How to SEO a New Website

June 16, 2011 - by admin · Filed Under Uncategorized Comments Off on How to SEO a New Website 
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    How to SEO a New Website

    There seems to be a new affiliate asking for help in forums every day complaining that his/her website isn’t making any money or traffic.  The biggest reason that he’s not seeing any money is that even though he/she probably has a nice site with a good layout and theme, he isn’t receiving any traffic.  That’s where SEO is important.

    SEO (search-engine marketing) is about receiving daily traffic through organic search engine results.  This seems to confuse people outside of the internet affiliating/SEO world who mix this up with paid ads and sponsored results.

    What Shapes the SEO and Organic Search Engine Traffic of a New Site?

    From what I’ve picked up so far there are a number of factors that play a vital role in the SEO of both new and existing sites.

    Any successful SEO campaign should take into account backlinks, website age, domain age, intelligent use of social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook etc), keyword optimisation, user behaviour, content, exact match domains, syndicating RSS feeds and bookmarked pages.

    How I Personally SEO my Websites

    At the time of writing I have around 20-25 affiliate websites including one, and from all that experience I’ve effectively managed to make my SEO campaigns fairly straight forward when aiming to drive traffic to a new site.

    I also tend to plan ahead for incorporating new websites into my gaming network in order to be more successful as an affiliate and keep everything more structured.

    First Step of SEO:

    Buying/Registering Domains

    Registering or buying a domain is important in SEO.  Exact match domains will always have a natural boost in search engines (regardless of what people say).  Exact match domains also tend to be relevant to he website and provide ADDED VALUE to the user in describing what the gist of the site is all about.

    So overall, an exact match domain such as iphonegambling.org is a good thing whether from a pure user-experience or scientific SEO point of view.

    Of course you might want to pick a brandable domain but I don’t think that this is really relevant to user experience.  It is something that will give your website more character and identification in forums.

    Also, the extension of your domain is important too.  If you are targeting UK traffic, pick a .co.uk domain.  On the other hand, you really need a top level domain (org/com/net) if you want to target traffic from google.com.  You can however change the geographic target of your site in google webmaster tools however.  I did that for my spreadbettingplatforms.org site to target UK users and it has massively increased my UK traffic.

    Give your Site Time to Age

    Before I develop any of my sites I give a little time for my newly registered domains to age (if possible).  I’ll upload some wordpress files to my site and stick a single page of content on the homepage.  If might help to think of stages of SEO’ing a new site like cooking a meal.

    Sticking a single page up and letting the website age a week or two is like giving your steak time to age (28 days is it for a meat to hang out before sending it to the butchers to eat?)

    Giving your site time to age gives it a little more respect and credibility from the search engine’s point of view.

    The next step is to put up all of the content on your site.  The majority of my gaming affiliate websites are what many would class as “mini-sites” because they only have around 20 – 40 pages of content.

    Before I begin any SEO campaign, I always make sure that my site is finished first.  After all, why would anyone want to link to an unfinished, messy heap of a site?  Linking to incomplete sites just isn’t natural – it’s probably bad for users/traffic and in general why would you want traffic visiting your unfinished site anyway?

    Article Marketing

    After my site is complete, I will start a process of article marketing whereby I will promote my site and gain backlinks through major article marketing directories such as EzinesArticles, ArticlesEngine, Buzzle and ArticleBase.  As I mentioned in a previous affiliate article there are multiple advantages to submitting articles to these directories.  In the end you will receive increased traffic to your site though.

    Online News & Press Releases

    Press releases to use syndicated articles that are re-published across news wheels all over the internet.  There are one or two free press release sites (e.g. MyNewsDesk) but the better ones (e.g. 24-7PressRelease.com) will cost around $200 – $400 for their services.  In my opinion however, press release services are an excellent way for you to promote your site and maximise exposure on the internet (in addition to increasing backlinks to inner pages).

    You could also ask friends to publish a press release on their own site if it’s still relevant to their users.

