16 Feb Website Project Planning Five
By Paul Barrs.
Marketing and Maintenance.
No matter how much the investment to have the website built, the *real* money comes in the marketing and maintenance; not that it’s all that much in one go, but here you and the client have an opportunity to build a relationship that can last for years if done well. It means ongoing income for you and ongoing profit for your client.
It’s a win-win situation.
First things first you need to figure out the baseline. Obviously with a brand new site, the baseline is zero, but if you’re upgrading an existing site, you’ll need to access various tools to see “where it’s at”. Most likely you would have done this with your initial discovery before working on the site, but it must also be done again.
Run a search for ‘website analysis report’ or ‘website analytics’ to get a look at what online tools are available. There are also great software programs such as Webposition that you can run from your desktop. Which ever tool you choose, test and measure to make sure that the reports that produced can also be customised – you don’t want to present a report to your client and have them run off to some other company do so the rest of the work.
Keep in mind also that if the site you’re working on uses WordPress, then each and every ‘plugin’ is going to show up as a load on the ‘loading time’ of the site. Not much can be done about this except to keep these plugins to a minimum.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be referring to Webposition….
* Create WebPosition profile and run initial WebPosition report.
* WebPosition reporter report
* Run WebPosition Page Critic.
* Run WebPosition search engine submitter (run submissions daily until all pages submitted) or use a submitter service. NEVER more than one page per day. WP sites have no need of this if they run ping plugins.
* Submit manually to any additional websites / directories like Yahoo. Make sure that costs of these are included in the fee for service.
* Submit to affiliate directories if using an affiliate program.
* Submit RSS feed to RSS directories.
* Submit podcast feed to podcast directories.
* Setup a schedule for monthly stats and reporting.
* Provide client with a schedule of whatever they may need to do; articles, audios, videos, newsletter etc.
* Make sure that client adds URL to their marketing materials.
* Send press releases and announcements where appropriate.
* Make sure that any staff are well versed with website and content. They need to market it to their customers.
Start Maintenance Cycle
* Enter maintenance cycle and maintain site per client’s request and bill hourly.
* Site updates, monthly stats, ongoing articles, search engine resubmissions.
* Monthly external link testing.
* Periodically test the on-line ordering, affiliate and other forms (daily or weekly as needed)
* Check website space to make sure site stays within space limits.
Overall, this ‘marketing’ phase needs to be worked out with your client. There are literally dozens of things you could do on a daily basis, but the more that you do then the higher the cost for your client.
The key is to set a plan and run it. Run it for a month and then check the results. Compare those results with the previous month and adjust the plan as required.
Remember also that marketing trends change over time. So be sure to keep ‘up to date’ through other online news forums and so on.
Above all, have fun!