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8 Ways To Boost Your SEO

by Kate Toon 07 Jun 2016

Launching a new website can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time. And the last thing you want to be fretting about not having all your SEO ducks in a row.
In this post I’ll give you some simple steps to ensure a smooth and SEO-friendly site launch.

Understanding the importance of SEO planning

Many website owners don’t grasp the SEO nettle until after their site has launched, which means they’ve failed to tick several simple boxes. The result? A poorly indexed site and a sluggish climb up the rankings – even for their own brand name.

Step 1: Register a domain name

Domain age isn’t really a factor when it comes to SEO. So registering your URL a year before you launch your site won’t win you any Google points.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a video from Google’s Matt Cutts that clears up this myth.

 

 

 

But getting your domain registered is certainly an important first step. Some top tips include:

  • Memorability: Choose a domain name that’s easy to remember.
  • Length: Avoid domain names longer than 15 characters.
  • Word separators: Avoid hyphens if possible. They confuse humans, and can be seen as a spam indicator.
  • Keywords: If you can secure a domain name that includes your keyword (e.g. PRIZEpig.com), that’s great. But don’t shoehorn in a keyword just because you think it will boost your SEO. Exact match domains are a teeny factor these days.
  • Extension: Don’t feel you need to buy every domain extension out there. Go for your country’s extension (.com.au), as well as the .com if you can. Buying lots of domains and pointing them at your site won’t improve your SEO.

It’s a good idea to check whether Google has ‘blacklisted’ the domain due to the actions of a previous owner. Here’s another video from Matt Cutts to explain how.

 

 


Step 2: Set up your social media pages

 

Setting up social media pages takes minutes. All you need is a logo, a cover image and a short blurb about your business. So why not set them all up before your site launches.

Make sure you set up your profiles on the big five: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. You may also want to consider other platforms for your business, such as Instagram and Pinterest.

You can even start sharing useful and engaging content on these platforms, and get your followers excited about your site launch.

Step 3: Create an optimised ‘Coming soon’ page

It takes time to get a site ranked by search engines. So give their indexing spiders something to crawl as soon as possible.

Create a branded, content-rich ‘Coming soon’ page, and consider adding a lead form to collect email addresses while you’re waiting to launch. Use an opt-in offer such as an ebook or video to encourage sign-ups.

And don’t forget to include links to all your social media page so they can start following you straight way.

Step 4: Create your page content

Draw up a list of core pages you need to sell your product and services. Have a good look at your competitors’ sites and work out a site structure that’s clean and easy to navigate.

Make sure each page serves a purpose and has a clear focus, then try to assign a focus keyword phrase to each page you create.

Aim to include your focus phrase in:

  • the page’s title tag
  • the headline (if it makes sense to do so)
  • the first 100 words
  • the filename of any images that appear on the page.

There’s no set number of times you need to use the phrase on the page (the whole keyword density thing is a myth). Just write naturally with focus, and you’re sure to use it just enough.


Step 5: Write some blogs

When your site actually launches, hopefully you’ll be so busy with client enquiries you won’t have time to write blog posts.
So help your future self by getting some posts ready now in preparation for all that Google love.

Think of the questions and issues your customers have, and try to address them with blog posts full of well-optimised and useful content. And when you’re done, load them all up to your site so they’re ready for your launch.

By doing this you’ll have content not only for the web crawlers to index straight away but also to share via social media in those all-important first weeks post-launch.

Step 6: Build some links

If you can, try to build some links to your website before you launch. You can do this easily by:

  • Listing it on recognised and well-known business directories – Yellow Pages, TrueLocal, etc.
  • Reaching out to business partners who might be interested in guest blogs from you.

And yes, guest blogging is perfectly safe as an SEO activity providing you post your content on relevant sites and ensure it’s your best possible work. Your goal isn’t just to build a link, but also to engage a whole new audience, build authority, and improve your credibility.

Step 7: Set up a Google My Business page

Take the time to create a free profile on the Google My Business platform. If you have a shopfront, it can be a great way to help potential customers discover you (and find out your opening hours).

Even if you don’t have a storefront, a Google My Business page is a great place to gather reviews and provide more information about your products and services.

Step 8: Create a media kit

Media kits are super useful when you’re announcing your startup company. At the very least they should include:

  • Your company profile
  • Team member biographies
  • High-resolution photographs and images related to your business
  • Contact details
  • Product specifications (if relevant)

 

Also write a press release announcing the launch of your business, and include details of any kind of launch event.

You can learn more about creating media kits here
.

 

 

And everything else…

Of course, you can be doing lots of other tasks while waiting for your site to launch, such as:

  • Creating YouTube videos
  • Sending out products to influencers and bloggers
  • Setting up a Google AdWords campaign
  • Building an email newsletter template

 

After you launch

As soon as you launch, be sure to embed your Google Analytics code into your site and take the time to monitor your site. Set up conversion goals, and review which content is proving most popular.

I also highly recommend setting up a Google Search Console account to keep track of crawl errors, site speed and other site issues. Be sure to submit your sitemap to Google and verify your site when it’s live.

 

The benefit to your business

The benefit of preparing for your site launch this way is your site will hit the ground running. In fact, you’ll be building up SEO juice before you even have a website.
This means your site will be indexed faster, and may achieve ranking for your branding terms (and even industry related terms) more quickly.

Over to you

Are you launching a site this year? Have you considered all of these steps? Do you have any other handy tips for our readers?

 

About Kate Toon

Kate Toon is an award-winning SEO copywriter and SEO consultant with almost two decades of experience in all things advertising, digital and writing. Originally from the UK but now based just outside Sydney.

She has worked with big brands such as eHarmony, Curash and Kmart. And she's helped countless small businesses produce great content and improve their copywriting and SEO.

Kate is also the founder of The Clever Copywriting School and The Recipe for SEO Success eCourse, as well as co-host on the Hot Copy Podcast. She presents the Write for Business show for the Dale Beaumont’s Business Blueprint channel.

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