By: Brendan Fitzpatrick
Hi all, it’s been a while since my last post and since then I’ve created several web sites on the fly and quickly realized that there were 7 key steps with some being critical for the success of the site.
First, let’s define success. Success of a web site as far as this article is concerned is that visitors can view the site on all platforms (mobile, desktop, tablet etc.) as well as be somewhat optimized for Google so that the site at least doesn’t incur penalties. This article will not go into SEO Optimization beyond mention some very important steps to take but there are many others that you should follow, find more info on http://google.com/webmaster
In order to create a website the first step you you need to do is buy a domain name. Once you purchase a domain name you need to find a hosting company. We recommend Godaddy.com for purchasing you domain name and a hosting company such as site5.com for a low cost hosting solution. You can expect to pay approximately $9 for the domain per year and around $10 a month for a hosting solution. Once you find your domain and hosting company, you need to configure your domain name (via the site that you purchased it from to point to your hosting companies DNS record or the IP address of your server). Contact your domain service or hosting company for details.
Next you have to build your web site.You have 1000’s of options here. You need to ask yourself what the site is being used for before you can consider the tools to build your site. For example, is your site a blog on a hot topic? are you looking to sell merchandise? is it brochureware? We’ve had success using templatemonster.com which provides all kinds of solutions using common source tools. As this article does not attempt to go deep into technical details we will assume that you are looking for a simple brochureware type site (ie. static content with Ads, ie. informational). Given this assumption I would recommend you look at bootstrap. Bootstrap.com offers a free framework for building HTML5 templates (ie. layout) very quickly.If you know anything about HTML you should find this framework fairly straight forward to use. If you’re going to have a developer create the site then Bootstrap is still a common framework the will make it easy for a new developer build on the site if your developer moves on.
One of the biggest sources of Internet traffic is now from Smart Devices (ie. Smart Phones and Tablets). It is extremely important to design your site for these users, my highest traffic site (1.8 Million unique visitors per year) draws close to 90% of it’s Ad revenue from these users. If you chose to go with Bootstrap you don’t have to worry about this because it is designed to work on all devices. If not then you have lot’s to consider.
Once you have built your web site you should create a sitemap.xml file and create a http://google.com/webmaster account and upload the sitemap.xml file.
Make sure that your META tags meet all rules and are populated. I won’t go into details here as the rules are constantly changing but make sure they comply with Google policy (ie Title, Description, Keywords etc.). Google recently reduced the size of the Description because of increased Mobile Phone Usage which has less screen space to display in Google results!
At this stage you have created a web site that has many advantages over 90% of the web sites out there older than 12 months (as of 6/2015) because Google only recently changes it’s algorithm to factor in Mobile friendliness. This is not to say that you’re site will rank higher than 90% of other sites within the same category, it just means that in this category (Mobile friendlienss) yours will rank higher.
Follow these few simple rules and you will surely receive hits in the matter of day or weeks. There is no way to bypass the time it takes to get ranked high in the search engines, period – no exception and you cannot pay someone to expedite this process so don’t waste your time or money. Follow these steps and you will gradually climb the rankings – and depending on the category you may never get above position 1,000,000 but also depending on the category and it’s uniqueness you may quickly climb to the top ten:
1. constantly update the site – google ranks ‘fresh content’
2. use internal links and use phrases – google will rank a link from ‘large red balloons’ higher if it is a link to another page on your site than if it was purely text. There is a difference in saying ‘large red ballons’ vs. linking to a page about ‘large red balloons’.
3. go crazy with your social network and link them to your web site – this is a big deal, sites with 5,000 links rank higher in that category than sites with 50 likes. Remember, Google ranks a site based on close to 200 categories so the more you focus on the better.
4. Never spam. Don’t overpost on any social network. Each social network is unique but it’s easy to find the best time of days to post to reach the most users.
5. There are many other ranking weights, if you can have your site meet the majority of Googles recommendations then you should be in great shape. However, I encourage you to join Google.com/plus and search on as many #SEO articles you can. It is amazing how fast SEO constantly changes.
I’d be happy to try to assist you with any questions, feel free to reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – please put InternetInReview in the subject.