|By Farid Parvini Ph.D. | Solution21 | CEO|
Launching your website is a big step in making your mark on the Internet and building your business. However, before you set your site to live, there are several SEO considerations you will want to address. From content mapping to searching for crawl errors, consider some of the five most important aspects of SEO preparation you need to look for before launching your brand new site!
Mapping Content from Keyword to URL
The first step before launching your website live is to ensure you’ve done thorough keyword research. Keyword research is the best way to create a list of potentially all the keywords you are interested in targeting and their related URLs on your website. Consider the keywords you want to target and make sure they are included in the page title and meta descriptions. By doing this, you are setting up your site in the early stages to function properly for on-page optimization and rank tracking which can be trickier to address later on when the site has grown tremendously.
The next aspect to consider before launching live is accessibility for visitors and search engines as well as overall user experience. Ask yourself:
- Is the page and content accessible to search engines? Search engines are critical to ensuring your page is easy to find. If content is duplicated or pages are broken with, it can be found using tools such as Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, Moz Pro, or OnPage.org.
- Can the content be found by all browsers and devices? Having a site accessible by your desired audience no matter where they’re browsing from is key to ensuring accessibility across the board. Today’s audience is using a plethora of devices to access the internet, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. Some even utilize specialized products such as screen readers for the visually impaired. Check your site with all the browsers available to make sure they look right and function properly. Consider Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.
- How fast is my page loading? A great site will load quickly and effortlessly no matter where potential visitors are located. Use a tool such as the Google Speed Test to check your site, and consider proxy checking if you want to ensure access from specific international or rural regions.
- Will all users find the design and experience enjoyable? In-house usability testing can help you make sure your site is friendly for everyone. Have friends and family check your site, or utilize more formal testing tools such as Usability Hub and the Five Second Test.
Services and Tracking Setup
When launching a site, it is important to have several tools available and setup for tracking and service. Below is a small list to consider:
- Web analytics – Rand Fishkin of Moz recommends using crawl services and analytic programs such as Piwik, Omniture, Moz Pro, of even Google Analytics.
- Uptime tracking – Pingdom is a wonderful and affordable plan for websites in the earlier stages that can grow with your company. It is highly encouraged for uptime tracking.
- Remarketing and retargeting – placing retargeting pixels from Google and Facebook on your site and all consecutive pages is a great way to set up your site for future changes and accessibility even if you are not planning on using these social media sites until later.
- Brand alerts – setting up brand alerts is a great way to monitor mentions online. This can be done with tools such as Talkwalker, Mention.net, Fresh Web Explorer alerts, Trackur, and Google Alerts.
- Google Search Console – this is a great free option as well as Bing Webmaster Tools which can both be used to check for website errors and accessibility issues.
- SEO rankings tracker – using special tools and programs for tracking rankings and performing regular crawls is a great way to check for link-building opportunities and competitive missteps. The most popular options for SEO tracking including Ahrefs, Moz, SEMRush, Raven, and Searchmetrics.
- Web and social media profiles – snagging your company name on social media is important well before you launch your site. These can be easily taken if left open. Even if you don’t use certain services, sign up and obtain your profile pages. This includes sites such as YouTube, Slideshare, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Doing this will secure your brand.
OpenGraph, Rich Snippets, and Schema
Even though you’ve already gone through your keywords, titles, and meta description, now may be a great time to see if there are other opportunities available for content or image searches. Some of these tools, including Schema and OpenGraph, are readily available for analyzing whether certain images are getting more attention than others in search engines such as Bing and Google.
Link Outreach Plans and Launch Amplification
For launch day and beyond, there are many questions you can ask yourself in advance before switching your site live. They include:
- How can I help amplify my launch? Anyone who you know whom you can directly reach out to improve coverage of your new website should be listed and contacted. This may include family, friends, customers, journalists, or bloggers.
- How can I create buzz with existing sites, relationships, and profiles? Make sure everything is in line and ready to go before you launch. Update appropriate sites such as Facebook, Twitter, About.me, and LinkedIn. Change your email signature and address links on previous web sites which could be updated to your new one. Consider all existing relationships, profiles, accounts, and websites in which changes can be made to advertise your new site.
- Can I take advantage of any social or press coverage? Consider your influencer outreach. Think of people who are perhaps more distant from you but could amplify your website release date. Dig out some old emails and send a pitch while building a stronger relationship. Launch day is a great time to perform outreach techniques.
With the above considerations in place, you should be able to successfully launch your new business site with a more competent SEO strategy lined up. Over time, you will continue to dig into the details and build your website—and business—from the ground up using marketing techniques similar to the professionals!