Newly published websites require lots of tasks to be done on their first month to be able to see how feasible they will be.
Tasks generally include generating traffic, building links, getting pages indexed by major search engines, site structuring, content strategy and many more.
It’s always best to make every action count in search engine optimization, given that all the effort that you’ve done in the past will dramatically affect your site’s future.
So I’ve listed some of the best practices that will both benefit your newly published site short-term as well as its long-term goals through a series of actions that can help establish your website even on its initial stage.
1. Long-tail keyword targeting through blog posts
It’s highly recommended to include a blog section if you’re planning to build a website.
Having a blog on your site is very beneficial for your business in so many ways, knowing that this channel of your site allows you to interact with your targeted audience and it’s also the easiest way to rank on search engines for highly targeted keywords.
Creating blog posts with the intent of targeting easy-to-rank keywords (mostly long tails such as “how to’s” and product descriptions/reviews) related to your business products or services is certainly one of the most scalable techniques in search marketing.
Blog entries have higher chances of getting high rankings on SERPs without over optimizing them through off-page efforts, since they are found to be very relevant by search crawlers, especially if the long-tail keywords (3-7 word phrase) were used as or in the title of the article and included in the post URL.
People who share and link to your posts commonly use the title of the blog entry as anchor text when linking to it, which makes them more likely to rank for the each post’s targeted keyword.
2. Submitting your blog to blog search engines, carnivals and directories
There are many quality blog communities out there that you can take advantage of at the start of your campaign, such as: Technorati, Blogged, MyBlogLog, Bloggapedia and many more.
This method is scalable in the sense that it can generate highly relevant links to your site each time you have a new blog entry – yes, it’s like an automated link building process.
But what I really like about this method is that it keeps you motivated, particularly with Technorati, since they have top listings for each blog category that have high Pagerank.
Your creativity gets a boost every time you see your blog authority rank improving, which makes you even more driven to reach the top, and of course, taking action to fulfill this step also benefits your other goals for your website (more traffic and higher search rankings).
3. Creation and constant promotion of cornerstone content
In order for a site to truly dominate its industry, you’ll need your pillar content.
These are portions of your site that you are truly proud of: informative, educational, entertaining, and most of all, linkable material (articles, infographs, videos, etc…) or what they simply call “link bait”.
The real secret to link baiting does not entirely rely on the quality of the content, but rather on the marketing side of it.
Constantly promoting your timeless pieces of content is the best solution to have a successful bait.
You can actively promote your content through answering relevant questions on forums and Q&A sites, reaching out to people who might be interested in your material (through email, blog comments or social media) and by continuously searching for relevant pages that could use your content as a resource.
Soon enough, you'll notice natural links to your content pouring in.
4. Linking out to influential and authority blogs within your industry
For newly published websites, it’s always best to engage with already established people related in your industry.
Getting their attention and building strong relationship with influential people in your niche can take your business to greater heights in a matter of weeks or months, and it’s also good for your long term goals.
The best way to get their attention is to link out to them by simply mentioning them in your blog posts.
By linking out to their blog posts, homepage or even their twitter accounts, you might also attract more links and traffic to your site. Other bloggers are more likely to share your blog post with their own networks and followers as they see their names mentioned on your blog.
However, be sure that your content is of high quality for them to really want to link to it.
Ana's note: I wanted to clarify something here. The only way the bloggers you are reaching out to will see that you are linking to them is if you link to a post (they'll get a trackback to that post), but not their home page. Linking to the home page is the surest way to NOT get noticed by them – unless you follow up with them via email or social media and let them know you mentioned them.
If you mention them on Twitter, definitely use @mention; do the same for Facebook (did you know you can do @mention on Facebook as well? You can; as long as you are friends with that person or like their fan page).
5. Developing internal linking structure through content
This one’s pretty basic and most of us know how important internal link building is for any website.
Basically, internal links are links pointing or directing to other web pages within your site. There are several types of internal links, which mainly include sitewide or footer links, navigation, and the most valuable one – in-content links.
Staging your site’s internal linking structure is easy when you have a content plan and strategy early on before publishing your site.
