Are you thinking of launching a new website? That’s good thinking!
But, did you know that domain age is a Google ranking factor? That means Google doesn’t trust new websites or start showing them in the SERPs right away. In fact, Google puts new domains in something called a “sandbox” for a period of two months, during which it evaluates the site authority and user experience.
For new site owners, the period before site launch is critical from an SEO perspective.
Because, during this duration, they can do a lot of groundwork to give Google crawlers a good first impression of their soon-to-be-launched site. This way, the site gets indexed sooner than it would if SEO happens after the site goes live.
So, how do you get started with SEO at the stage of website development? Just follow my pre-launch SEO checklist below and watch your search rankings soar in record time.
5 Proven Strategies to Boost SEO at the Stage of Website Development
Being somewhat a technical subject, SEO is best handled by experienced SEO professionals. However, there’s a lot that non-technical folks can do to give their SEO teams a great head start. Here are some steps that will give your new website a flying start with the search engines.
1. Prepare a “Coming Soon” Page
Even without a full site, you can generate leads and attract crawlers using a “coming soon” page. Ensure that your page has high-quality images, a FAQ section, your mission statement, and full business information.
To gather leads and build your subscriber lists, you can offer premium content in exchange for the email addresses of visitors. To do that, include a strong, compelling call-to-action on your “coming soon” page. Once you have contacts, nurture them with relevant content and keep them hooked and interested.
Create buzz about your upcoming site on social media networks by connecting your accounts to your coming soon page. Moreover, include a media kit on your page, loaded with impressive press releases about your brand. This way, you won’t have to work too hard to drive organic traffic (and press) to your new site.
2. Accelerate Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
As said, you should leverage your social media presence to drive traffic to your new site. For that, you need to complete your social media bios and include a link to your “coming soon” page in them.
Plus, you need to maintain a regular posting frequency to engage your fans and followers. However, churning out quality content at scale for all of your accounts can be time consuming and tedious.
I like to use social media tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to automate content curation, scheduling, posting, and tracking. Not only that, but these tools can optimize content for different platforms and post them at optimal times, without any manual intervention.
3. Prepare All Your Pages in Advance and Optimize Them
Before you go live, prepare and optimize your pages well. As mentioned, Google takes longer to index new domains. You don’t want to extend your waiting time by overhauling your SEO after your site is launched.
To nail your on-page SEO, focus on long-tail keywords (having 3 or more words) since they are easier to rank for and have a lower CPC (cost per click) than shorter, more popular keywords. To incorporate longer keywords, you will have to write long-form content. Include keywords strategically in your page titles, meta descriptions, and subheadings.
Track your target keywords from time to time to identify the best-performing keywords and pages. Also, monitor your competitors’ SEO strategies and replicate them if needed. You can use free keyword research tools like Google Keywords Planner for this purpose. Don’t forget to implement Google’s keyword suggestions if you want to crack their ranking algorithms.
4. Guest Post to Build Links to Your Domain
Guest blogging is a sure-fire way to earn quality backlinks, establish your domain authority, and build your email lists. But to derive all of these benefits, you need to produce useful, authoritative content that your readers will love to read and share. You can use writing software like Grammarly and the Hemingway App to get new topic ideas and error-proof your posts.
Remember, guest posting is not a channel for blatant self-promotion or link farming. Anyhow, if you publish on reputable websites, you won’t be able to get away with these black-hat tactics.
So, first, find websites by conducting a basic “write for us” Google search. Shortlist websites in your niche that garner substantial views, shares, and comments. Pitch your post ideas to their editors and explain briefly why publishing your content would be a win-win for them.
Once your posts get approved and published, don’t forget to promote them aggressively on social media and in your newsletters. If you’ve included links to high-authority websites in the posts, you can get additional traffic from these websites as well. An impressive link profile can earn you brownie points from Google from the get-go.
5. List Your New Site in Niche Directories
Last but not least, get your new site listed in industry directories like Yelp, Yahoo, and Bing Places. Some of these sites might be paid, so make sure they are worth the investment. If the directories have authority, your “coming soon” page will get more traction from Google.
Ensure that your listing is fresh, accurate, and complete at all times. Try to include positive reviews and ratings from verified sources. All of this boosts your website’s credibility in the eyes of potential visitors as well as Google bots.
Pro Tip: These tips are applicable to all new websites so you need to keep in mind to start a sports blog, marketing blog, ecommerce store, etc.
That’s all, folks!
That’s all you need to do to jump-start your SEO at the stage of website & App development. However, it’s pointless to implement these tactics if you don’t analyze their returns closely. You need to know what’s working and what needs to be avoided. Track your search rankings and look for unusual dips and peaks. Be proactive and catch SEO mistakes before they hurt your rankings irreparably.
Do you have any SEO tricks and hacks to share with the community? Drop them in the comments section. I’d love to hear about them.