Think its important to try to outline what you can expect from a new website in terms of search engine performance and visitor numbers as there are some people that have unrealistic expectations when it comes to how their website will perform when its build and then indexed by the search engines initially. The actual time it takes for the indexing of your website once submitted or ‘live’ on the Internet by the search engines depends where you put links to it, more established sites will get ‘crawled’ by the ‘bots’ more often and therefore if you have a link to the new site it will get discovered quicker. Its actually possible to have a live website for months and years before the search engines realise it exists as it may not have been submitted or may not have had links placed to it to aid the indexing.
Once you new website has been found and indexed by the search engines you cannot expect it to rank competitively for its targeted ‘search terms’ straight away as that would be unreasonable and unrealistic. You have to ask yourself when you search for something important that, would you want to find a website that was built and created yesterday, or alternatively would you want to be offered a website that has been built and improved over many years with many other websites giving it approval by ‘voting’ for it, by means of linking to it by having a ‘hyperlink’ from one of its own pages to the website in question. By giving this example you can see that the age of a website is an important factor and knowing this you can go forward with a strategy to help you get listed in the search engine results pages for your chosen search terms at a competitive level.
You could view the search engine ranking game as a race, a very long ‘unending’ race that you join at a walking pace when you enter it with you shiny brand new website. This new website is normally a small percentage of the size, in terms of page numbers and content, compared with established high ranking sites and has either none or very few links to it from 3rd party sites that give it that all important ‘vote of confidence’, that the search engines value so highly. You can try to address the balance by building more pages / content to your site then optimising or polishing those pages, this content will then go on to attract natural links from other websites, but this takes time and effort. Even if a site is launched with more valuable content and links than its competitors it will still normally not rank competitively for months if not years while the search engines determine the correct ranking position for it for its ‘search terms’. Additionally in the early months and years of a website being in the search engines its position fluctuates more than established / mature sites. As your site gains content and links the walking pace you started the race gives way to a gentle jog and as the years go past if you continue to add content and promote that content before you know it you will be running as fast as the rest.
We have found that the ‘website age’ aspect of the search engines algorithm becomes less of a negative factor once the site reaches the two year anniversary. Its probably that the engines have a sliding scale for website age that gives a larger credit (or reduces the negative impact) once it reaches 2 years of age. Perhaps, then smaller credits are awarded to it at subsequent anniversaries. Even though the domain age could be discovered (via whois lookup) its more likely that the search engines rely on their ‘crawling’ history of the domain to determine how long the website has been around.
Peoples expectations on what a website can achieve varies wildly but like most things in life the more you put into it the more you get out of it, meaning the more time and effort you put into building and promoting your website the higher it will naturally rise in the search engines bring in ‘free’ inquiries. When we get asked how many inquiries will a new website get initially, the answer is normally none within the first weeks and months, even if the client has us doing the website promotion / SEO project on their site, as new sites are held back slightly due to their age.
One strategy for ranking a website competitively in a short period is to concentrate on the local market instead of a region market. An alarm installation company that has a new website would not be able to rank among other established alarm company websites for the search term ‘alarms’ but maybe able to rank in their particular county or town for a geographically related service to their main business, so they should aim to be ranking for ‘alarm installation Essex’ or ‘Brentwood CCTV fitters’ instead of ‘alarms’ and ‘cctv’. These targetted / specific search terms are more likely to attract clients that want or need that service and as such will be more likely to convert these website visitors into paying customers. Of course there are more factors at play here and one big one is the ‘convertibility’ of the website meaning the power of the website to change a website visitor into a real client. For the majority of business brochure websites there is no point in having hundreds of daily visitors if they do not email you / send an inquiry or buy something from your website. How we convert these website visitors into clients is to be covered here shortly.
We cannot guarantee any top rankings initially once the site is launched and even as we mentioned above within the first weeks and months of a SEO project big gains may not be noticed, but the promotion of your new site is crucial to give it the very best chance of success. This is why we recommend that you get us to perform a SEO project on it and our Premium Plus Business Brochure site has this project built in to it which is one reason why this is our most popular package.