And one of the biggest differences when it comes to your SEO strategy, is growing a website to be a hit versus maintaining a site that’s already popular and already generating a lot of traffic. These are two very different jobs with very different requirements. Read on to learn how they differ, and how you should tailor your strategy accordingly.
Why They Differ
The reason that SEO differs in these situations is that you will have different resources, a different starting point and different priorities. For the brand new website there isn’t an awful lot to lose, and the aim will be to get to the top of the SERPs quickly in order to spread awareness. To this end, most new SEOs and webmasters will tend to use higher-risk strategies with a greater chance of reward. ‘Drawing attention’ to yourself might also be the order of the day, with general promotional activities and other things that can generate some buzz.
On the other hand, big websites will want to strengthen their position in order to stave off damage from algorithm changes and competition. Your job will be to add to an existing links profile in order to secure your position, and to avoid any riskier strategies that could backfire next time Google change their strategies.
Existing sites also have the big benefit of an-inbuilt readership. This is a fantastic asset and one that should never be underestimated. By getting your visitors and readers to do your promotion for you, you’ll find that you can build far more links than would be possible on your own, and that this can snowball to propel your site into the stratosphere.
You will also have a reputation at this point and will be well established enough that people will want to work with you. This means that you’ll be able to get those PR6 links that were once just a pipe dream, and it means you can capitalise on your prior successes to prevent the young competition sneaking up on you.
On the other hand though, new sites also have advantages – and in some cases these are advantages over the bigger sites. For instance, the fact that you are starting from fresh with a blank canvas means that you don’t have a legacy of mistakes or a huge backlog of articles that are no longer appropriate for the new Google. You can build your site to be exactly what it needs to be to succeed and you will be flexible enough for the first few years to roll with the punches and to change much faster than your competition.
Making the Most of Your Situation
The trick then is to play to your strengths and to assess your goals when doing your SEO. New websites are exciting, they’re hip, they’re versatile and they have nothing to lose – so you can be bold, make a lot of noise and generally draw attention to yourself in a way that makes the larger sites look archaic.
On the other hand, if you’re a big website that’s well established, you can rally your existing members to help with your promotion, while chasing down those great links that you’d never have been able to get when you were starting out.
And note that the new site and the established site don’t necessarily have to be enemies – actually you can benefit each other greatly and that’s why a good SEO strategy can often be to target different sub-niches within your area, and to promote one another’s positive points. And if you have a big site yourself already, you could even consider setting up a smaller ‘sister’ site and that way enjoy the best of both worlds.