Clients often come to us with SEO requirements for their websites with a domain age of more than two years. These websites, not having been optimized ever, rank low on factors like keyword ranking, Page Rank, Alexa Rank etc. Our Team has put together some useful, often overlooked, pointers to help launch your website successfully – for web users as well as search engines.
Foresight for your Website
There is more to a new website than meets the eye. In order to maximize your site’s potential on Search Engines, it is important that your site is optimized even before it goes live, starting with the goals and purpose of your website and the domain name you choose; then to keywords you use for each page, search-friendly content and more.
SEO TIPS FOR NEW WEBSITES
Registering a Domain Name
Choose a domain name that has important keywords associated with your product, service or brand name. Short, crisp domain names are preferred over long ones. If your target market is global, select a .com domain. If you are targeting a particular country or language, it is better to register a domain name of that country. For example, choose a .in domain, if your target is primarily India.
We recommend you register the domain for at least two years. More the number of years, easier it is to gain the trust of search engines.
It is important to choose the right set of relevant keywords.
If there are keywords and phrases you want to rank for, create a list that you can measure and work towards. Map these keywords to the relevant pages on your website and include them in the content of the pages accordingly. Ideally, each page should be optimized for 2-4 keywords. Targeting too many keywords per page will lead to dispersion in traffic for that keyword on your site and the focus of the keyword will be reduced. Don’t just choose keywords with the highest traffic possible; go for keywords that are balanced, have moderate to high search volume and, most importantly, are highly relevant to what the user is looking for.
Make sure the content on your website is original and not lifted from any source. Your website can be blacklisted on search engines if it contains replicated content. Add fresh content regularly. This increases the chances of crawlers indexing your pages, and tells engines and visitors alike that your site is an authority on the subject. Creating and updating a blog regularly is a good way to add fresh content to your site. Recent changes in Google’s algorithm include the Freshness Update, which is said to impact 6 to 35% of web searches.
Add unique, keyword-rich meta tags (Titles, Descriptions and Keywords) to each page of your website. Use the most important keywords at the beginning of the tags. Write the title and description tags relevant to the respective page.
Check Your Robots.txt File
Add your site to search engine webmaster tools. This will ensure that search engines find, crawl, index and categorize your website easily, and also present detailed information about each page of your site.
Submit updated XML sitemaps to search engines regularly. XML sitemaps let the search engines know how often a page is changed, help improve crawl rate and provide credibility to the websites.
Create Social Accounts for Your Site/Brand
Search Engine Optimization and Social Media together have a powerful impact on search engines. With Social Media increasing in popularity and reach, your new site should be taking advantage of it as a medium to leverage. Create Accounts on all or some of the following Social Media sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Pages, YouTube (if you have or plan to have video content), Flickr (if you have image content), Scribd (if you have document content), Slideshare (if you have presentations), StumbleUpon (for bookmarking) and Reddit.
Do remember to link the social media accounts to your main website and vice versa.
Don’t just set up these accounts and then abandon them. Make sure you update the accounts frequently with unique and fresh content!
Install Google Analytics
Track important data that will help you gain insight into details like visitor behaviour, keyword performance, traffic etc. Based on the insights, you can improvise on your website or make changes to maximize its potential. With the above steps in place, you can ensure a search-friendly launch of your website, which appeals to your readers and search engines alike.
Contributed by Reynah D’Lima, Client Services Executive, Position² Team