7 Practical Methods to Jump-start your SEO before a Site Launch
It’s rather exciting to launch a new website and you feel pretty sure that your product has what it takes to become a best seller. Alas! Many website owners have been there before only to find their enthusiasm dampened- for they realize that it takes more than a good website and a good product to make the news. You have to be noticed by search engines and only then can you make it good. SEO shouldn’t be an afterthought- the grim reality is that it should be a prerequisite even before you launch your site.
There is no dearth of information about how you should go about jump-starting SEO before you launch your site but the truth is that the ocean of do’s and don’ts can be unnerving and rather intimidating. So let’s walk through the process and see how to get SEO singing prior to launch.
Strangely, although digital marketers place such a huge onus on SEO, they go into site launch blindfolded and then flounder when search engines choose to ignore them. The first golden rule then is to make these engines sit up and notice you.
Create user-friendly websites
A user-friendly website is a favorite with search engines so you need to make sure that your website design is SEO friendly as well. In an era where mobile devices dominate the landscape, websites need to have a responsive website design so that they can be easily accessed from any device. Google loves such designs and ranks these websites higher. A user-friendly website translates into a good user experience, whereas a visually appealing layout and easy navigation are sure ways to get there. In addition-
- Titles of Web pages should contain important keywords and meta descriptions should be optimized similarly with optimal length
- Web pages should load fast as Google considers site speed in its algorithm
- Optimize images and use infographics to enhance the visual appearance of the website and increase engagement with visitors. Make sure that the text you use contains important keywords.
- Enable caching so that unnecessary elements don’t reload each time a visitor revisits
Content will always rule
Search engines love keywords, good user experience, and good content. Content development and content marketing are hot news. The more content you have, the longer will visitors stay and greater the quality of content, greater are the chances of search engines putting your website pages in the search index. Good, quality content satisfies users and pleases search engines.
So start with blog posts that have high-quality content and keep that coming in even after site launch. Pre-launch, have a dozen blog posts ready– even a new website will get increased traffic if the content is optimized for readers. Industry articles, tutorials, how to guides, videos, podcasts- all of these build up a little SEO authority, create a buzz and hopefully attract a few links, to begin with.
Optimize all your Web pages
That’s obvious– make sure all your pages have original, quality content and pages with a lot of links to them. Ensure that all your Web pages are unique, have unique titles and unique descriptions and when search engines crawl your website, these pages will hopefully be indexed and will figure in SERPs when your site goes live.
A “coming soon” page—an absolute must
This page does a lot of things: it helps promote your brand, help you show off your skills a bit and is a great way to grow a loyal customer base. The ‘Coming Soon’ page is a way of telling visitors that you’re busy constructing your site but not too busy that you don’t have time for them. Attract visitors and give them a freebie-it may just be a guide, a how-to, a video—something in exchange for having taken the trouble to visit the page. Leave a message, give information, tell them when to come back it’s a way of saying that you need them. Throw in a media kit and make it attractive and easy enough for the media to contact you.
Use the ‘Coming Soon’ page to connect
With the power social media wields, it’s a good thing to connect this page to your social media presence and spread the word around about your new website and what you’re going to offer visitors. Encourage them to visit once the site is actually launched by creating enough buzz. If you want to please Google’s search engines, make sure you have a public presence in Google+ (Google Plus). Popularity on Google+ is likely to influence your search results. Also, ensure that you sign up for other core sites such as Yelp, Bing Places and more.
Building links is important
The aim of link building is to get other websites to link to yours. This is akin to saying that your website is good enough to be ranked highly. An increase in the number of high-quality sites that link to your website pages will improve the ranking of the website. However, building links isn’t an overnight task, it’s difficult and time-consuming. Guest blogging is one way to build your credibility, a quick way to generate traffic to your site and also build up your email list. You can also use internal linking to help search engines find and rank you.
Keep track of your SEO progress
Track keyword rankings for your website to see whether there is upward movement in search results and use Google analytics to learn more about your visitors and see which keyword is doing what. That helps you stay on top of your metrics always.
With thousands of websites being launched every year, you need to set yourself apart- so do it right by optimizing your website by jump-starting SEO pre-launch.