So you’ve done it. Your association has launched their brand new website and all is well with the world! Your months of hard work have paid off, which means you can finally relax…or does it?

While this may have once been considered the end of your online story, we now know launching your website is just the first chapter. If you want to capitalize on your new site and grow your reach, traffic, and engagement, taking the time to put an effective digital strategy in place can make all the difference. And while there’s dozens of ways to approach this challenge, here’s a few post-launch tactics we love that can help make your website an incredible marketing tool for your association.

 

Make data-informed decisions with analytics tracking

One of the easiest ways to report on the ROI of your new website is analytics tracking. Detailed tracking codes can be put in place that allow your association to see exactly how users are interacting with the platform.

While a lot of web design agencies will incorporate tracking setup into your website build, are you tracking everything you need to accurately report back on your online goals?

Below is a brief list of the type of tracking we think all associations should have:

  • Sell products on your site? Setup eCommerce Tracking
  • Have a membership section? Track how your members are (or aren’t) using the site
  • Trying to build a robust email marketing list? Track your new subscribers
  • Offer downloadable publications and resources? Track your file downloads
  • Have users seen that call to action at the bottom of the homepage? Implement scroll depth tracking
  • Can’t figure out what copy or images work best for converting? Run some A/B tests.

While this might not cover the gamut, tracking this sort of usage data will allow you to report performance and make incremental adjustments to improve engagement and grow conversions over time.

 

Tip the scales with retargeting

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a way to bringing visitors back to your website who didn’t complete a targeted action their first time around. When using major e-commerce sites like Amazon, if you look at a product but don’t make a purchase, ads for that product will begin appearing in your social media channels and other websites you visit. You can do this too, adding a piece of tracking code to your website that will follow users all over to web, with a goal of bringing them back to complete their conversion.

For your association, retargeting could be used to increase:

  • Membership Growth
  • Event Registration
  • Bookstore Purchases
  • Downloads of Key Resources

In an online world where generally, only 2% of visitors complete an online purchase the first time around, retargeting could tip the scales in the right direction for your association.

 

Maintain your traffic with paid search ads

New site launches inevitably result in some loss of traffic. If you’re not using the exact same structure as before, Google will need to reindex your website, which can take time. We’ve found that paid search advertising like Google AdWords can be an excellent tool for offsetting these short term issues.

If you’re domain name changes, it is especially difficult to maintain traffic levels once your site goes live. Following a recent website launch for one of our association clients who rebranded, we were able to maintain steady traffic levels while Google reindexed. In fact, we were even able to increase traffic to their key landing pages and further some of their top website goals.

 

Rise through the ranks with SEO

Where your website appears on search engines like Google and Bing is not set in stone. Search engines scan your website’s code and are able to determine how relevant it might to a specific web search or keyword and rank your site accordingly. There’s a lot your association can do to make sure your website has been optimized from a technical and content-based perspective to improve your ranking. And that’s where Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) comes into play.

Most web design agencies will ensure your site is optimized to some degree as part of your build process. If this wasn’t something you discussed with your developers or you’re simply not sure, you can take a look post-launch. There are a bunch of free tools out there (like MozBar or WooRank) that will score how your site is performing technically and suggest adjustments that should be made. Some of these adjustments may be things your content admins can do themselves. Other adjustments may be deep-seated in the website’s code and require a developer.

Content optimization is another beast entirely. Let’s say your association has a list of priority topics or keywords you want your website to show for on Google. If you’re already up there, fantastic! But if not, working with an SEO specialist to make targeted changes to your website’s content can help to improve your ranking and drive more organic traffic to your website.

 

Give your visitors the welcome they deserve with marketing automation

Having a general email list is still one of the most effective ways to distribute your association’s information and drive action. The issue? Newly subscribed users are entering the middle of a conversation. General newsletters don’t do a good job of introducing these new subscribers to your association or set expectations for how you want them to interact with the organization. It’s possible you lose the momentum you had when that user made the decision to join your list altogether.

That’s why setting up email marketing automation might just be the tool your association needs to engage your list with targeted emails from the start and keep them coming back. Generally, marketing automation refers to software that allows marketers to automate repetitive tasks, like sending out a series of emails, with the goal of improving efficiency and increasing ROI. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp even include free marketing automation tools.

We recommend setting up a “Welcome Series” using email automation. From the moment your visitors join the email list, they will immediately begin receiving a series of emails that welcome them as a subscriber of your list and encourage them to perform whatever actions you see fit. They are effectively entered into a personalized sales funnel on its own timeline outside the standard monthly newsletter.

For your subscribers, a welcome series might look like this:

  1. Tell subscribers more about your association and why the organization matters
  2. Engage them and build the relationship
  3. Point them towards a key conversion like membership growth, event registration, or publication purchase.

This fantastic tool can be used to keep users engaged with your association, the website and your most important sales and marketing priorities.

 

Add a personal touch with personalization

If your association strives to reach a ton of different audiences, each with unique goals and conversions, you know how difficult it can be to make a singular website check all the boxes. Thankfully website personalization aims to solve that exact problem.

While there’s many ways to approach it, the general idea is that personalization will allow your association to create tailored user experiences for each of your defined audiences.

If you have a healthy budget to devote to personalization, a technical solution could be implemented by a developer using cookies or via a third party tool like Optimizely. These solutions allow users to see a completely different set of calls to actions and content from the moment they are identified as a member of a specific audience.

If you’re looking for something less complex, personalization can be accomplished by the way you structure your navigation. Simply organizing your sitemap in a way where audience-based content is readily available and split accordingly can have great results. Regardless, being able to segment your users into different audiences with the aim of serving them personalized information and requested actions is something your association should work to achieve.

 

What can we take away?

While this is just a small sampling of the types of post-launch activities you can perform, these recommendation can be a great starting point for your association and really help to increase the ROI of your new site.

About the Author
Josh Einbinder
Josh Einbinder is a Senior Strategist at Brick Factory. He leads our cross-functional team of developers, designers, and content creators through the web design and development process.