Monday, 4 March 2013

Advice for launching new websites in 2013

Whether you are new to internet marketing or a veteran that was focused only on established sites, here are some tips about what to do and not to do when launching a new site. Of course not everything may apply to your personal situation. I also encourage you to debate the cost/benefit of these items. 

-Start with a good CMS (content management system) that can grow without compatibility issues 

-Minimize the use of frameworks, plugins & add-ons, they are cool today but will cause headaches tomorrow 

-Focus on urls looking good to users & less for search engines 
-Avoid getting crappy links, its too dangerous in the long term and it sucks spending time removing them later 

-Ask yourself what your new site offers that isn't already on 100 other sites 
-Expect Google rankings to be weird for your first year 

-Good Google rankings don't mean your site is good, it is more likely that you are looking at personalized serps 

-Don't launch the site until its good enough to attract webmasters to link to it 

-If you use five years old seo tricks, expect Google to have five years of filters to counteract it 

-Google doesn't really care that your domain is old, they care more about long term inbound links 
-Incorporate canonical tags & verified author profiles 

-Unique ip hosting isn't that important, reliable ip hosting is much more important 
-Use a domain that is brandable and relates to your business, hyphens & keyword stuffed domains aren't ideal 

-Domains with good backlinks tend to outpace keyword domains with weaker backlinks 

-Once you find the perfect domain, check to see if it was previously registered and used for spamming 

-Use a good analytics program, it will help you make better business decisions 

-Archive all keyword data, its going away fast 

-Don't put 100 generic navigation links on every page, better to "theme" the page with a handful of links to relevant content 

-Ask yourself again what your new site offers that isn't already on 100 other sites and this time don't lie to yourself 

-Think about where you want your site in 5 years, then plan your site to minimize the change & redirects you will need 

-Better to have 100 great content pages than 10,000 auto generated pages 

-Your content pages are too short and users don't find enough value in them 

-Did you forget to embed relevant links within your content? 

-Smart webmasters can identify your network of sites by looking at backlinks, adsense/analytics code & other tells 

-Social signals like twitter mentions by real people are great for getting new sites crawled 

-Fake social signals that you can buy are mostly worthless 

-It isn't easy to launch a new site, it costs alot of time, money & resources. It is going to cost much more than you estimated. 

-The Google ranking algorithm isn't one simple piece, it has many different pieces and these pieces are run at different times 

-Launching a new site today is a much more weird process with many more anomalies than in the past 

Those are my general observations from my latest round of launching new sites. I am sure I overlooked some stuff so feel free to add your own or to debate what I've posted. 
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