The best way to do it is to first make a list or pattern of the blog posts that you’ll be making for the entire month, so that it would be easier for you to include relevant in-content links with the proper anchor texts supporting your other important pages and blog posts.
Internal links have great value when it comes to your keyword rankings because they serve as a high quality vote for the keywords you are aiming as the hosting page acquire more link juice and age.
To learn more about internal link building, read the following post:
6. Direct link acquisition or requests to unpopular competitors
This is possibly the easiest way to obtain highly relevant links to your site.
Getting links from your top competitors may be tough, but digging deeper into search engine results pages (Google and Bing) when querying your targeted search terms, you’ll certainly find some unpopular competitors or pages that are actually not aiming for your targeted keywords that might be easier for you to acquire a link from.
Pages found on the 4th page onwards are usually blog posts, forum threads or deep pages that are very relevant to your site.
Sending them a request, commenting on the blog post or posting a reply on the thread will give you a relevant link. But in this situation, you wouldn’t want to abuse the opportunity, so it’s best to not use your keyword as your anchor text (but if you can sense that the site would allow it, then shoot for it).
With regards to the link, it will be of high quality in terms of the relevance (specifically if both linking pages use the targeted keyword on the title page), so giving away the points for the anchor text used and the attribute of the link (nofollow or dofollow) is certainly not a loss.
7. Reverse engineering your top competitors’ links
Outranking your competitors will naturally require this reverse SEO method.
Knowing where your competitors are getting their links from is a good solution in understanding how and why they are ranking well for the competed keyword.
Of course, replicating their link building footprint and acquiring links from the pages they are linking from will definitely level the playing field.
Generally, it’s a scalable link building method because this task never stops until you’re leading the competition.
And this practice also gives you more link opportunities as you go further in studying their link profile as well as their linking partners’.
The best tools to use for this task: Open Site Explorer or these Yahoo Site Explorer alternatives.
Ana's note: I usually use my Market Samurai for this – it pulls out all my competitors' links as well as the anchor text they use for each link in a matter of seconds.
8. Targeting relevant blogs with Recent Comments plugin
Leaving comments on blogs that have “Recent Comments” plugin installed on their sidebars is one of my most favorite strategies for newly published websites.
I have personally done this many times and have seen many good results from it, specifically in making targeted keywords rank on the first 3 pages of SERPs within the first month of the campaign.
The main objective of this method is just to make search engines notice what your site is all about or basically for them to know the keywords that your site is targeting.
Finding blogs related to your site’s industry that have Recent Comments plugin and allow dofollow attributed links on it can simply enhance your keyword rankings.
As search crawlers get to index each page of the commented blog with a link to your site (given that your keyword was used as anchor text) through the “Recent Comments” plugin, you are “steering” them to tag your site as relevant to the targeted keyword.
This primarily helps in outranking other pages (hundreds of pages) that are not really optimized for the search phrase.
It also adds more long term benefits to your site, since once your site is placed in a higher position (1st – 3rd page), it stays there as long as you keep the content relevant to the targeted keyword.
The original link that you’ve built will also add more value as it ages, and can eventually lead to a good business relationship if you continuously engage with the blog owner, which can also lead to a higher value of link acquisition (thematic link exchange, special mentions, guest blogging, product review, etc…).
9. Targeting CommentLuv enabled blogs (blog commenting)
Commentluv has been very helpful to the blogging community and taking advantage of it in promoting your site is definitely a good start for your SEO campaign.
Contributing sensible comments on related blogs that use CommentLuv (especially CommentLuv Premium) can generate you 2 external links pointing to 2 different pages of your site (can be your homepage or other important page on your site and to one of your recent blog posts) or 2 different sites at the same time.
This method is terrific in building deep links, mostly to your blog posts, as well as in building links with your preferred anchor text.
CommentLuv has a paid version, in which you can use any keyword directing to any page on your site that you wish to optimize as the default link (also works with non-blog sites). This default link is commonly displayed along your comment (where your recent blog post is usually promoted as an anchor text link).
10. Establishing your brand on Forums with high traffic
Participating in forums that have high daily traffic and are related to your site’s niche can really drive some targeted traffic, especially if you present yourself as someone who contributes and offers value to the community.
