It is always exciting: after some months of preparation, here it is, your new website. It is awesome, it is everything you wanted it to be, and you really poured your heart and soul into it. It is user and mobile-friendly, the design is nice and engaging. You are happy. That is, until you realise that you are not getting any organic traffic from Google. You just aren’t ranking for any keyword.
What a disappointment. But, it is something you should have expected. A new website has close to zero authority (or zero if the domain is also new); it is not a ‘trustworthy’ website in Google’s eyes. Why? Because it is just too new, Google still hasn’t figured out how and where to rank it, and definitely doesn’t see a reason to rank it high in comparison to older and ‘reputable’ websites. So, what can you do? Or better, can you do anything at all?
Well, first of all, we need to admit that in this situation the ‘time heals’ saying is very true, as with time your website will start gaining authority and start getting more organic traffic. But how much time are we talking about? A month? A year? Five years? Nobody can really answer that question but Google (who will obviously never do it).
But there is one thing we know for sure – if you do nothing and just wait, you might in for quite a few years worth of waiting and may not see any considerable result. So, let’s look at what you can, and need to do, to help your young website ‘get out there’.
First of all, let's take one little technicality out of the way. If your website was just launched today and it is nowhere to be found (even if you google it by your brand name), it most likely means that it hasn’t been crawled and indexed yet i.e., in simple words, Google hasn’t discovered it yet and hasn’t ‘added it to its list of online pages’. So, you need to check that nothing prevents the website from being indexed – ask your developer about it or search for noindex tag or robots.txt file). If everything is in proper order, you can ‘invite’ Google to your website by requesting its indexing in Google Search Console. Confusing? Then you probably need to pay special attention to step 2 below. 😉
OK, now that we know for sure that nothing stops your website from ranking from a technical point of view, let's have a look at the 3 steps you may take to help your website in the beginning.
Step 1 – Create an online presence for your company other than your website.
You need to show Google that your company is real, it exists and serves clients, it is trustworthy. The most important thing is to claim your Google My Business profile. This way you will not only start appearing on Google Maps but it will also confirm your company´s name, address and other details to Google (make sure that the details you enter in Google My Business are exactly the same ones you provide on your website). You will be able to start getting reviews and you will have a better chance to rank for local searches and for searches made when the user is physically close to your office/ shop.
But you do not need to stop here – you can search for any meaningful and respectable directories in your area, or for your niche, and create your company´s profile in each of them.
And, of course, do not forget to leave a link to your new website in all the profiles you create.
Step 2 – Order an SEO audit.
At the beginning of this article we mentioned one technical reason that can end up in disaster if not checked. There are more. So, before you start producing content and analysing your organic competition, etc, etc, you need to make sure your website is following all the current SEO guidelines and best practices. If that is not true, there is almost no point in doing anything else.
Ideally, you should order this audit not from your developer but from a third party, because if your developer delivered your website to you as it is, he or she most likely believe that everything is OK with it. The thing is, not all developers have specific SEO knowledge, so they might not be following the ever-changing rules of Google, and might not even know that they’ve missed something. This does not make them bad developers, SEO is a separate sphere that they might, or might not, include in their service. And even if they do, it is always better to have a fresh pair of eyes double checking that everything is OK. When we work on a project for a long time, at some point our eyes just stop seeing mistakes. This might have happened to you while, for instance, writing a text – you check it three times and still miss several typos that your colleague later found within 3 seconds after starting reading.
The same applies to a website, just make sure everything is OK before you really enter the SEO game, because if it is not, your waiting time to get on Google’s first page, might prolong indefinitely.
Step 3 – Start working on your backlinks from day one.
We’ve told you that the problem Google has with new websites is not so much the fact that they are new, but rather that it needs to be sure they are trustworthy. And what is one of the strongest signals of trustworthiness in Google’s opinion? Links to your website. They serve exactly as votes of trust from other websites, as presumably they care about their visitors and therefore would not provide links to bad or shady businesses there.
So, why not work on getting those links from day one of your website’s existence? But, please, do not run to link farms, buying links in bulk. We are talking about trustworthiness here, remember? You need to get good links from good websites. How do you do that? Well, your options are endless, but let us give you just some ideas of where you might start:
1 – Be newsworthy. You are launching a new website, a new product, a new service? Maybe you will even host some sort of launching event! Write a press release, send it to the local, or your niche’s news platforms, and they might publish it with a link to your website, if what you wrote is really useful and relevant.
2 – Reach out to your partners. It’s quite natural if your partners link to your website and you link to theirs. If you don’t have partners just yet, why not start working on some meaningful partnerships? The links will follow naturally. And partnerships can be really beneficial for your business offline as well!
3 – Reach out to influencers. Research websites, blogs and news platforms that write about your business sector/ products/ services and reach out to them. Maybe you’ll be able to negotiate some guest blogging or an interview; or maybe you can send them your product in exchange for their honest review.
We could list hundreds of other steps to take. The SEO work is never ending. Literally. You cannot optimise one time and forget it. And all that work might feel intimidating or not even worth starting. That’s why we’ve picked just three steps to get you going – just focus on these three things and the rest will follow naturally.
For more information, bespoke strategies and efficient digital marketing solutions, just contact the Clarity’s girls through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at yourdigitalclarity.com.