So, the website redesign you and your team have been consumed by for the last year or two is finally finished and launched. Congratulations. Take a few minutes to bask in the glow of your well-deserved success. A redesign is an enormous undertaking that can literally take over your entire work life, especially as you approach launch and have to worry about moving, revising or re-writing thousands of pages of content. But now that it’s finished, you can move on, right? Not quite. Trust us, there’s still plenty to do. As the foundation of your marketing engine, your website launch actually marks the beginning of the real work it needs to accomplish, which is to say, attracting and converting your audiences, transforming interest into engagement, and engagement into revenue. Here are four things you should be thinking about after you’ve congratulated your team for getting you to this point. Step 1: Measure effectivenessWebsite performance is critical and measuring this starts long before launch. Understanding the performance of your current site enables you to appreciate the gains accomplished with the new site. This starts with identifying your most important measures (KPIs) and determining if those are being measured today. Most comprehensive website redesigns today include (or should include) implementation of tracking code as part of the overall process, whether that is Google Analytics or another platform. However, fewer redesigns (at least in our experience) include an actual analytics plan and tagging strategy. These latter two components are critical elements in gauging effectiveness and ideally, should be folded into the build phase of your project, when the development team is making decisions about how to build out the site’s functionality. Once the site launches, you can begin to measure the incremental value achieved through the new site. After managing the issues ordinarily observed at launch (search engine disorientation, 404 errors, etc.), you should look at your metrics at 30-, 60-, and 90-day intervals. The initial data sets will give you a general sense of how the site is trending (is performance steadily increasing for your KPIs?), while the 90-day look-back should give you meaningful data on critical measures. Step 2: Optimize to become more visibleMost users begin their onsite interaction with you via search engines, usually through a Google search. And the desire to show up first, or at least on page one, in search results is a near-universal goal in every website redesign project. But the simplicity and confidence inherent in a Google search and the results it provides, obscures the complexity of the process to get that content to show up in the first place.Possibly the most important thing for marketers is to define your goals for search: what words and phrases do you want to prioritize for search? What do you want to rank for? Search visibility is driven by unique content, and since the development of content is so resource intensive, your strategy needs to be targeted to what you can own and sustain. Once you have defined your search goals, you can build your strategy and identify tactics to get you there, from the number of new pages to create to the number of pages that need to be optimized for content and metadata. SEO is not a one-and-done endeavor. Not only are there many elements to optimize, but Google tests and tweaks its own algorithms as many as 700 times per year, which means that the rules and goals for search can and do change all the time. Expect SEO to be an ongoing, and potentially significant investment, both in time and money. Ideally you will have, or have access to, a dedicated team or partner to focus specifically on search. Step 3: Think Local.A critical subset of search optimization is local search. The prevalence of mobile devices means that most searches are local in nature. Whenever someone uses a phone to search for a service, person or location, Google can detect that user’s physical location and serve them up with hyper-local, hyper-targeted results. In addition, unlike desktop users, mobile searchers are likely in the moment, looking for actionable information, such as directions, hours or contact information. If you are trying to promote your business, or drive users to your facilities, local search is critical – or should be—to your overall search strategy.Local search results are recognizable by their additional content and unique display, which can include a map, images, hours and a description of the entity. Google generates these results based on the best information it has (Google+ and directory sites like yp.com) and often that information is incorrect, out-of-date or incomplete. Since Google prefers to display owned and verified information, the best way to rank well for local search is to claim, complete and optimize your Google My Business listings. And while you might think your business will come up first in search because you’ve done such a great job in optimizing during your redesign project, it’s important to remember that local search optimization is totally separate and distinct from site SEO. Your redesign will not have affected local search. Step 4: Build your Content (Strategy)It’s no secret that the biggest trend in marketing is content; it’s also no secret that it’s challenging to do well. Many organizations confuse volume with relevance and process with strategy; they mistakenly assume that because they have a lot of content at least some of it will be relevant to some of their audiences. Nothing could be further from the truth. Large websites can have upwards of 10,000 or even 50,000 pages; however, if the content isn’t unique and optimized, it won’t rank well for search. And if users don’t find it valuable or compelling, they won’t do more than scan the pages. Too often, content is written to explain what you do or how you do it, rather than convince the reader why they should select you and what their immediate next step is. If you want to drive user engagement and conversions (isn’t that the end game after all?), you should be focusing on the “why” in your content, rather than the “how.” So how do you create an effective content strategy? Start by auditing and evaluating what you have through the lens of the consumer. Is it compelling? Actionable? Can users find it? Does it demonstrate the “Why?” Revise and rewrite based on audience priority. Prune where necessary. Moreover, as part of your strategy, think about how all of your channels interact with each other. Does your offline marketing drive to the website? If so, what is that landing page experience like? What content do you have that is shareable and that you can syndicate effectively? Are the messages across your channels in sync and do they support each other? A good content strategy will define what you tell, to whom, how, using what channels and at what cadence. Ultimately, the intent is to have your messages and channels work together to drive and keep your audience within your universe – move them from ad to site to office. We promised there was more to do. And once you’ve tackled these four challenges, there are more in the wings – including accessibility, personalization, and using new – emerging – platforms as part of your overall marketing mix.