After months of planning, preparation and development, your website “baby” is now taking its first faltering steps into the vastness of the World Wide Web. Like any proud parent wants of their children, you want the best for your website – you want it to go out and achieve to the best of its potential.
But it can’t – not on its own. Not without help.
A successful website takes a whole load of effort, strategy and guidance to attain the lofty goals that you have set for it. It takes patience and time to hook into that target audience that is searching for your business. A newly launched website is just one single entity – floating in the vastness of the internet. A void that is likely filled with many similar websites, just like yours, all craving the attention of the same critical audience.
How are they going to find yours?
With the baby steps below, you can set your newly-launched business website on the right path and make it visible to the audience that is searching for what you have to offer.
Step 1 – Get Your Site listed with Google
This one is a must because Google won’t list your site automatically at launch. You (or your web developer) need to bring the new website to Google’s attention using one of the two following methods:
- Manually add the URL of the new site by visiting the Google Search Console https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en and submitting it via the “official” channels.
- A more cunning way to gain Google’s attention is to display a link to the website on another site that has already been indexed (visited) by the Googlebot. When the Bot next sweeps by for a visit, it will pick up the new link and, voila, you’ll be added to the index.
Be aware that listing on Google can take anywhere from 24 hours to four weeks but you can speed up the process with a little more exposure…
Step 2 – Engage in “Off Page” SEO
Off-page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to methods that you can use to promote your site outside the pages of your website. Two of the most popular methods are Link Building and Social Media Marketing.
Linking Building involves getting other websites to link to your site (these are known as inbound links). So long as these sites are of a high quality and their content is relevant to your site, Google smiles upon this method and its search algorithm may give your site a boost in the rankings.
Note that linking from any old site is not recommended and can have the opposite effect on the rankings – you can even get blacklisted if Google really doesn’t like what you have done.
Social Media Marketing is exactly as it sounds. Using the various social platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc), promote and share the content of your site with your audience of followers. Each post/link to your site that is shared by this audience is seen favourably in the eyes of the GoogleBot.
Step 3 – On-Page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the use of various tactics within the content of your website’s pages. This can include using key words that your audience may use as part of the text, ensuring that all images have an ALT tag attached and using internal/external links to establish connections with other content that the search engines may already know about.
If you are using WordPress as the framework for your site, install either the “Yoast SEO” or All-in-One SEO plugins and they will work through wizards to help set up your on-page SEO.
These three steps are only the first steps along path to gaining real traction with your website. Once the GoogleBot has found and ranked your small business website, you will need to monitor which tactics are working best for you. In addition, you must keep your content fresh and update to date and constantly monitor your website analytics. Know where your traffic is coming from, what pages they like to visit and what they use to find your website in the first place.
If you need assistance getting your site a little more Google-friendly, please get in touch with Tropical Coast Web Design. We’ll take a look at your currently “set-up” and help you implement the changes needed to get the most out of your site.