How to launch your website on the right marketing channels, the DIY way
The Marketing Robots launch recap 🚀
Launching your website is one of the most challenging parts of the making process. Marketing Robots went live exactly two weeks ago, so with some data in my back pocket I thought it’d be interesting to share some insights and geeky stats on the experience and initial results.
Launching your campaign is one of the most challenging and scary parts of the making process. You spend all this time organising this party, to then realise how difficult it is to get people to turn up for it.
I spent three months building the site and about 25% of that time was dedicated to planning the launch; essentially evaluating what kind of audience would find the product genuinely useful and how to better find this group of people online. This is the framework I used to ask myself some key questions at this key stage:
- Where is your audience most likely to hang around?
- What’s the best way to establish your presence on those channels?
- Can this be achieved organically or is it worth investing on paid media/advertising?
- What are the differences between those ideal channels? Should your tone of voice or timings be different for each?
- What are the expectations from each channel in terms of visits, conversions or any other relevant KPIs for your campaign?
So what channels went into the mix?
Let’s break it down:
Owned social: Sounds pretty straightforward, almost common sense, but there’s a huge deal of value in showcasing your creation to the people you already know; your company’s Twitter account, your own LinkedIn network, etc. They’re more likely to check out your work, provide honest feedback and share it with others.
In my case I was also able to fix some bugs that I didn’t notice as well as iterating on a couple of things were I wasn’t 100% confident, all thanks to this feedback. On top of this, these two channels alone drove a decent amount of traffic during those first days: ?12.7% of the total.
Referrals: For me, this was the big one. There are lots of benefits from getting other sites to link to yours, specially at the very beginning. For starters, getting backlinks contributes to ramping up your SEO presence by helping Google’s algorithm see how others are “endorsing” your content.
Beyond that, the main reason is, well, traffic. Just putting the word out there and sharing your creation with the outside world.
Sites such as Product Hunt base their entire business model on building an audience of curious early adopters, always willing to testing out and discovering new products. By sharing your project on these self-curation communities you’re effectively creating their content, while reaching and leveraging their audience. I visit Product Hunt countless times a day, so it was very rewarding seeing Marketing Robots on their front page while hearing some really constructive feedback.
Other similar sites I used to get referrals were BetaPage, BetaList, Launchise, Makehub and Growth Hackers.
Overall, referrals drove (and keep driving) most of my traffic, representing 27% of the total.
Organic search: I spent a lot of time researching and optimising the site for certain keywords prior to the launch but growing your organic search presence definitely takes time.
In two weeks, organic search has reached a tiny 1.8%, but the long term goal (of any site really) should be to leverage this channel as much as possible: This is free traffic that already carries over some level of intent coming from the people who searched and found you online.
One of the issues when you’re just getting started is that you don’t actually know what your best keywords are, and Google won’t give you those for free through their analytics. A workaround here is to allocate some small spend to Google Adwords to start testing some hypothesises and see what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve ever created your own GA account you’d probably know it’s pretty common for Google to share a $150 free ad credit after a few weeks to get you started. Mine arrived this week ?
Paid media: Besides the test with Adwords I just mentioned above, this is a modest project for the time being so fast-tracking things via paid promotion wasn’t part of the plan. Doing things organically means it will take me longer to build an audience, but hopefully everyone getting to the door will be genuinely interested. Slowly but surely.
So did anyone turn up to the party?
Yes! This is how traffic to the site looked like for these first few days:
- That big spike on July 11th was launch day, with 348 visits.
- Since then, traffic has normalised down to an average of 45 visits a day.
- Total visits was 742 during these first 2 weeks.
- People spent an avg. of 1 minute 42 seconds browsing the site.
- 14.3% of you have been coming back since your first visit – which is awesome.
- 55 of you signed up to be notified when new content is added – making the site conversion rate 7.4% – which I’m really happy about.
Testing some hypotheses:
I organised all learning resources based on what makes sense to me, or how I organise these assets for my own reference. But does this make sense to other people?
One of the things I was keen to see was the most visited categories on the learning resources area; how people is landing on the site and where they’re going to.
It turns out Must-reads and Cutting-edge Techniques were the most appealing themes. That’s a great early indicator of what content you’re finding useful and, as I gather more usage data, this will lead what new resources go up on the content library or how content is organised.
Other geeky stats I didn’t know you can get out of Google Analytics:
- Most visits came from people aged 25-34 years old. (Millennials are always welcome).
- The male – female split is currently ?80-20%.
- 71% of the traffic came from a Chrome browser – which is quite relieving as the site is optimised for this browser.
- Desktop is driving ?73.1% of the traffic – though the site works beautifully on mobile (try it!).
Some things that didn’t go as well as planned:
Posting on Reddit: Posting on Reddit was probably the main disappointment from the launch. Reddit is well known for their high exposure, as well as their no-spam policy. I was aware of that. I spent some time (in retrospect, too much time) scanning for relevant marketing threads where people were looking for useful resources on how to learn about certain topics related to data-driven marketing.
I really think Marketing Robots would have been helpful for them, even if yes I’m the creator of this site, and yes I was promoting my own stuff – but any post containing a link to an external resource was automatically deleted. So a bit of waste really.
Getting press: Have you ever researched hundreds of media publications, looking for the relevant journalists and writers who might be interested in your product to then craft a personal email note to every single one of them hoping for a response and maybe even a reference on their publication?
Now I can say I have.
I contacted exactly 66 tech reporters (btw I made the contacts list freely available here) and I guess the story wasn’t appealing enough for these big publications. That I understand. Zero responses so far. Wait, I lie. I received 9 out-of-the-office messages. It was worth a shot. I guess.
Well, everything. I’m glad I’m starting to have some more time to keep growing the content library. Making the site hyper relevant and useful is the main priority.
There are lots of new features on the roadmap, as well as new content categories.
New resources are being added on a weekly basis and the first newsletter just went out. I’m using email mostly to give people a heads up on all the new things that are going up on the site, so if you want to stay in the loop feel free to sign up right here.
I’ve also started to get some great tips from people on new content ideas via the submit form. Keep them coming!
That’s all for now. Have any comments or questions? Tweet them to me or drop a comment below.