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Creating a brand-new website from scratch is extremely exciting. You’ve got a blank slate to showcase your products or services, the opportunity to get all the best SEO practices in place from the very start, and the freedom to go in whichever creative direction you choose.
However, you’ve also got the additional challenge of competing with established websites that have been churning out content for years and already have a strong online presence in place. Growing traffic to a new website takes hard work, persistence and patience, but if you follow these strategies, you’ll start seeing steady and sustained growth before you know it.
Create some evergreen content that sets you apart
While it will take time to get your homepage ranking well, you can get to the top of search results faster by offering something that no-one else is. Not only will this be good for your website’s ranking as a whole, but it starts to build brand recognition, as readers start to make an association between this resource and you.
But how do you offer something no-one else has, especially if you’re in an industry with lots of competition? This will depend a lot on your specific niche and your target audience, but a few ideas might include:
Create an ‘ultimate’ guide – long form content that tackles a variety of viewpoints and angles, includes links out to even more information, and contains enough detail to rival (or even better, outperform) a Wikipedia page.
Use a less traditional media format – turning a bland article into an informative and visually appealing explainer video, or gathering a lot of data in one place to create an impressive infographic means more search engine users will click on your content, which is an indicator to search engines that they find your content easier to digest than your competitors.
In addition, this kind of content is highly shareable, and if you’ve done a really great job, other websites will start linking back to the resource you’ve created, further boosting your organic traffic.
Spend time on in-depth keyword research, and formulate a long-term strategy
Keyword research is critical in creating a content plan which is built around the terms your potential customers are actually searching for. When businesses first start to perform keyword research, they’re generally looking for low-hanging fruit – phrases and keywords that get a lot of searches, but don’t have as much competition.
As a new website, there’s little point in going after keywords with very high competition – at least in the beginning – but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them either. As your traffic and authority grows, you do want those major, high-volume keywords appearing across your site where appropriate. Using a mix of high, medium and low competition keywords in the content you create is thus a better long-termstrategy.
There are lots of great keyword research tools out there, but if you’re not comfortable conducting this pretty crucial task yourself, it’s well worth getting an established SEO firm like Ruby Digital on board who can do the data gathering, analyzing and strategizing on your behalf.
Focus on one thing at a time
One big advantage that small businesses and new websites have working in their favor is the lack of a big marketing team trying to take on everything from rebranding, geo-targeting and email and PPC campaigns to content marketing and SEO all at once. And while this might sound like an advantage, in reality it often means their efforts are scattered, with no one aspect getting the attention it deserves. Wrangling a big bunch of creative types is no mean feat, and it also makes figuring out what worked and what didn’t –and more importantly why it did or didn’t– a lot more difficult.
New websites and small businesses have the luxury of being able to take baby steps – tackling just one or two techniques a time, giving them a fair chance, and learning about their audience along the way. By having a laser focus on one marketing strategy at a time, you’re also more likely to spot related opportunities and gaps in the market that bigger teams might well miss. And because you’re small and nimble, you can act on those opportunities a lot faster than the competition.
When you have a shiny new website to fill out, you have an opportunity to set standard SEO policies and procedures in place right from the get-go. Learning how to optimize your headings, URLs, text content, images, meta descriptions; and then putting a standard checklist or procedure in place that you follow every time you add new content is an opportunity not to be ignored. Do this consistently, and you’ll be rewarded with steady traffic growth to your new site.