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8 Quick SEO Wins For Your Brand New Website

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8 Quick SEO Wins For Your Brand New Website

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Websites can take time to return on your investment of money and resources you put into them.

That doesn’t mean you have to sit back and wait for that day to come.

In fact, there’s a lot you can control with search engine optimization.

There are specific SEO factors that you can take advantage of to get quick wins with your new site.

I recommend the following SEO monitoring and optimization tactics so you can measure your website’s visibility in search and position it for success.

1. Set Up Analytics And Diagnostic Tools

To know how well your site is performing and to measure improvement and gains along the way, you’ll want to get Google Analytics or a similar website analytics tool for tracking visitors to your site and behavior within it.

There’s a lot that you can learn in terms of insights from web analytics and it is helpful to have an objective benchmark or baseline to operate from across areas of traffic, content, conversions, and more.

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Also, you should get Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts.

Those will provide more information about how the search engines see your site and provide additional keyword performance data that Google Analytics lacks.

2. Map Out Optimal Site Architecture

Much like outlining a paper in school or the flow of a book, we should do the same with our website content.

Adult books aren’t often a single chapter with everything crammed into it. Likewise, a website shouldn’t have everything jammed into a single page.

Most of the time the home page is navigational introducing the brand or organization and leading users to other pages on the site. Think about how deep you get in your content.

Whether it is informational, ecommerce, or other types of topics, arrange it in a way that makes sense and goes from general to specific.

Don’t try to stuff too much into single pages.

Add sub-pages when topics and sub-topics warrant it.

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Long-form content is great for technical and specific topics.

However, it is also wise to allow the user to click and go deeper on their own terms versus overwhelming them.

On top of that, the search engines can see the vertical depth of content in addition to the wideness of the top-level pages and sections.

3. Be Strategic With Internal Link Structure

Inbound links to your site from other sites provide authority status for the pages and your site overall.

That process of sharing value doesn’t stop at the page that receives the link(s).

How you link to pages within your site can have a big impact on the page value and link value distributed throughout the site.

Know or keep in mind that you don’t want to link to every other page on the site from every page.

Keep your top-level navigation focused and only link where relevant and necessary.

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That will help you pass the page value into the areas you want to in a focused way.

When every page has links spelled out to every other page, it is chaotic and doesn’t help prioritize link authority value and also erodes the work you have done to cleanly organize your site architecture for the search engines.

4. Create Quality Content

More content – as long as relevant, high quality, and helpful for your audience is always better.

Whether you’re lengthening existing pages, adding more, or going further in-depth, go for it.

This is your chance to look at how your migration or new site launch went and put your foot on the gas.

If you have thin pages with little text or a lot of pages that have significant overlap or duplication of content relative to others on the site, find a way to enhance or eliminate those pages.

Going back to the site architecture and internal linking details I shared, you don’t want to hurt those formats and efforts.

5. Monitor And Troubleshoot Indexing

Priority number one is to make sure you’ve got your XML sitemap, robots.txt, and any in-page canonical and indexing commands in a good place.

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From there, you can monitor how quickly the search engines index your pages.

You may feel like it is overkill, but spend a lot of time in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools making sure that the sitemap is validating and that the pages indexed are the ones you expect and in priority order.

Don’t assume that you’ll build it and Google will come.

Get things submitted, watch for errors, and monitor the overall indexing process to ensure that it is moving as fast as possible and that any errors are addressed immediately.

6. Optimize Page Speed

Like content, don’t settle when it comes to page load times.

Evaluate page speed on your site using tools like the Google Chrome Lighthouse auditing developer tool.

Is it fast? Then make it faster!

Slow or not up to industry benchmarks? Speed it up!

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Don’t ignore speed or push it off until later in the process.

Lean on dev and IT resources as you can to push for the maximum speeds you can reasonably achieve.

Time is of the essence and you don’t want to invest in a ton of other optimization areas with a subpar speed profile.

7. Maintain Clean Code

If you have speed issues, indexing issues, or concerns overall about the code, you should dive deeper.

A lot of content management systems include plugins and bloated code that is not needed or useful.

Developer shortcuts (I love developers – I’m not disparaging them) or out-of-the-box things that you don’t need can impact speed and indexing.

They can also cause headaches for you when uploading or updating content if things break often.

Minimalist, clean code helps you across the full spectrum impacting the quick wins I have outlined.

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8. Build Links And Citations

External authority and validation signals are important.

Building on what I noted in the internal linking section, you should think about any and all relationships that could result in another, credible site linking to your site.

Think about partnerships, charities, customers, memberships, trade associations, credentials, and credible directories that could and should be linking to your site.

Make a list and plan to establish those links on the web to mirror the relationships in real life.

Beware of the traps and shortcuts with buying links that can get you in trouble though as you go through the process.

Other types of links or mentions that add credibility are often referred to as citations.

These can come through establishing Google Maps listings through Google Business Profiles, by submitting to data aggregation services, and other prominent directories and map sites on the web.

All of these links and mentions grow the footprint for your brand and point to your website as the hub or authority for your business or organization.

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Conclusion

Taking a proactive approach with a new website to realize quick wins can help reduce the time it takes to get the visibility you deserve for your new website.

New sites can take some time to build up authority status from external links and from having relevant content that the search engines deem better than others featuring similar topics.

SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it thing.

However, if you dive into the quick win areas and focus on what you can monitor and improve, you’ll give your site a head start and a chance to return on investment and work toward your goals in a quicker time frame.

More resources:


Featured Image: Who Is Danny/Shutterstock

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.

The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:

  • Visualization
  • Personalization
  • Sustainability

After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.

The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).

The Struggle With Images

Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.

Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:

  • How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?

Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.

More Uses Cases, Please

Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.

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The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.

Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.

Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.

The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.

  • 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
  • Focus less on verticals
  • Provide more use cases

Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.

Google Product Managers Weigh In

The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:

  • It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?

Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:

  • Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
  • For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page

However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.

Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.

Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?

The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.

Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.

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Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.

Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.

Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.

The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.

Closing Thoughts

Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.

However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.

Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.

A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.

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Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M

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