Websites can take time to return on your investment of money and resources you put into them.
That doesn’t mean you have to sit back and wait for that day to come.
In fact, there’s a lot you can control with search engine optimization.
There are specific SEO factors that you can take advantage of to get quick wins with your new site.
I recommend the following SEO monitoring and optimization tactics so you can measure your website’s visibility in search and position it for success.
1. Set Up Analytics And Diagnostic Tools
To know how well your site is performing and to measure improvement and gains along the way, you’ll want to get Google Analytics or a similar website analytics tool for tracking visitors to your site and behavior within it.
There’s a lot that you can learn in terms of insights from web analytics and it is helpful to have an objective benchmark or baseline to operate from across areas of traffic, content, conversions, and more.
Also, you should get Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts.
Those will provide more information about how the search engines see your site and provide additional keyword performance data that Google Analytics lacks.
2. Map Out Optimal Site Architecture
Much like outlining a paper in school or the flow of a book, we should do the same with our website content.
Adult books aren’t often a single chapter with everything crammed into it. Likewise, a website shouldn’t have everything jammed into a single page.
Most of the time the home page is navigational introducing the brand or organization and leading users to other pages on the site. Think about how deep you get in your content.
Whether it is informational, ecommerce, or other types of topics, arrange it in a way that makes sense and goes from general to specific.
Don’t try to stuff too much into single pages.
Add sub-pages when topics and sub-topics warrant it.
Long-form content is great for technical and specific topics.
However, it is also wise to allow the user to click and go deeper on their own terms versus overwhelming them.
On top of that, the search engines can see the vertical depth of content in addition to the wideness of the top-level pages and sections.
3. Be Strategic With Internal Link Structure
Inbound links to your site from other sites provide authority status for the pages and your site overall.
That process of sharing value doesn’t stop at the page that receives the link(s).
How you link to pages within your site can have a big impact on the page value and link value distributed throughout the site.
Know or keep in mind that you don’t want to link to every other page on the site from every page.
Keep your top-level navigation focused and only link where relevant and necessary.
That will help you pass the page value into the areas you want to in a focused way.
When every page has links spelled out to every other page, it is chaotic and doesn’t help prioritize link authority value and also erodes the work you have done to cleanly organize your site architecture for the search engines.
4. Create Quality Content
More content – as long as relevant, high quality, and helpful for your audience is always better.
Whether you’re lengthening existing pages, adding more, or going further in-depth, go for it.
This is your chance to look at how your migration or new site launch went and put your foot on the gas.
If you have thin pages with little text or a lot of pages that have significant overlap or duplication of content relative to others on the site, find a way to enhance or eliminate those pages.
Going back to the site architecture and internal linking details I shared, you don’t want to hurt those formats and efforts.
5. Monitor And Troubleshoot Indexing
Priority number one is to make sure you’ve got your XML sitemap, robots.txt, and any in-page canonical and indexing commands in a good place.
From there, you can monitor how quickly the search engines index your pages.
You may feel like it is overkill, but spend a lot of time in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools making sure that the sitemap is validating and that the pages indexed are the ones you expect and in priority order.
Don’t assume that you’ll build it and Google will come.
Get things submitted, watch for errors, and monitor the overall indexing process to ensure that it is moving as fast as possible and that any errors are addressed immediately.
6. Optimize Page Speed
Like content, don’t settle when it comes to page load times.
Evaluate page speed on your site using tools like the Google Chrome Lighthouse auditing developer tool.
Is it fast? Then make it faster!
Slow or not up to industry benchmarks? Speed it up!
Don’t ignore speed or push it off until later in the process.
Lean on dev and IT resources as you can to push for the maximum speeds you can reasonably achieve.
Time is of the essence and you don’t want to invest in a ton of other optimization areas with a subpar speed profile.
7. Maintain Clean Code
If you have speed issues, indexing issues, or concerns overall about the code, you should dive deeper.
A lot of content management systems include plugins and bloated code that is not needed or useful.
Developer shortcuts (I love developers – I’m not disparaging them) or out-of-the-box things that you don’t need can impact speed and indexing.
They can also cause headaches for you when uploading or updating content if things break often.
Minimalist, clean code helps you across the full spectrum impacting the quick wins I have outlined.
8. Build Links And Citations
External authority and validation signals are important.
Building on what I noted in the internal linking section, you should think about any and all relationships that could result in another, credible site linking to your site.
Think about partnerships, charities, customers, memberships, trade associations, credentials, and credible directories that could and should be linking to your site.
Make a list and plan to establish those links on the web to mirror the relationships in real life.
Beware of the traps and shortcuts with buying links that can get you in trouble though as you go through the process.
Other types of links or mentions that add credibility are often referred to as citations.
These can come through establishing Google Maps listings through Google Business Profiles, by submitting to data aggregation services, and other prominent directories and map sites on the web.
All of these links and mentions grow the footprint for your brand and point to your website as the hub or authority for your business or organization.
Taking a proactive approach with a new website to realize quick wins can help reduce the time it takes to get the visibility you deserve for your new website.
New sites can take some time to build up authority status from external links and from having relevant content that the search engines deem better than others featuring similar topics.
SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it thing.
However, if you dive into the quick win areas and focus on what you can monitor and improve, you’ll give your site a head start and a chance to return on investment and work toward your goals in a quicker time frame.
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