When you start a new website, the most important task is to get your website listed on search engines and start getting good search rankings for the important keywords related to your niche. Major source of new and targeted traffic to most of the websites is through search results. Your website must be well optimized in way that it attracts the major search engines like Google and Bing. Getting good Google rank ensures that your website gets a constant flow of targeted, high quality visitors. There are many factors which the two search engines take into account while deciding on the rank of your website in their search results. One of the important factors is back-links from other websites to your website. However, if your website is new, it is quite unlikely that you will have quality back-links pointing to your website. Other important parameters are the website trust, page rank, domain authority, author rank, etc. These all will improve as you keep creating relevant quality contents and your website gets older. But since your website is new, you have fewer chances to get good rankings for these parameters. So, what are your options? How will you improve the Google ranking for your new website?
The good news is that there are several other factors which can help you getting a good ranking in Google and Bing search results. Many people fall in trap with SEO companies which use black hat approach and buy the back-links for you. Keep yourself away from this! It is recommended to get natural links by providing quality contents instead of paying money for getting links. Here, I am going to discuss the proven and correct methods to build traffic and increase your Google rank. However, make a note that the ranking does not improve overnight. In some cases you will get the results sooner than expected while in others you will have to be patient. But rest assured, the results will definitely come if you follow these steps well.
- First thing is to get listed on Google and Bing. This can be easily done by submitting your websites to these search engines. Don’t get fooled by companies claiming to submit your website to a few hundred search engines, which hardly matters. In fact, more than 99% of all your search engine traffics will come from the two giants which are Google and Bing. Yahoo and Bing are now partners, so you do not need to submit it to Yahoo separately.
Submit to Google
Submit to Bing-Yahoo
- Choose the right keywords which are specific to your website. Don’t go for generic keywords in the beginning as it will be extremely difficult for your new website to get ranked for popular and generic keywords. Spend a good amount of time to research your keywords – use Google AdWords, a free tool which well help you doing keyword research. But don’t spend too much time doing this; rather concentrate on creating quality contents.
- The search engines must know about all the web pages and structure of your website which you want them to display in search results. The easiest way to do this is to create a XML sitemap and put it in the root directory of your website. If you have webmaster tool accounts for Google and Bing, you can manually submit your site maps there. There are many websites available which will do this for you free of cost. Try this website. If you are using WordPress, you can use plugins which can automatically generate sitemaps.
- Avoid using frames – Search engines are not good at crawling the web pages inside frames.
- Make sure you include your important keywords in the URL of your web pages. Search engines give them fair importance while deciding the ranking.
- If you have a few pages which you do not want search engines to crawl, use a robot.txt file. Go through this article from Bing on how to create a robot.txt file.
- Each page of your website must be linked to at least one other static page in your website. Try to maximize the internal links for important pages, search engines will also tend to rank them higher! But don’t overdo, keep the number of links in any web page to a reasonable number (maximum 100).
- Wherever possible, keep the URLs for your important pages free from parameters like session, query-strings, cookies, etc. Use your important keywords in URL as well.
- If your website is having large number of pages, provide a sitemap for your visitors– search engines will love to follow this sitemap also.
- One of the most important factors to get good Google rank for your selected keywords is the title of your web page. You must include your important keywords in title, however keep it small (less than 50-60 characters) and attractive. For new websites, it is also important to keep it unique and relevant to your website.
- Forget about “meta keywords” – they have no role to play to get you a Google rank.
- Give your strong focus on description tag – Write a relevant, keyword reach, grammatically correct and impressive descriptions. Also ensure that the description of each of your page is unique. Keep the length of the description less than 150 characters.
- Search engines focus on the heading tags for determining the keywords for your web page. You should have only one <h1> tag with keywords rich contents.
- If you are using images, ensure putting the description of the image in ‘alt’ tags. The ‘alt’ description should have the content related to the image.
- Don’t use anchor texts like ‘click here’ and ‘go to’; must include your targeted keywords in anchor texts.
- Ensure that the keywords which you have included in title, description or h1 are appearing reasonable number of times in the actual contents also. However, don’t overdo here – search engines consider it as spamming and your rankings may actually go down.
- Wear your visitors’ shoes. Give all the information your visitors are looking for in your website. Create quality and content rich web pages and the search engines will show their love to your website. It will also attract other websites to link to you and you will get back links important for search engine optimization.
- Keep adding new contents at regular frequencies. If the search engines find new contents, they understand you are serious about your website and accordingly your Google rank will improve.
- If you have duplicate pages or pages which are almost similar, use <rel canonical> tag to tell search engines that this is a duplicate content.
- Decide on your preferred domain name. Do you want http://www.yourowndomain.com or http://yourowndomain.com? Once decided, always use your preferred domain name for linking. Modify your .htaccess file accordingly to redirect to the domain name you like with a 301 redirect.
- Promote your website to the social networking sites and media. These are the great resource to drive traffic to your new website. Check and register the twitter and Google Plus account for your website if it is available, even if you are not planning to use it in near future.
- Use ‘Fetch as Google’ tool from Google webmaster tool to view how Google sees your page. Also view your website in various leading web browsers like ‘Firefox’, ‘Chrome’, ‘IE’ and ‘Opera’ to make sure it renders correctly.
- Do keep a watch to the page loading time. Search engines give high ranking to the pages which load faster. There are several websites available which will determine your website performance free of cost. Just Google it!
- Avoid putting hidden text and hidden links in your website. Search engines hate hidden things!
- Don’t overdo the advertising. Also ensure that the advertisements look distinctly different from the main contents.
- Keep the length of URL shorter (less than 100 characters recommended).
- Check for broken links and unavailable contents. Create a 404 page in case visitors or search engines do not get what they are looking for. Include important and appropriate links in this error page.
- Write a guest post for the websites of your niche. This will get you inbound links, targeted visitors and help build your reputation. Make sure you provide the best content in the guest post and avoid spamming.
- Keep a track on your website performance and analyze the data from tools like Google Analytics. This will help you understand your keywords queries, important web pages, crawl status, average time spent by visitors, etc.
- Make necessary changes to your old posts and contents. This will please both your visitors and search engines.
- Participate in discussion with other webmasters by commenting to their blogs, tweets and Google plus updates. Promote the quality contents from other webmasters and they will do the same to you also. Build good relationships.
- Linking to good websites and resources are important. This helps your visitors to find the relevant information quickly and is SEO friendly.
- If you are maintaining a blog, try to create posts which are of good length (more than 800 words) with in-depth analysis and coverage to the topic.
- Website design is important – Visitors spend more time on a great designed websites and don’t leave immediately. This improves average visit duration on site and reduces the bounce rates – a very good sign to search engines.