10 years ago ‘build it and they’ll come’ worked on-line. Today it doesn’t.
Today there are so many web pages out there that any site that hopes to receive visitors has to be positioned well and promoted cleverly.
And the bar is getting higher all the time.
Someone with next to zero technical skills can sign up with Wix, Squarespace or WordPress.com and have a site up and published within half an hour.
The barrier to entry is a fraction of what it was 10 years ago, but the bar to being found is a zillion times higher.
So how do you get found on-line quickly today?
Here are the steps I go through to get a new site indexed and receiving search traffic as quickly as possible:
Step 1: Make sure that each page on your site is structured properly (on-site SEO).
Each individual page on your site should be focused on a specific subject: one page, one objective.
There are lots articles that talk about optimising a page for certain keywords. When I first read things like that I felt intimidated. It all sounded too technical and complex.
You can get lost in a very deep rabbit hole with SEO but you can get to 80% of where you need to be by following some simple principles.
If you focus each page on your site on one specific subject, and consciously choose a keyword for that subject, your page will automatically become optimised.
For example, if your site is about web design services and one of the services you offer is WordPress development, then your keyword would be WordPress and you need to use one page to talk about that, and only that.
As long as you do that, the fact that you’re only talking about WordPress on that page will automatically result in it being optimised for the keyword ‘WordPress’.
But there are also some steps you need to add manually:
Make sure ‘WordPress’ (or your chosen keyword) figures in your heading and sub headings, your META title, META description and keywords.
The Yoast SEO plugin helps and guides you to do that correctly.
As long as you follow those steps then your page will be optimised for the keyword ‘WordPress’.
So the message is: keep each page focused on one subject, and include your keyword in your headings, sub-headings, META title, META description and keywords.
One thing I should point out here: Google, in particular, is not the independent source of good information that it originally claimed to be.
It is more focused on money today and that has resulted in the suppression of normal web pages in the search results. That has also degraded the results Google returns to search requests.
I wrote a separate post about how Google is harming the business of bloggers.
Because of that, it is now much harder to get a new website to figure in Google’s search results than it was 10 years ago.
Step 2: Create a Sitemap and submit it to the search engines.
If you’re using WordPress it now includes an XML sitemap by default.
However, it is pretty basic. I would recommend disabling it and installing one of the SEO plugins that also include sitemaps, or a specific sitemap plugin, such as Google XML Sitemaps
Yoast is a well known and excellent SEO plugin. Not only does it include a sitemap but it automatically disables the built-in WordPress sitemap – so this is the one I would recommend.
Once you have that installed you then need to log into Google Search Console and submit your sitemap – through the ‘Sitemaps’ screen.
This is a simple but important step to take, because it improves the search engines’ ability to find and index all the pages on your website.
Step 3: Consider a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign
Many times with new sites I set up a small PPC campaign to kick start some traffic.
As soon as I’m getting as much traffic from the natural search results and other non-paid sources as I am from PPC, I cut the PPC campaign.
PPC is a very quick way of getting targetted visitors to your site quickly, but be careful: it can be hugely expensive if you set it up wrong.
Step 4: Create as many links to your site as you can.
If you have other online properties (blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or similar) link to your new site from them.
Post an update introducing your new site (as long as the content would be relevant to your followers on those sites).
If you don’t have other social sites you can join some. But be careful: be sure to join sites where your target market hangs out.
If you spread yourself too wide you will not be able to keep up with everything. Plus if you link to a site that is completely irrelevant to your audience on those social sites you will be wasting your time.
OK – so those are the steps I go through to get a new site noticed as quickly as possible.
Owner – WealthyDragon