How to Launch a Community Website

I have had to do this for a lot of small community sites recently, and the same things apply to most small company sites as well. The issue is not just quality, qualified traffic, but actual presence and discoverability.

First, and most important, decide what you want your “search words” to be. That is easy if it is a unique company or organisation name, but harder if people have to search for you by operation, service, process, product or location. Put some care into this, and test your hypothesis using online web tools.

Then, using a good “recipie” as below, one person can get a community site to the Google first page in about 1 month, given careful choice of keywords and some luck.

Baseline

Then baseline your presence by checking all your site ranking numbers on

  •          Google
  •          Bing
  •          Yahoo
  •          Alexa
  •          Quantcast

 Optimise, Contextualise

  1.     Optimise site for speed
    1.     start by using plugins
    2.     using a Content Delivery Network (like CloudFlare)
    3.     using server site tools like MEMCACHE
  2.     Install SEO tools on site
    1.     to ensure everything meets “standards”
    2.     to tag things
    3.     to measure speeds
  3.     Rework all text to SEO standards (I can explain, by mainly about repetition and clarity)
  4.     Tag and meta-tag every page and post properly
  5.     Tag every image and item properly

Inject relevant content

Steps i – v are about half technical and half content. My rule is that 300 words of content have 300 words of tagging, data, metadata and other guff to support them and provide context.

Then, start to use this nice fast, clean, tagged site a lot to attract attention and gain authority

  1.     Instrument your site
    1.     Install Google Analytics using your Google+ ID
    2.     Install MSN Bing Analytics using your MSNLive! ID
    3.     Install Alexa Analytics
    4. Install Quantcast demographic measurement tools
    5. Install a speed measuring tool
  2. Wait a while for google to catch up (up to 2 weeks)
  3. Use social media
    1. Start a blog that links back from another Host
    2. Start pages on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Yahoo Groups, YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin,  MSN Live, Google+ (the last one is vital)
    3.     each page must be MOSTLY unique text
    4.     link them all to each other with links in relevant text
    5.     push content from the website to all those places using automatic tools
  4. Publish 1 new item a day for a week (pre-write all of this first)
  5. Create  siteindex.xml sitemap (you need this for the search engines at the next step)
  6. Use auto-submit tools to get your site listed at all the major search engines
    1.     http://roadtoblogging.com/submit-your-site-in-more-than-100-search-engines-for-free/
    2.     http://www.google.co.uk/submit_content.html
    3.     http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url
  7. Carry on publishing 1 new item a day for a week (pre-write all of this first)

 Measure next line results

Pause and check all your site ranking numbers on

  •          Google
  •          Bing
  •          Yahoo
  •          Alexa
  •          Quantcast

 Boost linkage and authority

  1. Start seeking links and back links and referrals from friendly sites (like me!)
  2. Seek referral links from sites that provide free listings
    1.     http://www.nexuswebsites.co.uk/top-15-free-uk-business-directories/
    2.     What’s on in this town, etc
  3. Consider need for paid links
  4. Advertise
    1. Run a small (£50) Google AdWord campaign (lots of ways to get a coupon to make this free)
    2. Run a small (£50) Bing! AdWord campaign

 

Number 1 with a bullet

Number 1 with a bullet

Refine

Rinse, Repeat from step 1

That is all there is to it.

Welcome to page 1 of Google. Perhaps
(PS: this site is not optimised…)

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