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Launching your website, the SEO way

Do you have a brand new site? How long will you have to wait before it appears on search engines? The truth is, that it could be several months. If you do nothing, it could be years. We offer a couple of suggestions for getting you started on launch day.

One important thing I should mention is that I assume you have a website that is SEO friendly. If it is completely designed in flash, it is not. If it contains frames, it is not. If it is made up of images, it is not. This will make things a lot harder. I have seen some websites that are beautifully designed in flash or contained within frames that have been invisible on search engines. Even after 3 years, their sites did not appear anywhere. The content of this article actually assumes that you have appropriately designed your website. If not, then I recommend hiring a company to perform an seo assessment or audit to increase your potential.

One of the main things you need is to start building a network of incoming links. We’ll tackle relevancy later on but for now, let’s focus on ways for getting sites to link to you.

Incoming Links: (external links)
Significant links are those who have a Page Rank in excess of 3/10 (as determined by the popularity of a website). Yahoo.com, for example, has a Page Rank of 10/10, which is very valuable. Consider getting additional links to your site by submitting to directories that have a high page rank like Yahoo! (Page Rank – 10), Superpages.com (Page Rank – 8) or Dmoz.org (Page Rank -9) to take advantage of valuable incoming links. Some of these are free, others charge a nominal fee while Yahoo! charges $299 for submission to their directory. A better place to start is http://www.strongestlinks.com/directories.php where you can find a list of directories, paid and free, that could be valuable to you.

Optimized Press Releases:
When launching your website, it’s a great idea to prepare a press release to let people know. If you’re not planning on doing a full press release, we encourage you to consider an optimized press release online. Often more valuable than regular press releases, those that have been optimized can really boost your visibility online. In addition to the increased visibility, we like to select those services that offer the ability to set anchored links. One of these is PRWebdirect.com. Not only is it important to choose your keywords appropriately, but to set your anchored links to offer greatest value to both the user and your website. Others include:

www.prleap.com
www.i-newswire.com
www.webwire.com
www.pressbox.co.uk
www.24-7pressrelease.com
www.clickpress.com
www.przoom.com
www.pr.com
www.marketwire.com

Some of these are free, others will charge a small submission fee. Another that we have had great success with is www.arrivenet.com. The key is first of all to write the press release, secondly to set the anchored links and the final one is to add tags below the article.

Buy Text Links:
While you should be careful not to overdo this, there are some benefits at least initially, that you could gain from purchasing text links. One of the more predominant ones is http://www.text-link-ads.com/.

Link Exchange:
Another good way to generate links is to tap into your existing network. You may want to consider having a links page set up. While you are probably only offering a 0/10 link exchange, many of your partners would not mind the additional exposure on another site.

Articles:
Positioning yourselves as the experts is the field is not only valuable for your brand but it can also garner some good incoming links. Writing an article on “Selecting a Widget” or “Widget Solutions: Renting vs Buying” can be very useful for generating online visibility. These articles can then get picked up through a variety of sources but should be submitted to as many content hubs as possible. Some of the better ones are:

www.goarticles.com
www.isnare.com
www.submityourarticle.com
www.articlecity.com
www.exchangenet.com
www.article-directory.com
www.freezinesite.com

In addition, there are article distribution services like isnare.com plus writing articles on about.com.

Blog/Forum Participation:
One method that can be more time-consuming is to participate in user forums and user blogs. Essentially there are a lot of relevant sites out there to encourage user participation. When adding a post or responding to one, make an attempt to place your signature with a link to your website, preferably using some of your top keywords.

Pay-per-Click, Paid Inclusion:
A good way to kick-start your new site and launch your online marketing campaign is to establish an online advertising program. Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing are two of the first places that should be considered.

Google Sitemap:
Google offers an xml generated sitemap tool that let’s GoogleBot (Google’s spider/crawler) know when your content is updated or pages have been added. Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemap and follow the instructions for creating one.

These are just a handful of ideas to get you started. It can be a time consuming prospect but can also be very valuable. You already know that people are out there looking for you or a company like you. Hopefully they don’t find a company like you first.

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About the Author: Paul Fleming is a founding principal at Dinkum Interactive, a search marketing company based out of Philadelphia. They offer genuine search and new media marketing services to small and medium businesses.

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at camilla@wnwdigital.co.uk or phone on 01392 349580

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