Young websites are tricky.
If you’re about to become one of the 100,000 brand new websites published every single day, you’re probably full of hope and excitement about the inevitable success of your new website.
You know your business or money-making site is going to make you rich, significant and successful. You’re even thinking about renting a cabin in the woods this Christmas for your family to enjoy whilst celebrating your year of total world domination.
The only thing standing in between your new venture, and that premium-member bank account is traffic, and lots of it. The purest way of getting a tonne (sp. c’mon I’m British!) of motivated traffic landing on your site who will part with their cash is……. SEO. But you knew that 🙂
What you may not know, is that Google doesn’t trust new websites. So, your plan of getting your site onto the top of Google, and laughing all the way to the bank, could very well be in jeopardy if you’re not careful.
Like the father who doesn’t trust the new boyfriend his daughter has just brought home for dinner, Google doesn’t trust your new website. It wants to see proof that your intentions for its search engine result page users are good!
There’s an ‘unofficial’ Google penalty that is often discussed within the SEO industry called the Google Sandbox icon-video-camera . This is when Google will hold your website on the 2nd page whilst it works out if your site is worthy to grace its first page where Google users will see it.
We desperately want to avoid getting ‘sandboxed’, and starting off on the right foot with Google is going to save you hundreds of hours of troubleshooting, frustration and heartbreak in the future.
What follows is a guide on how to build the proper SEO foundations for your new site which will give you the perfect springboard from which to get your website onto the top of Google for your dream keywords as quick as is possible.
A Natural Website
Good old Matt Cutts. You’ve got to love that lovable rogue. You’ve also got to take everything he says with a pinch of salt. It doesn’t matter if the signals your website are giving off appear natural or are natural, Google will treat it just the same.
We’re not going to argue over semantics. Instead, in the first few months of our website’s life, we’re going to do anything and everything a promising and natural authority website would do in the early days of existence.
0 days – 14 days
Social Account Creation icon-facebook-square icon-twitter-square icon-google-plus-square
You’ve started a new website / business that is going to take over the world. What’s the first thing you do?
“well…”, you think to yourself, “I’ve got to get this bad boy all over social media”.
You get to work building your social media profiles, and making them look pretty. Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, YouTube channels.
Google knows this. So what is it expecting to see? Your brand’s new social accounts popping up everywhere.
Spend the first few weeks building out your social profiles for your business. Take your time. You can easily outsource the building of all this using online freelancer/outsourcing services, but I’d advise against it. If you’re truly committed to making this website and your SEO strategy a success, don’t take shortcuts on branding and at least make sure your Facebook, Twitter, G+, YouTube & LinkedIn profiles are properly populated with links going back to your website. These branded, ‘no follow icon-video-camera’ links are a great way to start a diversified link profile icon-video-camera
14 days – 24 days
Press Releases icon-bullhorn
Why?Press releases icon-video-camera get a bad rap with regard to SEO. Quite rightly – they’re expensive, unpredictable in their results, and a terribly inefficient way to ‘build links’. All in all, press releases are not a great addition to an SEO strategy. However, they do facilitate one thing: a ‘bit of buzz’.
That sickly little phrase translates to a handful of (short-term) links from relatively high authority sites coming to your site, a likely increase of (again, short-term) impressions on your website, and a chance of some fleeting social shares.
Use a reputable Press Release website to get the news of your website out there. It’ll likely set you back between $50-100.
25 days – 35 days
Social Activity icon-comments
With your ‘publicity’ through your press release, and some properties in place where your community can start to like and share your new business (social media profiles), we can sit back and let your new business go viral! 😉
Or… maybe you’re like the 1000s of websites that I’ve worked on over the last 7 years with a business concept that just isn’t that exciting. “OMG, I can’t believe this new office cleaning company has just started up in the Western suburbs of London!” – take my point?!
So, we may need to get a little creative to show Google that your site is getting the social attention we all know it deserves 😉
You’ve got a couple of options here:
- Reach out to all your personal contacts on your personal social media, and tell absolutely everyone you know about your new website, asking them to like and share it on their social channels
- If you’d rather not get your personal contacts involved, you can purchase a couple hundred social signals (think Fiverr). Make sure that the signals are attained in stages over a couple of weeks or so!
35 days onwards
Whether it be content marketing icon-video-camera, broken-link building icon-video-camera, outreach (emailing or phoning website/article owners), private blog networks icon-video-camera (rather you than me), or whatever way you choose to get quality, relevant links pointing at your website, now’s the time.
To some people, the idea of waiting 5-6 weeks before getting a single link coming to a new site may sound ridiculous, but through experience, embarking on a link building campaign before this is a sure-fire way of making Google very sceptical. This scepticism translates to being held back in the search engines (for sometimes months) where you’ll have to go on a major trust offensive to get above page two rankings.
Getting brand new websites fast results in Google is by far the most difficult thing you can do in SEO. Getting the balance between being too aggressive and too conservative with SEO tactics, all whilst having no feedback is quite the challenge.
If you follow the schedule listed above, you’ll have the best possible foundations for any SEO campaign that may follow, and the ‘sandbox’ will mean nothing more to you than a place for kids to build sandcastles!