This page is designed to provide information to our clients, once their website is finished. We want to make sure that you have what you need to get started with your new site. Why? Because we want your business to be successful!
So, here is our getting started with your new website checklist. Because, we don’t you to think, “But now what??”
WebCare’s Getting Started Checklist
1. Double Check that Everything is Working as it Should
Some of the sites we build are complex – particularly shopping cart sites. But whatever site you have, you need to make sure you are familiar with how it works and that it works how you want it to. If you have any forms or online booking/ordering systems, test them to make sure you know what your customer has to do (in case they ask you!) and what emails they get and you get! Of course, if anything isn’t working as it should be, let us know and we will fix it!
2. Check Your Hosting Account
Your hosting account has lots of useful bits and pieces. Do you know how to check your site statistics (this is usually done straight from a link in your hosting control panel)? This is how you tell how many visitors your site has had and monitor the results of your various marketing activities. Have you set up your email accounts (see below).
3. Make Sure Your New Email Account is Working
You have set up your new email (e.g. [email protected]) haven’t you? Of course you have! If you haven’t then log in to your hosting account and click the “email” link in your control panel. You will then need to add a new mailbox. All hosts work differently – if you get stuck, your host will have easy to follow instructions – just ask them. Once you have created your new email account, then you need to make sure your email program (e.g. Outlook) is downloading mail from that account. If you haven’t already, you will need to create a new POP3 mailbox – if you don’t know how to do this, go to the help bar in your email program and type in something like “setup mail” or “setup account”. Then follow the instructions. Your host should have told you the settings that need to go in to this form. Once both of these things are done, then send yourself an email and make sure you get it back!
4. Revisit Your Keywords
If you haven’t already done so, you need to analyse the key words on your site to make sure they are working for you. “Keywords” are the terms that your potential customers will be using in a search engine to find your site (or sites like yours). What keywords are in your site now? You can use various tools to check what keywords are on each page, and what the most frequent key words are (these should line up with the terms your customers are likely to use). A free tool can be found at Google Rankings.
If you need to know more about keywords, check our Resources page.
5. List your site with various search engines.
Eventually, you will start to get some free (or “organic”) search engine traffic. This won’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually. The ones listed below are the best ones to start with, but there are lots more you can list with as well (type “search engine” into Google).
- DMOZ – a public domain search database that is often used by the other search engines for sites.
- Google – the major search engine. A list of FAQs you might have about Google can be found here.
6. Start Getting Your URL (i.e. www.mydomain.com.au) out there!
One of the ways search engines index sites is by looking at incoming links (i.e. links to your site from other websites). The more places on the web that you can “deposit” your link, the better! Government sites are the most important according to the search engines.
For a start (and most importantly), list your site in a government directory (search engine’s love government directories – they will rank your site more highly if you have a listing on a government website).
WebCare will list your site in our Portfolio section – this will have a link to your site which will get picked up by the search engine. We would also love to add a testimonial from you to our Testimonials page. This will give your business a free plug, and give you additional incoming links from a Google PR3 page) which will improve your search engine ranking. Have a look at our Testimonials page to see what others have said!
List in as many directories as you can. Here are some to get you started!
Another general web directory is The Green Directory – they have a multitude of categories and both paid and free listings.
Check for directories that service your particular niche. For example, Hutchens Design offers a directory for web designers, graphic designers and database developers. WebCare is listed in this directory. To be eligible for this, we need to include the following text on our site:
Web Design Perth – Hutchens IT offer a web, graphic and database design services to business in Australia and overseas.
For more tips on how to increase your search engine rankings (i.e. “search engine optimisation”) have a look at Search Engine Watch. If you want to get lots of free traffic to your website, then you will want to master the dark art of search engine optimisation.
7. Get Some Paid Traffic
Google AdWords is the best option for “Pay Per Click” traffic – you only pay each time someone clicks on your advert. It is easy to set up and you can control precisely how much you spend per day. Find out more at Google’s AdWords page. You can get instant traffic to your site – so it is a great way to give your website a kick start.
8. Update Your Business Stationery
The traditional ways of telling people about your business also apply to internet businesses. Make sure your business cards and letterhead have your new email address on it and your web address. If you need new business cards, we offer great design and printing deals.
9. List Your Products/Services on eBay
“Eh?”, I hear you say! “I just paid good money for a great website. Why do I want to list my products on eBay??” Well, because eBay can drive a lot of traffic to your site. Use your logo, your email address and make sure your eBay user id is your business name (e.g. our eBay user id is *webcare*). You cannot put your web address into your listing, but you can “suggest it” to your visitors in other ways!
10. Use Your Local Business Networks
Have you been to your local Regional Development Board or Business Enterprise Centre? They will be able to put you in touch with a whole range of resources that will help you to grow your business.
11. Tell All Your Customers/Friends/Relatives
Start spreading the word! Send an email/postcard/letter/fax to your existing networks and tell them about your new site – get them to tell people. Do you need a launch party? Do you have a special launch offer? Do you have a referral program (i.e. a special gift/voucher etc for a referral to your business?) Send out a press release to your local papers. Whatever you can do to get people talking about you and visiting your site, is great!
For more ideas on how to kick start your website, check out WebCare’s Resources page – particularly the sections down the bottom on “Getting Traffic to Your Site” and “Increasing Your Conversion”.
Content Management System
If you have a website with a CMS, then you will be able to make your own changes to your site whenever you need to. For an introduction to how to use the features of your CMS, have a look at our Demo Introduction page. This takes you step by step through what is available.
Shopping Cart Tutorial Videos
If we have installed a shopping cart site for you, then you are going to want to watch these videos! They will take you step-by-step through the things you need to know to operate your new site. Just click on the topic and the video will load into a pop-up window (make sure you don’t have pop-ups switched off or you won’t see them) – you can come back and watch them whenever you need to. We hope you find them useful.
- Installing Zencart
- Configuring your store
- Adding categories
- Adding products
- Adding product attributes
- Configuring currency
- Adding payment modules
- Adding shipping modules
- Configuring sales tax
- Editing your home page
- Editing left and right columns
- Creating specials
- Managing customers
- Sending out a newsletter
- Sending out email
- Managing your banners
Don’t forget the resources of the ZenCart community – www.zencart.org. You can get tips, advice and download modules to customise your shopping cart. If you need a hand at any time, let us know – we’d love to help.