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September 29, 2011

5 SEO Things to do in the First Year of Your Site’s Life – A SPN Exclusive Article

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By now, most site owners realize the importance and value of SEO in the development and growth of their site. A properly optimized site is going to rank better in the search engines, see more targeted traffic being directed over, have a higher conversion rate and much more. However, SEO is incredibly long term and nothing can rush time. It takes time for a site to build a good trust factor with the search engines and until that happens, most of your off-site SEO efforts are going to produce minimal results.

If you recently launched your site and are already looking into SEO, here are 5 things you should focus your time and energy on.

Learn the Basics of SEO for Yourself

There is no shortage of blogs, whitepapers, articles, reports, e-books, webinars, videos and more that can teach you the basics of SEO. It is imperative that you as the site owner arm yourself with as much SEO knowledge as possible during the first year of your site’s life. The more you know about SEO, the less likely you are to be conned by a black hat SEO company and the less likely you are to make black hat SEO decisions by accident. A good place to start is with the Bing and Google Webmaster Guidelines. Consider those two sources as your SEO line in the sand; what they say goes. Look for other reputable blogs and sites that can help you learn more about SEO and how others in your industry are using it to their advantage.

By taking the time to teach yourself the basics of SEO (you could take an SEO course or spend time with a consultant as well), you’ll be better prepared to take your SEO to the next level after your site has aged a little and earned the trust of the search engines.

Start a Blog

Start blogging right away. Start with at least one blog post a week and see if you can work up to one a day within the first year of your blog’s life. That may seem like a huge ordeal now, but you’d be amazed at how easy it gets to write a 350-500 word blog post with practice. You’ll learn how to better formulate your thoughts, present a single idea and flush it out entirely with time. If you aren’t confident in your writing ability or are struggling to come up with topics, turn to your employees and co-workers for help. The worst thing you could do is launch a blog and then not routinely update it with fresh content.

It takes a long time to hone your writing skills, find and develop your niche, build your reputation and attract loyal readers to your blog, so don’t expect to see major results fast. However, just like your site, as your blog ages it earns more trust from the search engines. Individual blog posts can start to rank for targeted keywords, increasing your online brand presence.

Build Your Social Network

If you are just getting onboard the social media marketing train, you’re in for a surprise! Social media marketing takes a lot more time than most companies realize, and it needs a solid strategy to run on. Don’t walk into social media blind and hope you’ll figure it out before something goes wrong. Take the first year of your site’s life to really develop your social profiles and connect with your target audience. What kind of content are they looking for from you? When is the best time to engage them? Which sites do they spend most of their time on? If you want your social media marketing efforts to be effective, you need to understand the behavior of your target audience so you can better reach them.

Focus on On-Site Optimization

The first year of your site’s life should really be spent focusing on the site itself. Don’t worry too much about developing a full blown link building strategy just yet; it’s more important to make sure your site is in the best shape it can be! Work on creating great webpage content, developing an internal linking structure that helps keep your visitor engaged, tweaking your landing pages to improve their conversion rate and so forth. Your website is going to be the hub of the rest of your Internet marketing. It doesn’t matter how great everything is off-site if your website doesn’t measure up. At the end of the day, it is your website that is going to convince visitors to act. Does it matter how many show up or how they got there if you website fails to convert?

Develop an Editorial Calendar

Content pretty much fuels all of your SEO and social media marketing. Without great content, you don’t give your target audience a real reason to check out your site, profile or blog. In addition to all the content you have to create for your own sites, you also need to start looking into 3rd party sites where you can publish guest content. Take the first year of your site’s life to build relationships with industry bloggers and other site owners that allow guest articles to be published on their site. Identify which popular industry blogs cater to your target audience and start laying the groundwork to get one of your articles published there. If you can create an editorial calendar for you to follow, you’ll be able to get a jumpstart on your content marketing.


Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, a Boston search engine marketing and SEO consulting firm. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO articles to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal (or SEO Journal) and by publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or < ahref="mailto:nick@brickmarketing.com">nick@brickmarketing.com.