    Buying/Exchanging Backlinks to your Site

    Most affiliates, particularly spammy affiliates, really don’t understand the whole process and aura surrounding SEO.

    In my opinion, SEO is all about providing a quality site that search engines such as Google and Bing WANT to include in search results.  As long as websites are good for users than that’s really all that matters.  With regards to this, the whole idea around SEO is natural backlinks.  A “backlink” in itself was never intended to be an arbitrary form of conning search engines.  A backlink is simply a vote of confidence in your site and it allows search engines to know which sites are important, valuable and credited by other authority websites.

    That’s why when I start a backlink campaign as part of my SEO I will make sure that I only link exchange with other quality sites that are WORTH linking to and RELEVANT to a specific article.  For example, if I have a instant sweepstakes website than I would rather have a relevant link from a page about instant win games than from a random website about Politics or FTSE Fundamentals News Reports.

    Similarly, if you intend on buying links for your site than buy links which will bring you natural traffic from relevant websites with strong user-value.  SEO and Page Rank formulas are built around natural links that show positive value to the user.

    Buying spammy links on non-relevant pages or crap websites is not valuable to the user.  The biggest error that major SEO firms make is that they are obsessed with only buying links on high PR pages or sites.  I can’t be bothered to argue but toolbar PR to me literally means nothing.  If it’s a big site, with lots of traffic and updated content than that link is worth infinitely more than a spammy link on a PR9 website.

    With regards to link exchanges, I normally always have a “resources” page where I can exchange links with other webmasters.  Again, I will only list quality sites that I believe will be useful to users visiting my site.  There is nothing wrong with linking out to a quality site.  BBC News, Betfair and Wikipedia do it all of the time.  If anything it helps to make your site appear more credible to the search engines since you are GIVING your users extra information and references to backup the material on your site. You’re letting them know where they can get extra information on a subject etc…

    I’ll also frequently do link exchanges within inner pages with other quality websites in a similar niche.  In order to not “saturate” my site with links I tend to place external links to 20% or less of the total pages on my site.

    Blogroll/Incontent or Footer Links?

    Experienced SEO affiliates are starting to believe that blogroll links do not carry the same value as in-content ones, since blogroll and other sitewide links (e.g. footer) are not considered editorial links.  They are part of the theme/advertising and unlike editorial links they are not really positive references to visit other sites.  That being said, I do believe that blogroll links still carry a lot of weight (I actually think that blogroll (site-wide) links carry the same weight as the strongest page on the website, so in other words a homepage link).

    In general, I think that it’s important to have a good mixture of blogrolls/incontent and other types of links (e.g. hyperlinked pictures).

    Build Deep Links

    One thing that amazes me about affiliates is how lazy we can be in general about not bothering to gain links to our inner pages.  To put it bluntly, if your site was truly authoritative than your inner pages would get linked to A LOT.  If I had a good football blog I would often link to inner pages and articles of BBC Football or Sky Sports News on a specific match report or news post.  I wouldn’t just link to the BBC homepage with the keyword “football”.

    In fact, a lot of my poker sites have been linked to in forums to their inner pages (using the full URL such as http://www.mosesbet.com/best-overlay-poker-tournaments/).

    Constantly Updating Content

    SEO never really “finishes” with a full stop.  Search engines like websites with regularly updated content so I will go out of my way to try to update each of my sites now and again (e.g. one post per month) just to keep things fresh.  Posting new content with wordpress also pings your pages which helps your site to get crawled and indexed by Google faster.

    Link Velocity

    Something that is also very important is link velocity.  Google analyses website behaviour, your link building velocity and changes to your site in general.  In short, it is unnatural for a website to receive 200 links over the course of a month and than stop receiving links altogether.  OK, it is not “unnatural” since viral marketing may cause this but it does mean that it will make your site look OLD very quickly and out of date if it stops receiving natural links and references.

    When you’re starting a link building campaign you need to make sure that you are not suddenly buying a hundred links only to leave your site to stagnate.  You need to build links and traffic in a sustainable manner, not peak to early etc…

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