If you're like most business owners, then you've likely launched at least 1 website at some stage in your life.
Remember the work you put into it?
You agonise over every single page, making sure that the content is perfectly written and explains your business perfectly.
You spend hours pouring over the right stock photos, or editing professional photos and video content that your website visitors will be amazed by.
You send it to your friends and family, and maybe even some online groups for feedback to make sure you haven't overlooked everything.
The big day of the launch comes and you've got Google Analytics set to real-time view, waiting for the traffic to start pouring in.
The website goes up and this is what you see...
Wait a minute. This can't be right? Does this mean there's nobody on the website at all?
You check the tracking code is installed correctly on the website and everything is definitely online...
Yes it's true.
Nobody is visiting your new website.
Not only that...
Nobody cares about your new website.
Don't feel bad, I've been there before and it's a devastating feeling.
Most people get get so obsessed about their amazing new website they're building, and completely forget about how you're going to bring traffic to it.
And no, relying on search engines to do all the heavy lifting is NOT a valid strategy unless you're prepared to wait years, or spend thousands every month on SEO.
If you're not planning on doing that then I am going to share with you the powerful, yet insanely simple technique I used to take a client website to over half a million website visitors, within a month of the website launch!
Just so we're clear, I want to show you what this kind of activity looks like after a website launches.
That last data point on the 17th of September is 1,553 visitors in a single day.
Let's assume that daily traffic doesn't grow any more beyond that point and it's simply multiplication to figure out the minimum annual traffic this website is going to receive.
1,553 x 365 = 566,845 - the same number in the article title!
At this point you're probably thinking...
"You probably paid for a lot of ads on Google"
"You must have paid for a lot of ads on social media"
Sorry friend, wrong again!
"Well you probably paid for a bunch of fake traffic to make the numbers look good"
No way never!
This traffic was generated entirely from ORGANIC traffic on Instagram.
See for yourself, the breakdown of referral traffic for this project.
We can see that 74% of the traffic is coming fromthe Social channel.
Yes there's a small amount of traffic coming from Organic Search, and Direct however that is the result of people doing brand searches, or typing in the web address straight into their web browser.
Let's break down the social traffic a little further.
Now that we've established that the traffic is in fact coming entirely from Instagram, I'm going to share with you the insanely, mind-numbingly simple approach I used to achieve these results.
To break it down, this method contains 2 very simple steps.
- Build an audience
- Promote website (before launch)
- Promote website (after launch)
Now lets dive into each step.
Step 1: Build an audience
With all that traffic streaming through from Instagram to the website, we need to have an audience, and as I promised we're not going to spend a single cent on ads.
How big does the audience need to be?
This is the part that will be different for everybody.
If your audience is super engaged, and loving your content every time you post then you won't need as many followers before you start promoting your website.
Start sharing content
Really AWESOME content.
Share it regularly. And share it it times which will maximise audience engagement.
Take a look at some of the insights you can get about who's following you. So no only can you fine tune when you're posting, but also the style of your post so you can appeal to your target audience!
To get access to Instagram's in-app analytics, you'll need to convert your Instagram profile to a business account. Go to the settings in the app and find the appropriate menu item (below).
Step 2: Promote your website (before it launches)
Yes before it launches!
This is one of the most critical parts of this whole method.
In the example I shower earlier, we started promoting the website to our Instagram followers about 4 months before the website ACTUALLY launched.
When we started mentioning the website in our IG posts we had about 10,000 followers, and on launch day we had just over 100,000 about 4 months later.
You might be thinking...
"100,000?! How the hell and I meant to get 100,000 followers?!"
Remember what I said before about how everyone's audience requirements needing to be different?
At the time of this project there wasn't any real reason to go for 100k, it was just a big round number and our growth rate supported it.
In reality your business might not need anywhere near as many people to encourage traffic to your site (and subsequent conversion).
Now back to the pre-launch promotion.
There are a couple of ways you need to let people know about your website which can be done very easily.
Add your web address to your Instagram profile
This takes about 1 minute to do.
Simply hit the edit profile button and add it in.
Make sure you add the full http:// so that the resulting link is clickable!
As soon as you do that you'll find that you'll start getting a little trickle of people clicking through to your website every time you post as they're naturally interested to learn a little more about you or your business.
Watermark your images
Start adding a little watermark with www.yoursite.com in every post your make.
This is really important because it tells people you have a website, without seeming too pushy and mentioning it in the description of your post.
Start doing this and people will start to visit your website even more often (this is also what causes the organic / direct traffic which we discussed earlier).
Give people a reason to visit
Post some kind of a content teaser and tell people that they can get the rest for free if they visit your website.
An example would be to post an excerpt from a FREE download/tutorial/guide on Instagram, and then in the post description tell them they can get the rest for free (normally $50) if they visit your website.
You can include the phrase "find the link in our bio".
This will send hoards of traffic to you website as they're interested in getting that juicy little freebie!
Create an email list
Traffic is nice and all but you really want to capture the details of those people visiting.
When people visit your website trying to get that free thing you offered on Instagram, show them a landing page where they need to enter their email address in order to get it.
These are very quick to setup with services like Mailchimp and that way you'll create an instant list of people who are highly interested in your services!
How do you know?
Because they're already jumping through hoops to get free information on a service which you provide!
Step 3: Promote your website (after launch)
So the big day has finally arrived and you're ready to launch your website.
Instead of just releasing it out into the wild and PRAYING that someone will visit it and buy something from you, you've got an instant audience of people who are already interested in what you do.
Start to post on Instagram about how your website is now fully up and running and people can go check it out! Your followers won't be all surprised and unresponsive about that news because you will have been slowly telling them about it over several months already!
Include some kind of an opening/celebration offer that they might also like if they visit the website today.
Next send an email out to all of the people who signed up for your freebie earlier.
You can give them some extra bonus (beyond the opening day offer that everyone else has access to) to try and get them to signup or buy something on day 1.
HINT: These are the people most likely to become loyal customers very early because they've already identified themselves as people who are highly interested in what your business does.
Final Tip: Keep the momentum going
Ask customers to share their experience / purchase on social media and tag your page to increase the amount of exposure your business gets.
Invent a fun hashtag and encourage creative participation from your followers around your business. This is great because it builds instant social proof and makes other people more comfortable to become a customer too.
They key to having a huge launch is to do the ground work early!
Really big successful website launches don't just happen by accident.
Like every big success they're the result of careful planning and methodical execution!
What do you think? Have you had a big website launch? Is there a step I didn't include?
Let me know in the comments and if you need help getting ready for your big website launch then you can contact us.