What is one “can’t skip” SEO step to do when launching a new website?
To help small businesses with launching a new website, we asked SEO experts and marketing professionals this question for their best advice. From creating a monetization plan to keeping track of your keywords, there are several great SEO tips that may help you launch your new website!
Here are 12 SEO tips to follow for your website launch:
- Audit Page Title Tags
- Generate an XML Sitemap
- Plan Your Site Architecture
- Create a Keyword Strategy
- Consider WordPress For SEO Functionality
- Examine Your Competitors Websites
- Create a Monetization Plan
- Get Your SSL Certificate
- Claim Your Google My Business
- Verify Site Ownership Through Google Search Console
- Keep Track of Your Keywords
- Promote on Social Media
Audit Page Title Tags
New website launches carry the risk of losing hard-earned organic search traffic. Before launching a new site, one basic step to take is auditing page title tags and meta descriptions to ensure that high-performance pages have the same, or improved meta information. For example, the page title tag of the Markitors home page is “#1 Digital Marketing Company For Small Businesses | Markitors.” Now imagine if we were to do a new site launch, and the new page title tag would say “Home | Markitors.” We’d lose out on all the “digital marketing company” related search traffic. To avoid this, audit the page title tags and meta descriptions in a staging site before launch. It may save you some post-launch agony when the new site has a drop in organic traffic.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Generate an XML Sitemap
It’s very important to generate an XML sitemap for your new website. Search engines use an XML sitemap as a guide to all the most important pages on your website, as it provides a clear structure (especially when you don’t have many internal links on your website, which you should aim to have too). Add your XML sitemap to Google Search Console to ensure Google finds and crawls it promptly.
Camille Brouard, Myhrtoolkit
Plan Your Site Architecture
The same way you wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, you shouldn’t build a website without some overall, high-level hierarchy to organize your content and navigation. This is not only great for optimizing SEO but for improving the user experience, which is increasingly factoring into SEO ranking algorithms.
Andrew Maule, The SSL Store
Create a Keyword Strategy
When launching a new website, you should thoroughly research how your potential clients refer to your products or services. Studying what specific keywords are searched for when looking for what your firm does can be a game-changer. The gap between how you name your product or service internally and how customers call it may be immense. Aligning it can significantly boost your SEO efforts and assure that you are not barking up the wrong tree.
Michael Sena, Senacea
Consider WordPress For SEO Functionality
Once you have researched effective keywords in their marketplace for each specific webpage, you develop it in WordPress using the Yoast SEO plugin. This will help the company get its website pages to populate on Google and Bing for the chosen keywords they desire in their target market. DIY website builders like WIX, Weebly, and GoDaddy don’t have this incredible SEO functionality and should not be used. This is a step that will impact your organization from the start.
Patrick Menzel, Internal Profits, LLC
Examine Your Competitors Websites
When launching a new website, examine your competitors’ websites. What do the successful sites have that you should mimic? Take note of their backlinks to see where they are strongest and where they are not represented. Compare companies’ websites to each other. You’ll see common links you must have and see niches that you may be able to exploit. Use an SEO consultant that has specific industry knowledge to help focus your efforts.
Anthony Baumer, Old Grey Tiger Consulting
When launching a new site, a huge misstep that often takes place when there isn’t great communication between the marketing and tech department is implementing 301 redirects that ensure that rankings will not be lost and a ton of 404s won’t arise due to new URL structuring. If these are not done and added properly, your traffic can tank.
Sarah Blocksidge, Sixth City Marketing
Create a Monetization Plan
When launching a new site, you need to be sure that the monetizable organic traffic is there to make launching your site worthwhile. No one should be launching a site without a monetization plan in place and this should go hand-in-hand with ensuring that SEO is a major part of this process. As a general rule, organic traffic is more valuable than other sources of traffic so being certain that the search traffic is, indeed, available – both the “right” searches and making sure it’s of a sufficient volume – to make money from this is a critical SEO step for anyone launching a new site.
Anna Barker, Logical Dollar
Get Your SSL Certificate
While this might seem outside of the scope of SEO, whether or not your URL starts with “https://” will impact your site’s search ranking, your website visitors’ ability to access the website, and the trustworthiness of your business in the eyes of your customers. In 2018, Google began to display a glaring warning to Chrome users before they are about to enter an unsecured site, and other leading browsers have followed suit. So before you launch, make sure you’re implementing one of the easiest ways to build trust with your customers by protecting their information (and yours) by securing your website with an SSL certificate.
Amanda Mollindo, The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation
Claim Your Google My Business
You can’t forget to claim your Google My Business account! This is often a forgotten step, especially if you don’t have a physical business location. But Google My Business goes beyond maps and directions. It is a place to collect reviews, build credibility, and begin to take ownership of your online presence.
Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing
Verify Site Ownership Through Google Search Console
If you’re launching a new website, be sure to have Google Search Console verified. Google Search Console remains the most effective method for reviewing critical site issues and organic search performance within Google’s organic search results. The platform is essential for ensuring content is indexed, that your site is free from technical or usability errors and is refreshed daily with the impressions, clicks, and ranking data directly from Google’s organic search results.
Eric Lander, TechnologyAdvice
Keep Track of Your Keywords
Use a SERPchecker to see if your keywords rank. Be sure you update your blog post content regularly. Google likes fresh content. Update posts when you know new information. If you don’t know new information, remove old information, or add new images or a video. You can even change your headline. In addition, add the year to the headline and the meta description. These changes tell Google you have updated content it wants to show its users.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Promote on Social Media
SEO goes by keywords, phrases, and interest level of course but you need to be extremely active on the social media sites that relate to your website. Getting chatter on these sites and pushing ads out to potential customers that fit your demographic is huge for an optimal launch. You want lots of web traffic so promoting through social media is an essential step to ensure people are going to your site and checking out what you have available.
Mark Smith, UAT