This post suggests initial steps to be taken when launching a site to ensure that the process of search engine indexing gets off to an early start. These steps should be taken as soon as the domain has been purchased, whilst the site is in development.
Step 1. Holding Page
Google and the other major search engines take time to index a site and also take the time that a site has been active as a ranking factor. It is therefore important to create a holding page on the chosen domain as soon as possible.
As soon as the information becomes available the <title>, Meta-tags and page content should be optimised to contain the keyphrases for the site.
Step 2. Launch Blog
It is a well know ranking factor that search engine place a premium on unique, frequently updated content. For these reasons, as well as to introduce the people running the site to the wonderful world of blogging, a blog should be started on the domain as soon as possible. This blog should be placed at the same URL as the final destination of the blog e.g. www.yoursite.co.uk/blog
As soon as the blog has been launched it can be added to blog search engines and directories such as Technorati and Google blog search.
Step 3. Build Incoming Links
Best practice for getting a site initially indexed by Google is to quickly build some quality incoming links. The following are sources of quick link wins:
- Sites you already own e.g. a blog
- Supplier sites
- Business Partner sites e.g. your web developer
Step 4. Google Webmaster tools
Google webmaster tools, including Google Sitemaps, are a set of tools which allows webmasters to inform Google as to the constituent pages on their site and also provide the webmaster with information on the performance of their website e.g. number of pages indexed. Installing Google webmaster tools on a site is an important step to getting a site indexed on Google and therefore all sites should have google webmaster code integrated from launch.
Step 5. Google Analytics
All live sites should also implement Google Analytics so that we can immediately start measuring the performance of the site.