It’s no secret that new websites are really hard to rank. Some SEO professionals have said that websites can’t be ranked until they get to a certain age – this is known as the sandbox effect.
The sandbox effect has been around for years, as SEOs started to notice that it’s a lot easier to get a new website ranked on Bing or Yahoo compared to Google. This is where the Google sandow theory came from.
The sandbox is said to be a filter for any new appearing websites, SEOs think that the filter holds new websites and stops them from ranking until they get to a certain age. People have debated for years what the exact age is, some say 2 months and some say a whole year.
So to avoid the sandbox effect when you launch your new website, we are giving you our 6 tips that we use to avoid this happening when we launch any new website.
1) Ensure that you run a post-launch website audit
You should start by ensuring that there are no technical issues that will affect ranking your website. You should run a post-launch website audit to ensure that your website is search and user friendly.
Check for indexing issues
Firstly, check that search engines can easily access all your important pages. You can use Website Auditor, once you enter your domain name; this tool will automatically provide you with a report on any technical issues that your website has.
Go through the list that the report provides you with, and check that the list does not contain any page that you don’t want to appear in the search.
Check for UX issues
User experience metrics really do matter, Google will hesitate to rank your pages if users aren’t able to access the content quickly.
You can use Google Search Console to ensure you meet Google standards. Here you will find two user experience reports: Core Web Vitals and Mobile Usability. If there are any website errors, Google Search Console will give you a list of offending pages, specific issues, and advice on how to go about fixing the issues.
2) Join business directories
Google My Business
To get Google to recognize that you do really exist, ensure that you create listings in Google’s own directory such as Google My Business. Google My Business has various features that let users know more and more about your business; the more information you provide the more you can become an entity in Google’s database.
Using GMB allows you to boost your credibility with Google, making you eligible to appear on local search results.
Local directories allow you to boost your online visibility presence, we recommend you find 5-10 local directories that your target customers will actually use.
3) Create content in clusters
For Google to want to rank your website you need to demonstrate that you are an expert in a particular area, creating high-quality content on a certain topic (creating your content in clusters), is exactly how you do that.
This means that you are staying relevant and not jumping from topic to topic, using the one topic from many angles is much more effective.
4) Display positive user behaviour
The use of site visits, interactions, comments, reviews, and social shares is said to be a massive help to get your page ranked well on Google. Therefore it’s important to do the following:
Start with getting website visitors:
You need to have real visitors for Google to recognise that you are displaying positive behaviour. Using social media, local forums, interest groups and online magazines can get users onto your page.
Make sure your users stay engaged
You want to ensure that all your pages are user friendly, promotes user interaction whilst encouraging users to stay for longer periods of time. This can be done through; high quality visuals, easy navigation and no annoying pop ups. You want to make a good first impression so the user is more likely to return and move down your page.
To encourage your users to move down the customer journey you should encourage navigation to other pages of the website, this can be done through the use of recommended posts and related products. This is where you can use cluster content, being able to offer various angles on the one subject makes it much easier to encourage users to move through the pages.
5) Grow your backlink profile
One of the best ways to make sure Google knows your authenticity is through backlinks from better-established websites. Although it’s hard to get these high-quality backlinks, finding a website that already links to a few of your competitors means that you know this website has an interest in your niche, which makes it more likely to gain a backlink.
6) Reference quality sources
Another effective way of getting your website ranked quickly is creating connections with your site, and the rest of the internet through the use of linking to high-quality sources. This is a cost-effective method of getting ranked that takes very little effort.
When creating your content, find a way to reference back to a recognised expert in the field that you are talking about; then link to the paper or page that holds that referenced article.
You don’t have to just stick to blog posts with this method, it can be used in product pages, reviews, promotional videos, or supplier websites.
If you want to get your website ranked on the first page of Google, get in touch with us today at Gekkoshot.