After weeks of tweaking materials and mind melding with your website designer, your site has launched. Congratulations! Now you can finally let it do its job and get back to fully concentrating on your dance studio.
But wait!! As tempting as it is to consider the project “done”, there are things you can do to take full advantage of your new site and ensure you get your money’s worth.
Here are the top 4 things you should remember to do AFTER your studio’s website has launched:
1. Promote It
Hopefully there’s already a buzz that you have a new website, but make sure to promote it fully. Start by sending out an email newsletter and Facebook post encouraging your students, dance parents, and friends to check out your new website and then to share it with their friends. Put your web address on flyers, show programs, signs, and anywhere else you can think of.
Consider offering a web-only special or coupon, to give people another reason to go to your website. People love to get a good deal, and once they’ve visited your site, it will be easier to get them to return.
2. Drive Traffic to It
As often as possible, drive traffic to your dance studio’s website from your social media channels. For example, when you upload a video to your YouTube Channel, make sure that the title or description of the video includes your website address. When posting to Facebook, give a ‘Latest News’ teaser, and then provide a link to the News page of your website for those who want fuller information. If you’ve added a batch of new photos to your studio’s website, tweet about it and include a link to your Photo Gallery page.
Get as much traffic on your website as possible, and you’ll have the forum to excite visitors about your classes, programs, events, and camps.
3. Link It
Improving your dance studio’s online presence through local directories is an excellent way to keep top of mind with those in your community. Start off by claiming your listing with Google Local (formally Google My Business), and move on to other local directories such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and BBB.org.
Besides utilizing local directories, create online partnership opportunities where you can. Linking to and from other websites, when done in a thoughtful way, can increase your studio’s exposure, as well as establish important business relationships.
Reciprocal links can also help with your search engine optimization, as long as you aren’t seeking them out for that purpose alone. The important thing is to put your dancers, parents, and prospects first, and consider what they would be interested in and find valuable.
4. Maintain It
Think of your website upkeep as an ongoing discipline, instead of a performance that ends when the curtain goes down (aka: when the website launches). Maintaining, updating, and monitoring your website is a practice that will last as long as your dance studio does.
Not what you wanted to hear, right? It’s ok. There are things you can do to make maintenance easier.
Keeping your website up to date is the #1 way to ensure it remains the sweet little marketing engine that it is at launch time. Here are three ways to make updating easy:
a) Plan ahead to make it easier to deal with needs and problems when they arise. Keep a record of all your login information, as well as the contact details and support email addresses of your web designer, hosting company, and domain name company. If your website designer manages your hosting and domain as well as your site, then it’s that much easier to keep that info at hand.
b) As soon as your website launches, set a schedule to remind yourself to check in. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in studio life that you forget to perform maintenance or even glance at your website. Solution? This is a GREAT task to delegate to a trusted studio staff member. As with most things, though, if it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t get done. Just a month or two of neglect due to a busy competition schedule or recital prep, and suddenly that manageable task can feel daunting. Ensure success by scheduling maintenance sessions into the office calendar 1 or 2x per month.
c) Use maintenance sessions to remove outdated information from your website, add timely event details, revise your dance school’s calendar, update competition result information, and/or add a special contest or promotion. If you’re wanting visitors to take action on a certain page, make sure to add a clear Call to Action.
A few times per year, schedule a fuller review of your website. During these sessions, identify places where you can improve your site and create an intuitive, streamlined experience for prospects, parents, and dancers. Think about your overarching goals, and the mission and branding of your website as it relates to your studio. This type of session will also help you notice things you may otherwise have forgotten to update, such as a change in faculty or a photo needing replacing.
Think now about your website’s life post launch. Schedule time for social media, marketing, and maintenance, and you’ll set it up for long-term success. You’ll ensure that it remains current, professional, and your #1 tool for bringing new dancers into the studio, while also keeping existing dancers (and their parents) happy and loyal!
Your website is your dance studio’s #1 marketing tool. Is yours sorely in need of a redesign? Please take a look at our dance studio website design portfolio, and see whether we’re a good fit!
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