7 Steps to Getting Your Website Off to a Great Start

Today’s guest post comes from Gareth Goddard. Gareth has a keen interest in web design and online marketing, promotion and SEO, as well as DSLR photography and article writing. Check out http://twitter.com/iampixelfreak/ for more information.

Launching a website is a big deal, and having things ready at launch is a must. However, launching a website with issues in place can take a while to correct, so here are some things to do after launch to make sure your website gets off to a great start. Working and doing Web Design West Midlands, we see so many sites without these in place; these pointers will not only help with SEO and online marketing, but will help your users too.

Step One

Add your site to Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster tools. Google Webmaster Tools is a great way to gain insight into how well your site is doing. You can check backlinks, and set geographic targets, submit sitemaps such as xml, video, and image maps, as well as other useful features. You can also see if your site has been hacked or has any issues, and can appeal if your site ever gets penalized.

Step Two

Although not strictly necessary for smaller sites, it is a good idea to write a sitemap, especially if certain pages you want indexed aren’t linked to through the site. You can then link to this in the footer of your page and submit it in Google Webmaster Tools. Although Google should crawl and recrawl the sitemap, it is a good idea to resubmit it in the Webmaster Tools console when you add any new pages.

Step Three

Run a program like Xenu on your site to check for any broken URLs that you can fix. You can either delete or fix broken links, or 301 redirect broken URLs to new ones.

Step Four

While you are fixing broken links, sort out canonical issues. Make sure your site works and directs “http://www.” to “http://” or the other way around. You can also put canonical tags in the header to sort out pages that list items or have very similar pages that might cause duplicate content issues.

Step Five

Claim your social networks. It’s surprising how many people don’t do this in this day and age. Claim your Twitter URL, your Facebook page, your YouTube page, and so on. Even if you don’t use them, make sure other people can’t claim them and use your name.

Step Six

Sort out your title tags. Make sure your title tags are being used properly and contain a good description of what is on the page, as well as the keywords that are relevant (but don’t keyword stuff). Make sure each page title is unique, as this can cause issues.

Step Seven

Sort out your URL structure. Make sure it is keyword rich (but again, not keyword stuffed) and makes sense from a user’s point of view. eg. site.com/products/product-name – this is not only useful for SEO, but also for users.

With these in place, your site should be off to a good start and help you launch successfully.

If you’d like to contribute an Internet marketing-related article, please see our post on guest blogging.

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