Brand new websites are more difficult to rank within Google.
They don’t have any previous authority, they’re often slightly smaller sites when compared with more established competitors, and they often won’t have any referring traffic from other sources.
This is a big red flag within Google.
An unproven website is a big risk to searcher satisfaction, and so Google filters new domains out of high priority search results until they have “proven themselves”.
Luckily there are a few things you can do to speed up this process.
Expand Your Content Map
The safest and most effective way to improve the rankings of your website for your chosen keywords is to increase the topical authority of your website.
This is done by expanding the range of industry topics you cover in your articles, providing in depth information about related problems, questions and news.
The larger your site grows, the greater the chances of you ranking for long tail keywords that are less competitive, and the more Google will see you as an authority in your industry, helping to improve your rankings for more competitive key phrases.
You can find content ideas for your website in some of the following ways:
- Industry blogs: see what other people are writing about, how could you improve upon it?
- SEMrush – this tool helps to identify related keywords to your topic, helping you to target less competitive terms.
- Google Search Suggest – this shows the sub topics of your keywords that your customers are searching for.
Drive Traffic From Other Sources
Google loves to see websites receiving traffic from other sources than Google itself, as it shows that the site is universally popular, and it’s doing marketing in other sources, a sign of a real brand.
So focus on spreading your message across social media and industry websites, which in turn will drive people to click on your links and visit your website.
Make sure you have Google Analytics installed so that Google can track all of this data.
Provide The Best User Experience Possible
User metrics are a big part of the algorithm, where Google is trying to only rank websites that visitors find interesting and useful.
This makes some key metrics important to us within Google Analytics:
- Bounce rate – we don’t want people leaving the website as soon as they enter, as this is a sign the page wasn’t what they were expecting.
- Time on site – the ideal time will vary depending on your industry and content form, but just make sure it’s high enough for people to complete the desired action on the page.
- Pages per session – this shows that your website also covers surrounding topics that the person is looking for, so aim to add internal links to related articles that the user might want to read next.
You can track how users are engaging with your websites with services such as Crazy Egg and Hotjar, which show you how far people scrolled, where they clicked, and other things that can help you edit your page to better serve your users.
Authority Link Building
Inbound links are still the biggest ranking factor within Google, and so you still need to focus on them for a new website.
However it’s often not realistic to receive a lot of links from various news or industry sources as soon as you launch (apart from select cases), so your best bet is to focus on branded links to the homepage that make sense.
These would include all of your traditional social profiles:
- Facebook Page
- Google+ Page
- Youtube Channel
And could also include location and industry related citations and directories, such as:
- Google My Business Listing
- Trip Advisor
- Best of the web
You will often find more sources by searching within your competitors backlink profile, or checking services such as Whitespark.ca.
This combined approach can help to greatly improve a new websites rankings for long tail terms, and set it up well to rank for more competitive terms within 6-18 months depending on competition. When doing local SEO, it can often take longer for the map listing to rank in the organic results also.