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SEO matters even before your website goes live.

Are you thinking about redesigning your website or designing a brand new website?

Even before your website goes live SEO should be top of mind. Before you launch your website, you have to attend to many details. From the technical to the creative, these many features will contribute to your website’s user experience. You will work and rework content and agonize over the many accessibility and design choices.

But whatever you do, never consider launching your new website until it’s optimized.

In fact, SEO is not only important once you have gone live with your website.

This means that it is critically important to jumpstart your SEO before going live.

To make SEO work for you, you should optimize well before going live. If you want your website to show consistently at the top of your prospects’ search results, so you have a lot of work to do. Consider hiring additional help to ensure that the many tasks associated with pre-launch SEO are complete.

Here is how to jumpstart your SEO before going live with your new website.

Build anticipation for your upcoming website with an SEO landing page.

Crafting your landing page is your first step. Tell users that the page is forthcoming as you work to prepare content. This move improves your SEO in five ways:

1. Search engines prioritize more established websites.

Don’t assume that search engines will notice your webpage the moment your website goes live. It takes time. Get a head start on pushing your website toward the top of the search results before your content is even posted. Search engines will not care about your website’s state of completion. Search engines rank pages still in progress by keywords, same as fully functional pages.

2. Generate new clients.

A landing page is an excellent opportunity to inspire interest in your forthcoming website. Request that visitors register for a mailing list and keep them posted with news until your website is complete.

3. Provide a glimpse of your brand.

So you don’t have much to go on, yet. But you can tease your future users with a positive impression of your company. Be sure to use excellent graphics and interesting descriptions to excite users about your upcoming website.

4. Manage your publicity.

Post a fun and catchy media kit on your landing page. Make sure you include your contact information, a mission statement and downloadable brand materials. Promote your brand’s importance with a statement about the media attention you’ve been receiving.

Refresh content on the landing page and keep visitors up-to-date to ensure that search engines pick up new content. Make sure the kit is searchable.

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5. Enable social media.

You should install social media capability before going live. Make sharing your website easy. This will enable you to build rapport with your future clients before your website ever goes live. And, it will build anticipation about your business.

Keep up a steady flow of content.

Once search engines begin visiting and ranking your new website, you will need to add fresh content to maintain the flow of traffic. Consider starting a blog before launching your site.

Click here for my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.

This move will enable you to easily update your visitors, post new content, and keep up anticipation about your upcoming launch. And remember what we said earlier about search engines prioritizing established websites? Posting regular updates and press releases will help build credibility for your website, pushing it to the top of the search results.

Promote your content.

Website content promotion is one of the most important SEO tactic. It is not enough to have great content on your website. You have to promote the content.

Here are some of the most effective ways to promote your website content:

  • Learn from your competition. Check out where your competition is getting their backlinks.
  • Share on social media. Ask your team members, friends, and your personal and business network to share your website content on social media.
  • Email your subscribers.
  • Reach out to bloggers and ask them to share. A great way to connect with other bloggers is using websites such as Triberr.
  • Post your content on related forums.
  • Join groups. – Try Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Google groups.
  • Comment on related blog posts and link back to your own website.
  • Post on Q & A websites such as Quora.
  • If you have a budget for it, pay for promotion through ads. Facebook and LinkedIn ads are a great place to start.
  • Create your own Youtube channel. Post videos about your niche with links back to your website.
  • Create your own podcast.
  • Create infographics. Infographics are some of the most shared content.
  • Guest post on established blogs.

Be strategic about every page.

Focus on creating useful and high-quality content for every page of your upcoming website. Make sure that your content is top-notch, and then use your keywords throughout every page and especially in the headings. Spend the time to check that your pages regularly use the words that will bring the right people to your website. This step alone will greatly improve your online presence and optimize your SEO.

Register in directories.

Add your business to generalized websites like Bing Places and Yelp. Next, register with highly influential directories in your industry. Registering your website will establish its credibility before going live. It might even give you some flexibility if you’re still short on content once you do get your website running.

Promote your website through other websites.

Promote some of your best content when you visit websites in your industry.

Make sure that you are posting excellent content and not spamming your colleagues.

Done right, guest blogging is an effective way of generating traffic to your own website. And it is a potent tool for attracting the attention of your target audience. Note what kinds of posts are welcomed in your industry. Track your target audience. Determine which websites your future visitors visit to read and share information about your keywords.

Remaining SEO items.

The above information does not cover everything you need to do to jumpstart your SEO before going live. The following is a list of other important SEO housekeeping tasks to complete prior to going live:

  • Ensure that robots are correctly accessing and scanning your website. Check your robots.txt and sitemaps files.
  • Assign titles to each page and write your desired page descriptions into the metadata. Each page should have a unique and optimized title.
  • Optimize all visible page content. This includes body text, headings, subheadings, and images.
  • Optimize each page’s URL address.
  • Set up 301 redirects for pages whose address has changed.
  • Submit your site to search engines.
  • Install Google Analytics.
  • Ensure that each page loads quickly.
  • Continue promoting your website through posts, videos, and emailed updates.

Use Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) gives you a holistic view of your SEO. GWT helps you understand your traffic details through keywords, impressions, clicks, CTR or click-through-rate, and average position. GWT helps you identify website optimization opportunities.

Quantifying your SEO success.

Once your website has finally gone live, you will need to evaluate the success of your SEO efforts. Use Google Analytics and tracking data to analyze traffic patterns. Reassess your strategy immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Decreased keyword ranking.
  • Major changes in traffic and other trends.
  • An influx of 404 errors.
  • Suboptimal page speeds, which may prevent search engine indexing.

Parting thoughts:

Your website is the key to promoting your business and attracting customers. Don’t invest the time and effort in launching a website without an SEO optimization strategy. If you are not tech-savvy, find someone with the right SEO experience. Remember, the time to start your SEO is before going live. Done right, optimization will generate interest and drive clients to your website.

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photo credit: Google Classic: Please Allow 30 Days for your Search Results (Original artist unknown) #Google