Aug 3, 2012
Building a website is an essential part of launching a new business because it exposes your products or services to a much larger potential customer base than you could reach with traditional methods such as print advertising. No matter what type of website you want to build, however, you’ll have to beat the competition to achieve top rankings. This happens via the slow process of building the website, generating great content, and establishing relationships with users and other webmasters.
Conduct thorough research before launching your website. If you have specialized knowledge or are passionate about a particular topic, search for many related keywords on search engines to learn who your competition will be. If all or many of the search results display well-known websites, you will have a difficult time building a top ranking website about that topic unless you can provide something the competing websites don’t have. If you do not have a specific topic in mind, try to find something not already covered extensively by major websites.
Select and register a short, memorable domain name for your website and open an account with a Web hosting company. You can register your domain with a company that only handles domain name registrations — this type of company is called a registrar — or with the company that hosts your website. After pointing the domain name to your Web host’s name servers, you can begin building the framework of the website. Many websites are built using free Content Management Systems. A CMS allows you to add content to your website using an intuitive visual interface rather than programming it from scratch using raw code. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are three popular systems; many Web hosting companies can install one of them on your Web server automatically.
Begin adding content to your website. If your website uses a blog format, strive to post new content regularly to keep users coming back frequently. Stay up-to-date about your website’s topic so you can post news updates as events occur. If your website is informational, post “evergreen” content that will remain accurate and informative for as long as possible to encourage other webmasters to link to your website as an authoritative resource. Before posting a new article, select at least one keyword phrase that best describes the article’s content and make sure that it appears prominently within the article’s title and text. This ensures that search engines will index your content correctly. Think constantly about possible topics for new content to add to your website; possible sources for article ideas may include news headlines, articles found on other websites and keyword research tools.
After search engines index your website, some time may pass before it begins to receive a significant volume of visitors. This can happen because your website has little content or because older, better established websites outrank yours. For your website to compete, search engines need to see signals indicating that it is trustworthy and authoritative. The first of these signals is inbound links from other websites. Webmasters will link to your website if you publish unique, interesting and informative content. When your website is still new and few people know about it, don’t be afraid to notify other webmasters when you publish an article that you believe deserves to be featured; every new link that you receive increases your website’s standing with search engines.
Social media activity is the second signal that can help to increase your website’s ranking on search engine results pages. Some of the most popular social media websites include Google +1, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Stumbleupon and Digg. You can encourage people to share your content on these websites by placing buttons on each article you publish. If you use WordPress, the ShareThis, Shareaholic and Artiss Social Share plugins can do this automatically. Every time a person votes for or shares your content on a social media website, it tells search engines that users find your content valuable.