After your new website is finally published the next step is to start syncing it with search engines. How does it start ranking on search engines? Does a new website just magically appear in Google after you’ve launched it? What things do you have to do to start ranking in Google and get traffic from the search engines? Here, I explain the first steps you’ll need to take right after the launch of your new website. So, let’s start working on the SEO for a new website!
1. First you’ll need to have an external link
One of friends’ friends launched a birthday party packages online store once. It’s all in Dutch and it’s not WordPress (that’s maybe a wrong choice). After they launched a website, they celebrated the launch and asked friends what they thought of her new site. No one could find the website in Google, not even if they ‘googled’ the exact domain name.
Our question was: do you have another site linking to your site? And the answer was ‘no’. They linked their site from the personal site and after half a day, her website popped up in the search results. The very first step when working on SEO for a new website: getting at least one external link.
Why do you need an external link?
Google is a search engine that follows links. For Google to know about your site, it has to find it by following a link from another site. When Google cames around to crawl any other site after we put the link there, it can discover the existence of my other, new site. And Google indexes it. After indexing the site, it starts to show the site in the search results.
2. Step: Tweak your settings…
After that first link, your site probably will turn up in the search results. If it doesn’t turn up, it could be that the settings of your site are on noindex or is still blocked by robots.txt. If that’s the case, you’re telling Google not to index your site. Sometimes developers forget to turn either of these off after they finished working on your site.
Some pages are just not the best landing pages. You don’t want people landing on your check out page, for instance. And you don’t want this page to compete with other – useful – content or product pages to show up in the search results. Pages you don’t want to pop up in the search results ever (but there aren’t many of these) should have a noindex.
Yoast SEO can help you to set these pages to noindex. That means Google will not save this page in the index and it’ll not turn up in the search results. If you’ll need advanced setup with Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress (or any other SEO recommendation) we’re here to help > See Advanced SEO Packages >>
3. Important: Keyword research
Once indexed, then site ranks on a chosen domain name. That’s about it. After that, some work has to be done to start ranking on other terms as well. When you want to improve the SEO for a new website you have carry out some proper keyword research.
So go find out what your audience is searching for! What words do they use? What are they after? Remember, your future potential clients might be brought to you just by using the right keywords.
If you execute your keyword research properly, you’ll end up with a long list of search terms you want to be found for. Make sure to search for those terms in Google yourself. What results are there already? Who will be your online competitors for these search terms? What can you do to stand out from these results?
4. And then: Write, Write, Write (we can’t emphasise that more, more, more)
Then you start writing. Write about all those topics that are important to your audience. Write as much as you like, but follow the schedule. Use the words you came up with in your keyword research. You need to have content about the topics you want to rank for to start ranking in the search results.
But also: Improve Search Results Snippets
Take a look at your results in the search engines once you start ranking (the so called search result snippets). Are those meta descriptions and the titles of the search results inviting? Are they tempting enough for your audience to click on them? Or should you write better ones?
WordPress helps you to write great titles and meta descriptions if you’re using one of the favorite SEO plugins. Use our snippet preview to create awesome snippets. That’ll really help in attracting traffic to your site. If you’ll need advanced setup with Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress (or any other SEO recommendation) we’re here to help > See Advanced SEO Packages >>
5. Think about site structure
Which pages and posts on your site are most important? These should have other pages and posts linking to them. Make sure to link to the most important content.
Google will follow your links, the post and pages that have the most internal links will be most likely to rank high in the search engines. Setting up such a structure, is basically telling Google which articles are important and which aren’t. Our brand new text link counter can be a great help to see if you’re linking often enough to your most important content.
6. Finally: do some link building
Google follows links. Links are important. So get the word out. Reach out to other site owners – preferably of topically related websites – and ask them to write about your new site. Start a Social campaign. If Google follows multiple links to your website, it’ll crawl it more often. This is crucial when you do the SEO for a new website, and will eventually help in your rankings. Don’t go overboard in link building for SEO though, buying links is still a no-go..
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