They searched on Google, gave me a call, and now I have the largest contract that I have ever received.

Joanne Cairney, Aberdeen

When To Market Your Website

It's Too Soon. It's Too Late. When's the Right Time?

We are often asked "when is the best time to market my website?". Spend 1 minute going through the following to see if it answers this question for you.

In an ideal world, the actual marketing of your website, making use of it to attract enquiries and business, would begin before you had even started thinking about your first website. While the design, colour and content are all very important, and an integral part of the whole, if they are not decided upon in relation to your commercial objectives, then the website is unlikely to deliver results.

Unfortunately, the above is a typical scenario, and leads us on to the second occasion when you should undertake website marketing, the redevelopment of an existing website. The current website hasn't delivered, so replacing it seems like an obvious thing to do. However, unless the same process suggested above for a brand new website is followed, the end result is almost certainly going to be more disappointment. Indeed, it is not unusual for a new super, shiny website to actually perform worse than the one that it replaces.

A website redesign is fraught with danger, from an online marketing perspective. Even if you don't do any of the boring planning and scheduling that we recommend, you must undertake the transfer in the correct way, or your baby will be thrown out with the bath water.

The most common time for us to be asked to improve a business's online presence is when they realise that they are losing out to their competitors. You may have slipped down the rankings, you may have become aware of business being gained by your competitors, or you might just want to get higher up.

Outwith the three typical scenarios outlined above, there are 2 more for you to be aware of.

The first is whenever you change your domain name, eg from www.company.co.uk to www.new-company.co.uk. While the standard advice is not to do this, circumstances sometimes dictate that you have no option. If you are in that unfortunate position, then from an online marketing perspective, it is the same as a new website, even if the design stays the same. However, the correct timing and sequencing of events is absolutely critical.

The second of these additional scenarios is a wrinkle recently introduced by one of Google's algorithm changes. It is when your business relocates and changes its physical address and / or phone number. While this has got nothing directly to do with your website (apart from updating your contact details), it can be detrimental if not tackled properly. In this situation you have no option but to make the changes, so it is imperative that you deal with the knock-on effects efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner.

If you are ranking highly in Google, you are not planning a website or domain name change, and you are not relocating, then great. But what if you have or could be effected by any of these scenarios? If you don't care about your website marketing, then it's not really an issue. However, you wouldn't have read this far, would you?

If you are still at the planning stage, then I would suggest that you discuss these issues with whoever looks after your website. If they seem unsure of the subject matter, then give us a call.

If you have suffered from any of the above, then you do need specialist help, and that's where we come in.

Website design and website marketing are two different skill sets. That is why web designers pass clients to us. Get in touch and I can tell you how we could help you.

By Kenneth Mackay, 3rd December, 2013

This is one of a series of articles that deal with common issues when promoting your business online. We hope that you found it useful. Go to our online marketing tips to see previous pieces of advice. If there are any topics that you would like covered, please let us know.

If you need to promote your business online, then contact us.