5 tips for new websites

So how do you support your new website so it’s found on search engines and starts to perform and justify its investment? Here we’ve outlined 5 tips for new websites to succeed.

The challenges for new websites

If you want to use your website to generate calls, rather than just an online brochure, you’ll need traffic. New domains (website addresses) have no history, no links to them from other sites and no traffic. So, they aren’t as trusted as established business domains.

Your site, depending on your business sector, will invariably be in a competitive area too – lots of websites trying to get to page one on Google for the best search terms.

So, what to do? Assuming you’ve used a good web designer and web developer you should be sitting on a website that’s coded for search engine friendliness, with great content that’s optimised for a set of keywords and phrases that your site stands a chance of being found for.

Here are 5 tips to get your new website moving up the search engines…

1. Links – the basics

Search engines like great content and rank websites higher if other people think its good. They like to see that a website is trusted enough by others for them to say, “Hey, have a look at this site!”.

These links to your site are very important and a strong signal to Google that your site is worth ranking more highly.

2. Use your contacts

Your contacts and suppliers could be a key source of links to your site on one of their pages. Suppliers showing where their products can be bought (i.e. your site) benefit them and you. Think too about who you work with – a tile shop working with tile fitters or bathroom companies can all benefit from links to one another.

3. Directories

There are lots of directories. Some are worth it, some are just dodgy.

Pick reputable directories and think about lists that are relevant to your business and industry, or your local area – relevance helps.

4. Social Media and Blogging

A website that’s talked about ‘socially’ will begin to rank more highly. For some businesses social media has a far better fit. Updating your followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ about offers, new products, news or views should get you talked about, shared or visited.

Your site will gain more traffic if people other than you are talking about it and saying it’s worth a visit.

Have a think too about blogs, either your own (to keep your site fresh) or acting as a guest on other blogs which let you write content that links back to your site.

5. Press coverage

If you’ve been advertising, running editorial or just getting featured in magazines, press or local media outlets it’s time to pick up the phone. Tell them about your new site and venture, and politely (beg) for a feature and link on their website to tell their readers.

Things to avoid

Sites that state they will place your website on 300 other sites overnight are dangerous. Commonly known as ‘Link Farms’, they promise a lot but will ensure you’re penalised. If Google sees your website getting 300 links over-night it’ll think you’re cheating.

Low quality directories too can get you penalised. Be selective, using sites that are local or well known.

Google has recently changed the way it looks at links, and if it thinks your site is cheating, being linked to by lots of paid for sites or unnatural links that don’t look normal (i.e. like they wouldn’t ordinarily link to you) it will rank your site lower. The best tip: get relevant links related to your website subject.

It takes some effort, but nowadays it’s needed.

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