part of growing it.
No, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend some money on a fancy television ad (though I suppose that can’t hurt either). I mean you should try to get people talking about it. Word of mouth is, in my opinion, one of the most important and cheapest ways to get your website known. It requires little more than active, social members and a good, well-designed site.
To improve word of mouth, you can always make contests or prizes for people bringing in new members. Just beware of bots! Bots are going to drain your resources and might hijack a contest like that if you allow it.
Another way to advertise, which was mentioned in a previous blog, is through content. Google is, unsurprisingly, your best option for people to find your site. How do you get seen on Google? Increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In short, use content like blogs to show what your site is about. Make them high-quality and include key words.
For instance, let’s say you have a car site. Don’t write blogs about the weather or boxes or sports. Write about cars. Write about new models, parts, anything and everything to do with them. Google bots will pick up those blogs and index your site accordingly so that next time someone is looking for a car site, yours might just end up at the top of their list.
Keep your members happy, but keep yourself happy, too.
The last thing you need to do is keep members happy. This can be done well by following my previous point of listening and adapting, but you should also interact on your own site when you can. Be your own member so you can see for yourself what’s working and what’s not.
Don’t be afraid to change your site drastically if it’s not performing the way you want it to, either. This site is yours, after all, and it needs to work the way you want it to. If you’re unhappy with it, even if your members are happy, change it anyway! Nothing in this world is worse than seeing your vision warped into something else entirely.
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