31 Responses to “5 SEO Things to do in the First Year of Your Site’s Life – A SPN Exclusive Article

    I am new to seo, but I am working on a two way approach to start with for our website. Appropriate content and quality backlinks. Oh yes and patience!

    avatar canal boats says:

    Very useful tips for optimising a new site

    avatar Terje Melsom Ellefsen says:

    Very useful tips! I like this and will follow you.

    I LOVE A GOOD….SEO expert, thanks! I know its not a science and every blog works diifferentlly. Is there a thought process on how far in advance guest blogs are featured? Ie; 1 month max or typical for people not to work more than a week or 2 out…?

    avatar Alexander says:

    Hey there Nick!

    Great post for a newbie to SEO like me. I’m still trying to keep on track with all of the things, so following you really helps alot. :-)
    Thanks, and I look forward to reading your next SEO-tips.

    Clear and precious tips. Thanks for sharing this with me!

    avatar Anil says:

    Great Tips for Beginner.

    avatar Tom Aikins says:

    I agree ith everything you say except I would start my link building camnpaign immediately. It takes a long time to build up the links you need to get page rank so starting early is important.

    Hi Nick! Thanks for the great tips. I do these things but I have one question: what’s a good WP plugin for internal link building? I’ve been looking for one but so far none has worked the way they should. Your recommendation will be greatly appreciated.

    Hi SEO virtual assistant,
    Did you find a good WP plugin? I’ve been trying out a few but am not keen on them so am looking for one that’s easy to use and is effective. I have pretty much done all of the above but need to start on developing my editorial calendar. Any tips would be much appreciated.

    avatar Locksmiths says:

    Nice article Nick, we only started out organising our SEO techniques pretty similar to yours recently. We built our Locksmith webisite on WordPress and use the “All in One SEO” wp plugin for meta descriptions and titles.

    Great read..

    James

    As a starter what I have learned is getting relevant backlinks.
    But it seems to be herculean task for beginners.

    Cool post Nick, we are currently growing and focusing on our Social Network presence and finding it brilliant. Look forward to your next SEO post.

    avatar n00b says:

    Hey guys,

    Anyone have any good advice on Forums? We have custom coded our site around VBulletin Forum Software, but now wish to update the software.

    Any thoughts would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    n00b gaming

    avatar Local Search says:

    We’re pretty new website Nick, and have implemented what you suggested, we’ll be back with results! Haha thanks great read.

    Local Search Marketing

    Very valuable information. This has emphasised many sensible rules.

    Sensible advice. Will follow your recommendations. I have a new website to start working on and I am newbie to the seo world.

    Good article, this has taught me a few tips for my seo.

    I am not very IT literate, but I understood your advice and recommendations. Can’t stop, off to write a blog!

    Useful article, good tips.

    Learnt a lot from your advice. Thanks

    I have a new site and I have decided to work on the seo myself for the first time, so as a novice this info is a great help to me.

    After reading your blog and suggestions this has convinced me to start my own Spanish property blog. Big thank you for your article.

    Good advice, thanks. Just started adding backlinks. Tedious work, but reading all the info important to start early on in the life of a website. I am doing a few backlinks, little and often. Hopefully in a year this will be paying dividends. Also tweaking website content, probably add another page in time. Oh yes then there’s Blogging to sort out. Double busy!

    Just stumbled upon your post. I am a novice regarding websites and seo, but I will take your advice on board and hopefully my site will achieve a decent position in the search engines.

    Good info Nick. I like the idea of starting a blog. Hopefully this will help increase the traffic to my site.

    Just started doing some seo and a few blogs, so will be interesting to see how long this takes to help website rankings improve in the search engines.

    I have a new site so this information is very useful. Now for the hard work!

    Great article Nick! I have bookmarked it and will share it on social media because i found it quite useful! cheers

    Considering taking up your advice to start a blog. I am hoping this will add some additional traffic to my site. I also noted your recommendation to build up my social network, which I understand is now becoming more important to the search engines and rankings.

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