Setting up a new website from scratch can be an epic task, but with a little forward planning and a lot of dedication, there’s no reason your setup can’t be successful from the start.
Here are my top tips for how to achieve SEO success from Day One.
Get a Head Start
Don’t wait until your site has launched to start making yourself known. Put up some form of holding or ‘coming soon’ page, give people the option to subscribe by email for updates and news, then start building backlinks and a general buzz straight away.
Make sure your Meta is Great!
The META Title and META description tags on your site are two of the most important elements to bring in clicks and potential visitors. They are your ‘sales pitch’ to potential customers in search results, so spend some time making sure they are the best they can be.
Content is Key
Write unique, engaging content. Google is very big on unique, user focussed content, so make sure yours stands out. Keywords are obviously important, but keep it natural and don’t go crazy – Google does not take kindly to ‘keyword stuffing‘ and you could end up being penalised (most recent penalties include Google Panda and Google Penguin!).
Know your Keywords
Think about how your potential customers might find you, what they might type into a search box. Consider broad keywords like ‘photographer’, but also local phrases such as ‘photographers in London’ and longtail phrases such as family portrait photographer in London’. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a great way to work out which keywords will work for you.
Blogging is Brilliant
A well crafted blog can be an invaluable tool in marketing your site. Blog about your company, services and niche. Having your blog set up from the beginning allows people to connect it to your brand from the start, and helps grow your blog following naturally too.
Be prepared to blog well and blog often though – remember, Google loves fresh, unique, user focussed content – never be tempted to churn out duplicate articles for the sake of an update, they’ll do you more harm than good! For more tips on Blogging read this and this!
Streamline your structure
Think about how you link to the pages within your site – is it easy for a user to find every other page from wherever they are? A clear flow from page to page is not only a plus for users, but it makes your site easier to ‘crawl’, which can help with search engine rankings.
Submit a Sitemap
A sitemap is basically a list of pages that appear on your website. Search engines can use it to find and ‘crawl’ all of the pages on the site, and users can use it to find inner website pages if they are having problems.
Having a sitemap doesn’t mean that your pages will definitely be included in the search index, but it is one of the best ways to tell the likes of Google, Yahoo and Bing about everything on your website which can help achieve good rankings for niche products and keywords.
Join the conversation
Get Social! Decide which social networks you’ll be using and start building your brands presence consistently across them. Spend some time creating quality, engaging bios, use the same logo/profile picture across the board for continuity, and of course, link to your main site from each profile.
Also, be sure to link to each of your social networks from your main page so that visitors can see at a glance where else they can find you. Don’t forget the share buttons too – people are more likely to share your content with their own networks if they can do so with one click!
Once your profiles are up and running, get stuck in and give your brand a voice. Interact with your peers and potential clients – social networks that are left for weeks without an update will do you no good at all. If time is an issue, consider scheduling updates via a social media management tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
Local, National and Niche business directories are all worth taking time to get listed on. They are a great way to create company profiles and create new backlinks. Maintain your brand across all of your listings, but do crate unique and engaging content wherever possible. Read this fabulous resource.
Maintain your efforts
If you decide to take care of your own SEO, there are certain tasks you should aim to complete on a daily or at the very least a weekly basis:
- Link Building. Depending on the age and content of your site, you should be building anything from 3-10 links a day. Decide what level you require and are comfortable with, and maintain it.
- Networking. Via Social Media Networks, of course, but also through relevant forums and communities – keep an eye out for new site popping up, anything aimed at people you’d class as potential customers is worth being involved in.
- Check out the competition – evaluate what your peers are doing (where are they getting links from, for example?), and make sure you are not left behind!
- Update & Notify. Keep creating fresh and original content – either as content on your site, or by publishing a new blog – and every time you do, be sure to let people know about it by sending ‘pings’, tweeting the link and so on.
- Subscribe to and read daily SEO news feeds to stay up to date with new developments and trends. Start by subscribing to my blog right now!!
It can feel like there’s always a job to be done, and to be honest, there is! But once you make all those jobs a part of your everyday business routine, the results should speak for themselves!
Have you found this post interesting? Would you like to know more about something? Let me know in the comments below, oh and of course please share and subscribe for more free advice!