Going through the development process is a lot of work. Now you've come out the other side and have a beautiful WordPress website for your business. You are proud of how everything looks and operates. But now what?
Hit The Ground Running
Once your WordPress website is live, the tough work begins. Unfortunately, many underestimate what has to be done to keep working your site for long-term success.
Nothing online happens overnight or by osmosis. Rankings? Well, those require you to take the long view if you ever hope to gain any relevant rankings over time.
You worked hard to ensure that your website is unique to you, but how many other sites rank for your keyphrases (aff)? That is your competition that is already ranked and working it before you even went live.
As a result, you have to hit the ground running. Here are some tips you need to put in place right away.
Tips for Your New WordPress Website
Get Your Email Setup
When you were setting up your new website, in Settings > General, you should have changed your Administration Email Address to using your website domain.
This is for security reasons and to make sure all WordPress system emails are sent and that you actually receive them. So what I do is set up an email [email protected] for that purpose. This way, any emails you receive to [email protected] you know were sent by your website.
You also want to create templates for quick responses and make sure that you have the folders needed to keep your email communications organized. Here are some Business Email Organization Tips.
Do not underestimate how your use of proper email etiquette in your business communications can set you apart from your perceived competitors in a good way.
Get Your Newsletter and/or RSS Setup
Many think these are the same. They aren't because they actually require two different sets of permissions from those who sign up.
Newsletter (aff) sign-ups indicate the subscriber gives you permission to email them when you want. However, it is always best to be clear about that. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? Newsletter subscribers also assume that your email will include things you can commercially gain from.
RSS subscriptions are so that folks can get an email update when you add a new post to your WordPress website. That's it. That's all they are signing up for. There is no reason not to offer this opportunity to notify interested parties when you add new content.
RSS is baked into WordPress and is easy to set up. You can see my RSS sign-up over there in the left sidebar.
Check Your Rankings for Your Keyphrases
How do you know where or even if you are ranking for your targeted keyphrases? Searching for yourself is not the best approach. Google customizes search results based on your history and location. (If anything, use a private/incognito window.)
What about folks who don't know you exist? You want to check the keyphrases you are targeting and how you are actually being found at least once a month so that you can keep on top of any movement up or down and adjust accordingly.
I use SEM Rush to track my phrases, do competitive research, and gain additional business intelligence.
Get Google Anayltics Setup
Setting up GA is pretty easy. Once you get your account set up, you paste the provided tracking code snippet into your theme.
I used Genesis with a child theme located in Appearance > Customize > Theme Options > Header/Footer Scripts. Most themes include an area for GA code too. The sooner you get that in place, the sooner you are accumulating data.
Create Your Editorial Calendar
Most site owners rarely think about having an editorial calendar. However, having an editorial calendar in place, whether you use an editorial calendar plugin or an off-site calendar, is a must.
This is where you will note holiday post ideas (and sales if you are doing eCommerce) and when to post them. Adding content regularly, I recommend once a week allows you more opportunity to SEO and show customers you know your stuff.
You can also jot down the topics to post about in the future, whether based on new business intelligence, customer inquiries, or current events. Again, having a plan so that you can take your time to create useful and deep content is crucial.
Quality content, added regularly, will help to build your expertise, authority and trust factors with site visitors and search engines.
Check Your Site Performance
Many online tools can give you a window into your website's performance metrics. Pick one that you are comfortable with, and then check various areas on your site regularly.
Google states that your website needs to load in 2 seconds flat. So do your best to meet that challenge.
Review Customer Inquiries
At the end of each month, go to your inquiries folder in your email program and review all the inquiries you received. Do you notice that the same questions are being asked? If so, create a post on that topic and/or add those questions to your FAQ.
You do have a FAQ, don't you? If not, why not?
Your website inquires are a goldmine of information. They can guide you on what your customers need to know and how you can improve your site.
From an SEO point of view, you'll also have a window into the terms and phrases your customers use that you might not have thought to optimize for.
Bookmark Competitor Websites
Business intelligence is a key component to ensuring that your site is keeping up with trends and remains relevant. Create a bookmark folder where you file the sites you judge to be the best in your space.
Watch those sites; see what they do. Do you see something you can do better or differently?
Set Your Website “To Do” Calendar
I use Google Calendar to pretty much plot out every workday. Then, I set reminders that until I check as done, remain visible and move to the next day.
Every morning I check my calendar for the day. Then, before I leave the office, I look at it to see what will happen the next day. On Fridays, I review the week ahead. On the first of each month, I review the month ahead.
Use your calendar to schedule all of the necessary and critical tasks noted in this article. Then follow through.
Now, it's all on you!
Your beautiful new WordPress website is there for you to work it and will be forever a work in progress. And work it you must to gain exposure, subscribers, and new opportunities.
Forget passive and think proactive.
At your service,