You can as well build links through forum signatures. Though links built through forums have low value, it’s still capable of serving as a vote for your targeted keywords.
It’s also a good place to promote your content, seeing as you’ll be reaching like-minded people to be your audience.
Besides traffic and links, there are also other benefits that you can get if you’re active on authority forums, including building relationships that can turn to business or link partnerships, setting yourself as an expert to other active participants, which often leads to client referrals and professional consultations.
11. Guest blogging (Submission)
Probably the most effective method that’s really capable of providing advantages to both new and established websites in terms of link building, traffic generation and brand exposure.
First off, links coming from guest blogging are considerably robust, given that you’re in control in choosing the topic as well as the anchor text that you want to use for your link.
Secondly, it’s effective in driving relevant traffic to your site, since the traffic coming from your guest posts is already well acquainted with the products or services that you’re offering.
Guest blog posts can also drive traffic to your site consistently as they can rank on search engines as well.
Lastly, you are able to share your expertise with a new audience, which often leads to absorption of followers.
How do you choose the perfect site to guest post for? Read more about that in this post:
12. Guest blogging (Sponsored/Invitation)
Inviting influential people around your niche to do a guest post on your blog is mainly beneficial in driving traffic, attracting natural links, adding exceptional content from an expert to your site and in exposing your brand across your industry virally.
Having experts write for you can get your site visibility as they help to promote their own content published under your domain through their own networks and followers.
However, you’ll need to offer incentives for them to be really interested in writing for you, can be through form of payments (usually $50 – $100 per post) or other freebies (your product).
13. Building your brand’s presence through social media
Social media has been a strong source of traffic ever since its sudden growth, and expect it to be more overwhelming in the future, especially now that they have an immense impact on search rankings through social signals.
Retweets, Stumbleupon likes, and Facebook shares are now considered a form of link building, as they are being closely watched by search engines and get crawled in just a matter of minutes, depending on the authority of the user who shared the link.
And this affects search rankings for fresher contents, which you can certainly take advantage of as you build your online presence.
Building and developing your social media profiles immediately as you start with your website’s marketing campaign is indeed a scalable strategy, since it’s possible to have it grow within just a month.
You can practically have a bunch of relevant followers in a week if you spend 10 – 20 minutes a day for each social channel.
The key to a successful brand development through social media is through authentic interaction, wherein you just have to interact and socialize with people genuinely and without the commercial intent.
14. Profile page optimization
Building up and optimizing profile pages is mostly ignored by marketers, and this is usually where the gold is when it comes to link building since this stratefy can’t be replicated by your competitors.
Optimizing your profiles on sites such as About.me, Aboutus.org and Youtube can benefit your site in many ways.
These sites allow dofollow attributed links to direct on to your site, and both Aboutus.org and About.me allow users to use anchor texts for external links as well.
Optimizing your profile pages:
- Instead of using your site and your keywords as your name when doing blog comments, use your external profile pages instead; it will look less spammy and it passes link juice and trust to your profile and then passes it all to your main site.
- Linking to your profile pages instead of your main site on your forum signatures.
- Use your keywords as anchor text on your profile pages to make those pages vote for your site’s targeted keyword each time it gets indexed through the comments your are making (and each time it gets indexed, its link profile gets stronger as a lot of link juice is flowing through it).
- For Youtube accounts, commenting on videos that already have Pagerank will surely pass through Pagerank juice to your Youtube profile page, and will all be directly passed through your main site, seeing as your site is the only external link on your profile page.
Ana's note: stay tuned for another great technique to build up your profiles on autopilot – the post will be published later this week.
15. Studying your weekly traffic
Tracking weekly results and traffic is very vital to any campaign because it simply allows you to understand what needs to be done for the coming weeks and to know what you need to change to improve your campaign.
Analyzing your site traffic, activity and performance through Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools can improve your campaign by simply evaluating the provided data, such as:
- keywords and pages/blog posts that are driving traffic to your site,
- improving traffic conversion by studying bounce rates,
- studying methods that have proven to bring traffic to your site and adding traffic sources (sites to engage more with)
- as well as additional keywords for your campaign’s succeeding phase.