Once a website launches, clients want it on page one of Google’s search results – now.
Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works. Google’s indexing takes a bit of time, and even if the pages are indexed, they may not show up on the first few pages, especially if it’s a brand new site.
We can help speed up indexing by telling Google exactly where the content is using a sitemap. To be clear, this isn’t a page that shows users a nice hierarchy of all of the pages on the site, but a machine-friendly XML document listing each of the pages and posts along with a suggested priority.
The location of this sitemap is submitted to Google, and the indexing generally begins in a couple days. We can monitor indexing using Google’s Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools), and tweak the website as needed.
Assuming indexing is going well, we should see the site start to appear in search results within a week. As soon as the site is launched, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should begin to help push the site to the top of the results, but getting to page one can take time.
To get to page one on day one, you’ll need to do some Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This means creating a campaign using Google AdWords, and competing with other businesses for your share of Google’s traffic. It’s a bid-driven system, so the more your competitors are willing to pay, the more you need to be willing to pay.
Once your SEO efforts bring your site to the first page, you can consider lowering your spend on ads, but be sure to check your analytics to confirm that this is the right course of action.