Before Your Web Site Goes Live: Your Online Marketing Checklist

When starting a new business, online marketing is not always at the top of your agenda, but it should be a priority. Getting a fully functional website is a sort of a leap of faith that requires some time, analysis and investment. Before you do that, we suggest you spend some time thinking about your brand and making yourselves visible using social media. It’s always a good idea to be a few steps ahead, and we made a short check list to help you stay ahead of the curve before launching your website.

1. Create a Google Plus Business Page. This is the first thing you should do, even before getting a Facebook Page (step 2). Having a Google Plus Business Page will literally put your business on the map. Google Maps that is. Once you certify that you are the legitimate business owner, you will receive a letter from Google with a verification code to enter into Google Plus. Once the page is created, whatever content you share from it will be susceptible to get better rankings in the search engine’s algorithm. Google Plus followers are not as easy to obtain as Facebook likes (you can’t just buy them), so we recommend to have this done early on. You’ll get the head start you needed before plunging into the wonderful world of SEO.

2. Create a Facebook fan page. Starting to understand how audiences interact on Facebook will help you make a better assessment of who your audience is. You won’t have access to Facebook insights at least until you have a measurable sample of 100 likes. The best place to start is within your personal circles, which will provide you with all those familiar likes you will need to start reaching out to a wider audience. Those Facebook insights don’t lie – unless you paid some company to get you massive robo-likes. The main demographic data on your users will give you valuable insight of which age groups, geographical locations and communities of interest interact with your brand and content.

3. Purchase a domain and host a small landing page. Did you know that the age of a domain is considered an important factor in ranking your site on Google? This means that the earlier you purchase your domain, the more you will benefit in the long run. By buying a domain and showing a little snippet of your business, you are creating excitement for the website that will be hosted on it. If you make a small countdown page announcing your site is under construction, you can still include your phone number, email and links to social media accounts. This way, you are generating leads instead of making people wait until your full site is online. If you want to focus on one type of conversion, like Facebook likes or Youtube followers, you can always redirect your domain to the appropriate channel.

4. Write some content for your blog. Even before launching your website and official blog, you could already start writing timeless content for your blog. Useful tips, lists like this one and valuable insight is always appreciated, even if you publish it months after jotting it down. This will give you a head start and allow you to sit on a pile of good quality content once your blog is published. Your blog is a vector for people to understand your expertise. No matter what stage your blog is at, writing valuable quality content will always pay off.

5. Print your business cards. If you followed step 3 and purchased a domain name for your start-up, you can now print that information on your business cards and keep on networking with other industry pros and potential customers. As for social media, make sure you have a Twitter username that properly reflects your brand, and you have personalized URLs for your Facebook and Google Plus pages. This way, you can save real estate on your business cards. Whatever accounts you may want to include on your business cards, make sure to write the shortest version possible to not clutter your business cards.

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